Friday, June 17, 2011

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 8, Vol 4)

Title: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 8, Vol 4): Time of Your Life
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
ISBN: 9781595823106
Author: Joss Whedon, Jeph Loeb
Category: Graphic Novel
Source: Advance Reader's Copy from NetGalley

Favorite Quotes:
Melaka Fray, “I fig we stake some lush haunt, lurks come out, we skin 'em for stories. Yeah?”
Buffy, “Does any part of that sentence involve me beating something up?”

Tree person-thing, “Let us show these abominations the forest's rage!”
Xander, “Followed quickly by the forest's denial, bargaining, and then short, painful acceptance.”

My Rating: ★★★

I enjoyed this book, but not quite as much as the previous three. I can't connect to a lot of shows or books that jump into the near future (flying cars and all, but no spaceships). They seem a bit cheesy and it's been done before. But the events here will resound into future books. Right after finishing it, I really didn't understand why the main antagonist did what she did. After some thought, I figured it out … I think. If I'm right, there will definitely be consequences.

Pros -

The 'future speak' was different enough from our current speech that I could believe they were in a different time, but still understand what they said. Whether language/slang will change that much in one hundred years, I don't know. But it's an overlooked detail many books/shows forget when doing a 'future' episode. People will talk different in one hundred years. It added an extra touch of believability to those scenes.

As with the previous Buffy Season 8 graphic novels, the humor and art were amazing. I keep saying that every time I review one of these. But really, it's true. I feel like I'm watching another episode on TV.

Cons -

I did have one problem with the artwork. One of the future characters looks a lot like Buffy, and it was a bit confusing (especially when she's first introduced, and we don't know who she is). When they're in the same scenes, they're dressed different and Buffy's hair is a wee bit shorter, so I could tell them apart. But they're just a little too similar looking.

Some of the speech squares (where there was dialog in a box, but the speaker's not in sight) were confusing, and I had to go back and figure out who was speaking. The worst incident happened when the internal dialog boxes switched suddenly between Buffy and the future slayer, Fray. The color of the box changed, which is usually an indicator of a new narrator, but it was similar enough that I didn't notice. For several frames, I thought Buffy was still 'thinking,' but her comments made no sense for her character. Eventually I caught on, but it ruined the flow of the story until I did.

This graphic novel is probably necessary for the continuing story arc, but it's not as good as the past ones. I think fans of the series should read this, but it doesn't do the series justice for a first time reader (in fact, it'll be very confusing).

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