Buffyverse Comics: BTVS Season 8, Vol. 1

The Story so Far: I am reading and reviewing the Buffyverse comic series’ that are canon with the television shows they are based on. I will post a final reading list when I’ve caught up to season 10.

I’ve included links to my previous posts in this reading marathon at the bottom of the page.

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Find BTVS Season 8, Volume 1 Library Hardcover Edition on Amazon


This Week:
Review of Buffy Season 8, volume 1 (Library Hardcover Edition).

A note about formats. If you are catching up on Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8, I highly recommend you purchase the hardback library editions over the graphic novels. Why? The issues are printed on large, vibrant pages. Reading these editions compared to the comic books or graphic novels is like watching a DVD compared to seeing a movie at the theater.

Also, the hard cover editions include a covers gallery as well as sketches and creator biographies at the end of the book. Not to mention the ribbon bookmark, sturdy binding, and beautiful Georges Jeanty illustrations on the cover when you remove the book jacket. These editions are well-worth the money and I cannot recommend them enough.

The Long Way Home (Issues 1-4)

Long_way_home_tpbWhat would Joss Whedon do with an unlimited budget? Welcome to Buffy season 8 where anything can happen and it does. The fights are bigger, the locations are grander, and the characters…well, they’re mostly the same. Except for Dawn. She’s a giant.

This season, Buffy’s greatest threat isn’t vampires, gods or demons. It’s people. The US military has waged war against the slayers and they’ve recruited powerful enemies from Buffy’s past to take her down.

Fans of the show may have trouble getting used to Buffy’s new surroundings. These days, the chosen one lives in a Scottish Castle with an army of slayers. She’s come a long way from Sunnydale but she’s still the girl we know and love. She still has no idea how to talk to her sister, she still has the best quips, and she still needs her friends to help her save the world.

Whedon delivers a fantastic, larger-than-life story with all the wit and heart that made the show a cult classic. A must-read for fans of Buffy and an action-packed introduction to the Season 8.

WRITTEN BY: Joss Whedon
ILLUSTRATED BY: Georges Jeanty
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse
RELEASED: October 31, 2007

The Long Way Home is included in BTVS Library Edition Vol. 1 (graphic novel available from TFAW),

14836bThe Chain (Issue 5)

In past issues, characters have mentioned that there are two slayers posing as Buffy: one is living it up in Rome, the other on a mission underground. This story is about the second girl. She faces certain death on page one and before she dies, she remembers her life–in particular her life as a slayer.

I really enjoyed this story. It was interesting to see what being chosen is like for for the new slayers. Buffy has always had the weight of the world on her shoulders. She was the last chosen one. But these new slayers are one of many. They’re faceless, nameless–particularly this girl operating as a Buffy decoy. She sacrifices her identity to fulfill her purpose. I admired her bravery and integrity.

This is a beautifully written and powerful story. One that I think will resonate with soldiers and other real-life heroes.

WRITTEN BY: Joss Whedon
ILLUSTRATED BY: Paul Lee
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse
RELEASED: July 25, 2007

The Chain is included in BTVS Library Edition Vol. 1 and The Long Way Home graphic novel.

Nofutureforyou_tpbNo Future for You (Issues 6-9)

It’s Buffy meets My Fair Lady. Giles recruits Faith to assassinate a murderous slayer named Gigi in England. In addition to being wealthy and guarded, the slayer in question has a warlock watcher. To get close enough to kill Gigi, Faith will need to pose as an upper-class English woman.

Brian K. Vaughn does an exceptional job of writing Faith and Giles. He reminds us of the fine line Faith walks and how difficult her uphill road to redemption has been.

I have also been impressed by illustrator, Georges Jeantry. He has a talent for capturing the emotion of the characters. He also adds details, or Easter Eggs, for fans in background to look for. My favorite is a cell of the 10th Doctor and his companion Rose Tyler from Doctor Who that appears just after Faith and Giles arrive in England.

I highly recommend No Future For You. Fans of the show will appreciate the further development of Faith’s character. This series will also appeal to readers of young adult novels and, of course, Doctor Who fans.

WRITTEN BY: Brian K. Vaughn
ILLUSTRATED BY: Georges Jeanty
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse
RELEASED: September 05, 2007

No Future For You is included in BTVS Library Edition Vol. 1 (graphic novel available from TFAW)

14844Anywhere but Here (Issue #10)

What makes this issue special is not the story. The story is simple: Buffy and Willow fly to the lair of a demon named Sephrilian to learn more about Twilight’s uprising. It’s a story that could easily be dismissed as filler if you didn’t know about Robin. As a minder, Robin contains the unstable reality field that Sephrilian lives in, preventing it from affecting our reality. Robin is also a real person.

Dark Horse Comics held a contest for one reader to be given a cameo in Season 8. They asked that fans send in essays on how Buffy changed their lives. The winner was an author who entered the contest on his wife’s behalf. He wrote about watching early seasons of the show with his wife, Robin as she slowly succumbed to schizophrenia:

“Our growing love for the show as each season came out gave something for my wife to focus on and look forward to during those first dark and confusing years…Buffy’s character gave her the strength to battle her ‘demons'”

Whedon was so moved by the essay that he featured Robin as a pivotal character in the issue. Reading this story in the letters to the editor of the comic gave me new respect for this issue. I wish this story was included in the hardcover and graphic novel editions. I think it enriches Anywhere But Here and gives it meaning particularly for those, like Robin, suffering from mental illness.

WRITTEN BY: Joss Whedon
ILLUSTRATED BY: Cliff Richards
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse
RELEASED: January 2, 2008

Anywhere But Here is included in BTVS Library Edition Vol. 1 and No Future For You graphic novel,

Always Darkest (MySpace Dark Horse Presents #24)

Alwaysdarkest

Jo Chen has contributed beautiful cover art to season 8, now we finally get to see her illustrate a story. This is a bizarre tale, a nightmare of Buffy’s that has no affect on the Season 8 storyline.

This is also very short so if you missed this one when it was released by MySpace Dark Horse Presents I wouldn’t bother tracking it down. However, Chen captures the characters perfectly and I hope we see more issues from her in the future.

WRITTEN BY: Joss Whedon
ILLUSTRATED BY: Jo Chen
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse
RELEASED: July 2009

Always Darkest is included in BTVS Library Edition Vol. 1, Predators & Prey graphic novel, and MDHP Vol. 3.

Previous Posts:

Next up:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8, volume 2!

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