2007: A Year With Buffy
(My novel in its different stages)
Needless to say, I fell in love. BtVS not only re-opened the entire Buffyverse to me, it also made me fall in love with the medium of television again. So, getting back on topic, I figured that if Joss Whedon could reintroduce me to the art of serial television, why the hell shouldn’t I trust him to write a good comic book? So, from then on, I knew I’d buy into the series. “Buffy: Season Eight.” It sounded like a dream come true. I even warmed myself up for it by going to my local comic shop and buying some of IDW’s early Angel comics (the entire “Old Friends” miniseries). While I can’t say it was a good miniseries, seeing the characters again sure was something. Reading those issues helped me understand how to read comics and it also encouraged me. If I can even enjoy a non-canonical Angel comic with iffy art a little tiny bit, imagine how much I will love an in-continuity Buffy comic written Joss Whedon!
I waited for the day. It was to be released on March 7th, but—to my dismay—it was delayed a week. I’d ordered it from http://www.tfaw.com/, thinking it would ship on release date (the fourteenth), but I was sorely disappointed to realize that they wouldn’t ship me the book for another week. The 21st. Anger.
But then, finally, I got it. And the rest was pretty much history. I really enjoyed #1, liked #2 a lot but was a bit confused until I read the issue over, loved #3, and liked #4. The first arc “The Long Way Home” was one of the best season premieres that BtVS has ever had, and I knew without a doubt that I was hooked. All of the major Scoobs were reintroduced over the course of these four issues, some of them in quite different situations than we last saw them in. Dawn has become a giant—literally—and is too embarrassed to tell Buffy what she feel may have caused her sudden transformation, though everyone around her has a nagging suspicion that it could have been a sexual encounter with a thricewise named Kenny, who we have yet to see. Xander is playing Dixon to Buffy’s Sidney Bristow at the BHC (Big Honkin’ Castle, a name for Buffy’s base that forumites have taken a liking to), and he’s still eye patchin’ it up. Willow, perhaps most mysteriously of all, can (1) fly, (2) chill with elemental spirits on different plains, and (3) instantly heal from mortal wounds. She is using major magic and still gets to the point where her hair goes dark, letting the audience know that she isn’t all pure yet. Though we haven’t seen Kennedy yet, we know through Willow’s dialogue that she died and was brought back. Andrew and Giles both had minor parts in the first arc, pretty much just watching over some slayers. Giles had a conference with a Slayer-hating Demon, but we didn’t see much from him (more on what Giles and Faith are up to later on). The most interesting development here is Buffy herself. For the first time since Season Five, I find myself liking this character. She is funny, sympathetic, and a much better character than the hardened and harsh Buffy Summers we saw in Seasons Six and Seven. Buffy, like many of the other Scoobies, is redeeming herself.
(Season Eight 1-9, the variant covers)
And that was all only in the first four issues.
(The hulking Panel to Panel dwarfing a regular Buffy comic)
Comics fans rejoiced when Brian K. Vaughan signed on to write the next four issues in the series. The acclaimed writer of Runaways, Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina, and Pride of Baghdad was going to change things up a bit and focus this arc (the second full-length “episode” of season eight) on Faith, the slayer gone bad gone good. I love Joss and his writing, but BKV really set the standard high with issues 6, 7, 8, and 9. While “The Long Way Home” was a great season premiere, it did have a few blunders… not so with “No Future for You.” It is by far the best Faith-centric episode of the Buffyverse canon, throwing Faith into a situation where she has to come face-to-face with another slayer gone bad. Giles, unbeknownst to Buffy, assigned Faith to this case. But Gigi Savidge, the slayer in question, is not going to be saved. Giles feels that it is too late to bring Gigi back to the good side, as she has been corrupted by the influence of Roden, an Irish wizard affiliated with Twilight.
(A novel I'm currently editing; I include this just as a nod to Joss and the other Buffy writers, who I have learned so much from by watching their shows and reading their comics.)
(The continuation of the Buffyverse. The best Christmas gift a writer could give a fan.)
The ninth issue of Season Eight, the conclusion to “No Future For You,” was the last issue we’ll be getting in 2007, but I wouldn’t worry. We’re left with a lot more to ponder on. Robin Wood, the badass principal from Season Seven, was reintroduced here. He’s heading a squad of slayers much like Andrew and Buffy/Xander are. His relationship with Faith seems strained from the phone call they shared in Issue 6. From his “Are you still—” before Faith hangs up on him, it seems that the two of them may have had a baby scare or something like that. Also, most excitingly, the last few pages of #9 gave us a scene with the new Big Bad of the season.
("Panel to Panel" was so big I couldn't fit it on any shelf. Here it is in my closet with a few other closeted books and my doubles of Buffy comics I ordered in case of a mishap)
(The first two Buffy Omnibus books)