Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 8, Vol 3)
Title: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 8, Vol 3): Wolves at the Gates
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Author: Joss Whedon
Category: Graphic Novel
Source: Advance Reader's Copy from NetGalley
Evil henchman (referring to Buffy), “You didn't kill her.”
Head bad guy, “That's been done. To little effect.”
Dracula (insulted at the idea anyone could steal his powers), “The very idea that some two-bit, run-of-the-mill vampires could just come and … take them from the … Lord of … Darkness … (long pause) oh balls.”
My Rating: ★★★★
Anyone who's read my previous reviews knows I love Buffy and Joss Whedon. So this review shouldn't come as any surprise. This volume stays true to the TV series and Joss' own brand of humor, which equals instant love from me. There was one moment that pushed the corny-meter a little high (*cough* Dawn's adversary at the end *cough*). And Buffy's possible romantic interest came from left field. I didn't see that one coming, and I'm not sure it made sense. But Buffy's made “unique” romantic choices before when strung out (sixth season, anyone?), so maybe it's in character for her. In this one, we also see the return of Dracula. I didn't much care for his episode in the TV series, but he does better here. Not spectacular, but he has his moments.
I really can't get enough of Joss Whedon's humor. He takes a typical scene you might see anywhere, and twists it just so, and suddenly its unexpected and hilarious. Banter between adversaries is rarely the normal back and forth you might see/read anywhere else. He makes it unique. Example: in this book, Buffy and another slayer are fighting some baddies while discussing person issues. The bad guys repeatedly try to start up the typical bad guy banter (“Your blood will taste so sweet...” etc.) and Buffy keeps telling them to shut up, she's talking to someone else. All kinds of conversations get the Joss Whedon “tweak.” And it never sounds forced, or artificial. The man's a master.
Like the previous two installments, the artwork is superb. The faces and expressions blew me away. I could almost see the actors on the page. I haven't seen the rest of the comics after this one, but I sure hope they keep this artist. Beautiful, just beautiful.
I mentioned this above, but it's worth repeating. The graphic novel stays true to the show. Granted, because of the different medium, they can plan things one a grander scale (like the final battle – that would've been very difficult to manage for the TV show). But the characters, the back story, dialog, everything is like watching the show again. As a huge Buffy fan, I love it.
Also mentioned this above, but Dawn's adversary was a bit, um, yeah... The TV show got goofy sometimes, but still managed to pull it off. This pushed my suspension of disbelief, even for Buffy.
As for Buffy's person life choices, she's never shown that kind of side before. Or anything even remotely leaning towards that type of side. I have no problems with that life style, it just seemed a bit out of character for her. Makes me wonder where that'll go.
Like the previous two graphic novels, if you enjoyed the Buffy TV series, you should read the comics, preferably in order. They're entertaining, they continue where season seven ended and well worth the time.