If you’re any sort of a fanatical Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan like I am then you must be aware of the Buffy Season 8 comic series came to a close this week with the release of it’s last issue. The unique thing about these Buffy comics is that they were canon to the television show. The events in the comics start shortly after the events that happen in the last season of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer tv show. There are 40 comic books in this series and it has been released over an almost four year period! And let me just say it’s been a wild ride.
I must say that I think overall I liked collecting these comics. This is the only comic that I’ve been following lately so it was nice to look forward to. The stories have been compelling at times and the art acceptable. Still I’d be lying if I said the comics were perfect. So I have here a few things I loved and a few things I hated about the Buffy Season 8 comic series.
What I loved
-I did love how they made it canon to the tv show. I love the show and have them all on DVD. I watch the show all the way through in order every now and then. So to be given the chance to continue the story of Buffy and friends was an welcomed idea.
-I loved the guest appearances of secondary or tertiary characters from the show. We get to see Dracula for a few issues and he was quite funny. His relationship with Xander got explored more.
-I loved how Buffy and Satsu had a fling together. Yea this plot twist was just a gimmick to generated buzz about the comic (which it did successfully) but it was also interesting. It didn’t feel randomly tacked on to the story. It was a nice way to let the character of Buffy evolve and change some.
-I loved that we also have a brief appearance of the Master at the end but I felt it was too short and didn’t make sense.
-I loved the issue with Harmony. The idea of having her starring in a reality tv show was great!
-I loved the Faith story arch because I really enjoy the character and was wanting to see more of her. I think they explored her nicely and did a good job letting her and Giles work together.
-I loved the the one shots about WIllow and Riley. Willow’s story about her search for a spiritual guide revealed more about the mysterious Saga Vasuki snake lady. The Riley story explained how Riley became imbedded as a double agent in the Twilight organization. The story didn’t make all that much sense but I did like seeing more of his character.
-I loved all the pop culture references that they included in the comics. They made fun of the current vampire craze and even point out that the relationship between Bella and Edward from Twilight is very similar to Buffy and Angel’s. They also mention Battlestar Galactica by having Willow say “oh Frack!” During the Willow one shot there is a parody of a Harry Potter scene including a Hogwarts Express train.
-I loved the issue that gave homage to the animated Buffy the Vampire Slayer tv show that was attempted but never was. As a one shot story it was kind of fun.
-I love how Warren turns in to a pile of Spaghettio mush when the magic crystal is destroyed and Amy’s spell keeping him together is lifted. I hated Warren anyway. hehe.
-I loved when they focused on the characters and them interacting through quirky dialogue like from the tv show. I think those moments were way better than the issues they tried to pack in a lot of action or stuff happening.
-I loved that Willow broke up with Kennedy. I never liked her much, not even on the tv show.
What I hated
-First off I hated how confusing the story gets toward the end. Once Angel is revealed as Twilight the story just went in the crapper. They talk about new universes being created and the source of all magic but they never make it clear what the hell it all means.
-I hated how the stories in general were way over the top. I mean why make Dawn a giant for several issues?! I know in a comic book you can do the impossible without the budget limitations in creating a tv series, but that shouldn’t have resulted in a giant Dawn. Then the events in the last few issues took it even farther because Buffy has super powers and there are tons of epic universe shattering events going on. Only the writers knew what was happening (and I’m not so sure even they knew).
-There were times I hated the art. I think overall the quality was good and there were some nice drawings throughout the series. However, my biggest gripe with the art is how it was often difficult to identify characters. At times I couldn’t tell if it was Buffy, Dawn or another random Slayer doing something because they all looked alike. This problem isn’t as bad with costumed comic book superheros because you can tell who they are by what they are wearing. This was majorly distracting in Buffy’s comic because the characters are plain clothed usually and all have similar looks. Sometimes I’d have to re-read an issue before understanding “oh that was Dawn that said that not Buffy.”
-I can’t say I totally hate that Angel turned out to be the character Twilight. It was a nice twist and I was glad to have his character back interacting with Buffy. But as mentioned above the story went down hill after his reveal.
-I hated how they teased us with the possibility of Xander and Buffy being together only to pair Xander with Dawn. I guess I’m okay with Dawn and Xander since they always loved each other in some form even on the tv show. So it made sense that their love would evolve romantically.
-I hated how toward the end of the series they don’t explain what happened to all the other characters especially one of my favorites Andrew! He may be new to the Scoobies team but he has become a more principle character I feel. So to leave him out of the season 8 epilogue was a big disappointment.
-I kinda hated the whole story arch involving Buffy going to Fray’s time period. It didn’t make a lick of sense and just felt like a way for Joss to promote his Fray comic. The way Buffy kills Willow didn’t seem to make any sense either. Then the next several issues that’s all Buffy talks about and it just felt awkward.
-I really really hated that they killed Giles. That was just stupid. I think that character had lots more to offer. I guess that can be said about Tara, Anya and Joyce and all the other characters that Joss kills off in his universe. Uber sad face :-C
My Final Rating
I think I would give the complete Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 comic book series a three out of five. It had it’s moments but failed to live up to it’s full potential.
Other Buffy Gossip
You also may be interested to know that the Buffy Season 8 comic series has been made into a animated motion comic on DVD. I’ve watched parts of it and it really looks awesome. If you didn’t get a chance to read the full comic series this is a great way to watch the story unfold in beautiful Technicolor dream magic! I dunno what I’m sayin’ just check out the DVD yo!
As far as Buffy Season 9 comic series goes I hear that it is in development! So looks like Buffy will go on fighting the good fight in another comic series.
Plus, there are rumors about a new Buffy feature film hitting theaters. It would be a “reboot” of the franchise. (What’s the big deal about everything being rebooted lately. Can’t they make something original? hehe) Apparently Heather Morris (Brittany from Glee) has been considered to play Buffy. There’s nothing set in stone yet it seems so we shall see what turns up I guess.