Sunday, July 8, 2007

Tales of the Slayers: Broken Bottle of Djinn REVIEW

What Is It: "Tales of the Slayers: Broken Bottle of Djinn" is a one-shot comic book, sort of a spin-off of the "Tales of the Slayers" series that has already been collected into a trade paperback. This comic is currently the only place you can find this tale, as it isn't collected into any bigger volume. It was published in October 2002, so you won't find this in any comic book stores. I suggest you go where I went:

Timing: Season Two / 1937

Story: The story is written by Jane Espenson and Douglas Petrie, both writers from the show. Buffy is written in character, though we don't get to see a lot of her. Only eight pages of the entire comic feature the Buffy storyline. Yep, this one-shot comic book is made up of two stories, one featuring Buffy and Willow facing off against a nasty Djinn, and the second featuring a New York slayer dealing with the same Djinn in 1937. The Buffy story is very light and goofy, while the 1937 tale is much darker and grittier; the contrast is almost ironic, since the stories wind up so entwined in the end, which I have to say was very well done. There is a continuity issue, however. The Buffy story is set in 1997 during Season Two, so that means it takes place after "When She Was Bad" and before "Surprise." However, Willow demonstrates powerful magic abilities, abilities which she hadn't mastered until way past Season Two. Another small quibble I have is that I find myself wishing for a bit more of the Buffy storyline at the end, just to tie it up a little bit.

Art: The Buffy storyline is illustrated in a very bright cartoony way, which adds to the lightness of the story. Buffy and Willow, and even--God help me--Snyder are very cute here, and some panels smell of an anime-influence. To put it simple, if the Buffy animated television show ever took off, it would look something like this. It's attractive and hip, but hard to take serious. The art totally switches for the more serious 1937 storyline and, while I would like a bit more detail,
I can't say it doesn't match the tone of the story.

Characters We Know: Buffy, Willow, Principle Snyder

Rating: 5/10

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