Sunday, April 15, 2007

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight—The Long Way Home

Issues One and Two by Joss Whedon, art by Andy Owens, Dave Stewart and Richard Starkings. Featured covers by Jo Chen.

While I was bummed that Joss Whedon had decided to end his run on Astonishing X-Men, the news that directly followed this annoucement perked me up heartily. Joss is now writing a Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic for Dark Horse that picks up where the series left off. An Angel comic from IDW, also continuing where the show left off, will follow in a few months.

To say I enjoyed these first two issues would be an understatement. I've read and enjoyed the comics that have come out since the end of Buffy's television run, but having Whedon behind the pen again feels like coming home. As good as the writers at IDW are, most notably Peter David, they lack the exactness of voice that comes from Whedon. Which is understandable, since Whedon created these characters, after all.

The Season Eight series opens with Buffy holed up in a castle in Scotland with a cadre of Slayers, as well as familiar faces like Xander, Willow and Dawn (who, by the way, has been transformed into a giant). The new population of over 2,000 Slayers is scattered throughout the world, presumably killing evil things.

Speaking of evil things, there's a new one afoot. And by the end of issue two, the Buffster is in the midst of a passel of trouble once again. Just like old times.

Overall, the first arc of this new series has gotten off to a great start. The story is good, the art is solid, and I can't wait to see more. The only thing I find disappointing--deeply disappointing, in fact--is some of the reader letters published in the backs of the issues. The series has just gotten underway, and already "fans" feel the need to write in pushing their own agendas regarding the stories. Fortunately, Joss has proven in the past that he'll follow his own agenda, regardless. And I'm okay with that.