Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Buffy Season 8 Vols 4 & 5 ~ Joss Whedon, et al reviews

Time of Your Life (Vol. 4)
Joss Whedon (Author), Jeff Loeb (Author), Karl Moline (Illustrator), Andy Owens (Illustrator), Eric Wight (Illustrator)
Dark Horse
May 19, 2009
136 pages

In Volume 4 of Buffy Season 8, Time of Your Life, Buffy travels (not on purpose) 200 years into the future and meets Fray, a Slayer there. Time of Your Life’s plot is about the two of them and Buffy helping Fray fight baddies and save herself –and Buffy get herself back to the present.

If you don’t read Fray or know about it already (which I did not), this will be one confusing read. There is slang that Fray uses that confuses Buffy (and unsuspecting readers) making these issues hard to understand. Buffy, and unfamiliar readers alike are thrown into a confusing world.

The art doesn’t help much, either. It’d beautiful but doesn’t work well for Buffy. Fray’s sister looks more like Buffy usually does than Time of Your Life’s Buffy does. And a big reveal at the end is slightly spoiled because it’s hard to be sure how the character actually is.

Another storyline with Dawn is interesting because we get to learn more about why she’s a giant. And it fits with the usually Buffy rules (and the consequences characters usually face).

This volume really lost me, however. It left me wondering where the girl power I love Buffy for has gone. We’ve seen some naked (or almost) girls but I really want some of that girl power back, please.


Predators and Prey (Vol. 5)
Joss Whedon (Author), Jane Espenson (Author), Steven S. DeKnight (Author), Drew Z. Greenberg (Author), Jim Krueger (Author), Doug Petrie (Author), Georges Jeanty (Illustrator), Cliff Richards (Illustrator)
Dark Horse Comics
October 7, 2009
144 pages

Predators and Prey: Buffy Season 8 Volume 5 was probably the least realistic, strangest, and most out-there volume so far . . . and also the one I enjoyed most. Go figure. Without giving too much away, Harmony gets a The Hills-esque reality show, Slayers become hated, evil robotic toy vampires are discovered, a haven for Slayers may or may not be what it seems, Buffy and Andrew have to work together to find a group of rogue Slayers, and Buffy has to help Dawn (again).

See, kind of crazy – and I left some stuff out.

This volume is definitely not trying to do things that could be on a show, it’s taking full advantage of it’s medium. And for this instance, at least, it works.

Both Harmony and Kennedy (who I didn’t recognize for a bit – again I’m having some trouble recognizing characters in their comic form) were much less annoying than I found them on the show. I think my reaction to Harmony was due to her different location, etc. Kennedy however might have been different than on the show.

The evil robot vamps cats wanting to eat the girls’ ovaries (seriously) brings me back to the girl power thing (the lack thereof), though. I don’t know if this is supposed to be some reverse girl power thing. But having one of your ‘villains’ want to eat the Slayers’ ovaries is … I don’t even know.

Buffy and Andrew’s trip seemed to be back to Slayer Buffy and I really liked that. The story with Faith once again required you to know Faith’s back-story to really understand and enjoy it.

“Living Doll” was a bit creepy and didn’t do that much, but it was a nice resolution for Dawn. I also enjoyed the artwork there.


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