Sunday, January 6, 2008

Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season Eight #10

Another year of reviewing starts with Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season Eight #10:

Whedon returns to his writing tasks with a story about Buffy and Willow visit a Sephrilion, a demon around whom reality becomes unstable. It makes for a rather convoluted storyline, but it also makes for a very interesting story as the Sephrillion shows them the secrets they’ve been hiding from each other.

In Buffy’s case, her own actions, aimed at funding her new Slayers organization, have not been entirely on the up and up. It turns out that she is at least in part responsible for the government breathing down their neck. It’s not all a conspiracy by some unknown demon cult. Willow’s secrets are more complex. She blames herself for Tara’s death and now tries to keep her current love, Kennedy, from the rest of the Slayers in an attempt to protect her. But she is keeping secrets from Kennedy too. At home, Dawn is coming clean about her own big secret. Since the start of this series she has been a giantess, something somehow connected her having sex with a “thricewise” named Kenny. What exactly a thricewise is hasn’t been explained. Attempts by Willow and others have failed to return her to her normal size. Now we learn that there was a little more to the story of Dawnie and Kenny.

As monsters go, Sephrillion is pretty absurd, but deliberately so. He seems to be an attempt at something Bosch-like, filtered through the influence of Ray Harryhausen. I am not sure whether he works or not. Cliff Richards, the long time Buffy comics artist, not the singer, makes his debut for the new series. It makes a tangible connection between this series and the many previous ones, but I am still not sold of the visuals generally. The story itself, however, is very good. Whedon’s best so far. He assumes the reader knows a lot about the series, but that’s fair. The success of the comics has been all about bringing the show’s fans to the comic. And knowing these characters is why this story works. Issue five failed because it was centered on someone we didn’t know and had no reason to feel anything for. In this issue we center on the main cast and discover a poignancy the earlier issue just couldn’t deliver.

Interesting thing about this new format. In order to fill what I consider to be an adequate amount of space on the post, I have to post a lot more of the review. In this case all of it. That's not something I would have done before. Typically, these review posts have been done to draw your attention to Paperback Reader.


Westside Goth said...

i didn't read the review as i get this in mail order so i'll be waiting for a while. just wanted to say, sometime this week, i'll start actually reviewing the comics i'm picking up.

Palladin said...

You got it right about the title. Mine has been up a while about the book. On a tag line note. If you will tag your Buffy and really any other review (Bulleteer) that concerns women in comics I am sure the When Fangirls Attack Blog will post a link to you here. I use Women In Comics as the tag and it nevers fails that they find me. Just a thought to increase your readership.

David Bird said...

Thanks, I'll take your advice.

And good to hear from you!