So this morning I awoke to an advanced copy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 in my email in-box. Apparently, The Powers That Be have been listening. Either that or there is some very nice individual who felt my pain at having to wait another week. For which ever reason, I’d first like to say thanks. Now, allow me to get to the review portion of the review. Mind you this post will have SPOILERS, so you might want to wait until next week if you want to stay mondo surprised.
The cover is great. With the credits pushed off to the side, there is a real focus on Jo Chen’s beautiful cover of Buffy. Though I’m not a big fan of the title on her shirt, I managed to get over it.
The Episode Summary
The first part of the episode is guided by Buffy’s voice over. She sets the stage for us, explaining how she’s still not used to being called ma’am. We also get information on how many Slayers are active (somewhere around 1800). Like any season premiere of the show, you are dropped right into the middle of the action. Buffy and a squad of Slayers are being dropped by helicopter into a ruined church. As they move inside we see Xander Harris at Command Central in Scotland watching their every move on a series of screens. Xander dishes out orders and keeps the wheels in motion. He tells Buffy, everything is in place, its time to move.
A solid kick to the church door and the Slayers are in. Three massive demons are waiting for them and through a series of tactile maneuvers the Slayers successfully dispatch them. Upon further inspection of the scene, two bodies are uncovered, one bearing a strange scar or tattoo on his chest. Buffy concludes the marks are self inflicted and that these individuals where looking for a fight. She sends the image off to Xander and we call scene.
The next page takes place on a helicopter. Two military officials, one who I would consider High Brass are discussing their displeasure with the recent creation of these female terrorist “cells”, one girl in particular “a charismatic, uncompromising and completely destructive” individual who had no problem destroying her home town. Turn the page to reveal Crater Sunnydale, one massive hole in the So Cal landscape. The military is camped out on the crater’s edge. A team has been sent down into the crater, to search for bodies and take mystical readings. Suddenly, one of the team members is attacked by….
Back at Slayer Central, Xander and Buffy share a scene. The two friends are bouncing ideas back and forth on the strange symbol Buffy found. Xander suggests that Buffy speak to her sister, which Buffy is hesitant to do. The slayer sucks it up and joins Giant Dawn in the castle courtyard. Yes, I said Giant Dawn. Dawn, who now stands at about 60 feet is obviously the victim of some type of magic or spell. Dawn has absolutely no desire to speak with her older sister and insists on confiding only in Willow. The girls begin to quarrel and Buffy storms out tossing one of the best lines in the issue at Dawn.
Alone on a castle balcony, Buffy tells us how she misses her home, her mom, the Gang, churros, and most of all sex. “Great muppety Odin, I miss that sex.” One wonders if that sex she’s referring to was with Spike. She then expresses her frustration over Dawn and her secret, knowing that Dawn’s sexual encounter with a boy at school is what resulted in the growth spurt. Most of all, she’s pissed that Dawn won’t talk to her about it.
The final act takes place at an undisclosed military location. The same Top Brass is conversing with a military scientist. We are informed that two individuals were recovered from the Sunnydale Crater (almost a year after the cataclysmic event). Subject One is a female, and Subject Two is some horribly deformed male. the scientist hypothesizes that they stayed alive by feeding on “whoever else was trapped in the crater.” The females first words upon extraction were, “I’m going to help you kill her.” She demands, in exchange for cooperation, access to all magical hardware, a weapons lab for her “boyfriend”, and lots of cheese. By this point any Buffy fan should know before they turn the page that the female, Subject One, is none other than Amy Madison.
I’m extremely impressed with every page in this comic. The art was great, the dialogue was classic Whedon as was the story. I’ll admit, first I was a little overwhelmed by the action, it was alot to take in. But the scene with Xander and Buffy researching the symbol definitely felt like old times. I could hear the actors in the dialogue I was reading.
I’ve always felt that Season 7 of the show was an excellent place to end the series, leaving it open for a film, tv movies, or some form of continuation. The best part of the finale was that it set the stage for something grander, and that’s what the season 8 comic is going to do. The comic can work on a scale that the show never could have afforded. And it is no doubt going to blow the mind of any fan.
In similar regards to the finale, I thoroughly enjoy the theme of dealing with the effects of changing the world. All of us want to do that, but very few ever consider the repercussions of something so colossal. I’m glad to see Whedon addressing this.
17. Buffy’s scene with Xander.
Giant Dawn: I could squash you like a flea.
Buffy: Your butt looks big in those giant pants.
I couldn’t be happier with the first issue. My only complaint was that it ended and I have to wait another month to see what happens next. I’ll certainly be grabbing a copy when it is released on the 14th. I’m looking forward to seeing some other character appearances in the upcoming issues, especially Giles, and some twists and turns that only Whedon can pull off.
4.5 out of 5