Thursday, June 28, 2012

Comic Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer S8: No Future For You

Buffy the Vampire Slayer S8, V2: No Future For You by Brian K. Vaughan, Joss Whedon & Georges Jeanty

Paperback: 120 pages
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics; 2 edition (June 11, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 159307963X
ISBN-13: 978-1593079635
Series: Season 8: Volume 2
Stories: No Future For You: Part 1, No Future For You: Part 2, No Future For You: Part 3, No Future For You: Part 4, Anywhere But Here
Source: Purchased at Books-A-Million
First Sentence: "Oh! The places you'll go!"

Mini-Review: Maintains the same feeling as the show while widening the scope of Season 8.

When a rogue debutante Slayer begins to use her power for evil, Giles is forced to recruit the rebellious Faith, who isn't exactly known for her good deeds. Giles offers Faith a clean slate if she can stop this snooty Slayer from wreaking total havoc--that is, if Buffy doesn't beat her to it.

As a Buffy fan, I'm not too wild about Faith but as an Angel fan, I've started to get her appeal. She is Buffy's darker side. She goes bad so Buffy doesn't have to and now that their struggle is over, she wants to find redemption. I was pretty stoked to find out that this second comic was all about what happened to my favorite dark Slayer and the story inside didn't disappoint.

Like with the first volume, No End for You is able to capture Faith's essence. She is all about the struggle and is tested big time yet again. After watching her get mentally abused by Wesley in Angel (and rightly so since she was physically torturing him), it was nice to see Giles being kind to her. For so long, everyone has treated her like a second class citizen so I really liked watching her form a bond with him. In the end, Faith and Giles aren’t all that different and I’m glad their similarities are addressed. I’m excited to see where this newly found friendship is going.

Also, giving Faith the mission of being a lady in disguise and trying to assassinate a rogue Slayer was awesome, especially after Faith spent time with her and started to realize how similar they were. Because Faith has been misguided before, she is in a unique position to understand her target Slayer which makes it that much harder to follow through with her mission. People that Buffy might just brand as “evil” Faith sees in a different light. I love that the writer chose to explore this aspect of Faith’s character and I was glad to see Faith confront her dark side and chose against it (something she was never able to do in the show). There is this magic scene where Faith and Buffy fight and Faith is holding Buffy underwater. They are mirror images and this perfectly depicts their relationship.

As far as plot goes, this collection didn’t seem to have a lot to do with the overall arc that was building in the first volume accept that it finally shows us what Twilight looks like (we don’t know who he/she is, just what they dress like and their face is covered) and what Twilight’s goals are.

I found the same gorgeous action shots, the perfect blend of comic and character in the drawings and the unique placement from the first volume. I also happened to spot a seemingly throw away panel which I thought looked an awful lot like the Tenth Doctor and Rose from Doctor Who. Upon some research, it turns out that it WAS a nod to Doctor Who which made me ridiculously giddy.

Though Faith’s struggles managed to make me feel for her, it was again the last story in the comic that got me the most. This time, we follow Buffy and Willow as they go to visit a demon in another dimension. At first, I thought it was going to be a silly installment as they talk about their fantasies but the end does what all good Whedon works do… it hits hard. The demon plays with Buffy and Willow’s insecurities and makes them both confess things they never thought they’d say. Even though they want the world to think they are close, there is a final panel that shows them walking away very far apart which is stark contrast from the earlier ones where Buffy is clinging onto Willow as they fly. I smell trouble in Bullow-dise.

In the end, I enjoyed this one just as passionately as the first installment and now that I have a better understanding of how to read comics I feel like it is only going to get better. I think the choice of following a different character through their journey really helped build the scope of the Buffy universe and flesh out a wider story arc. Keeping the same great dialogue from the show and packing in as much drama, Volume 2 is still going strong in my book. Can’t wait to dive into Volume 3!


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