Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 8 comic -- An early look
Finally we Whedon fans have had something to look forward to in the form of a comic book. Sure there have been plenty of books done in the Buffyverse before, but this time it's different. 'Long Way from Home' is meant to serve as the start of Joss' s vision of what a season eight of Buffy would have been, had the show continued. So for purists this is most probably considered canon.
I was lucky enough to get an early draft of the first issue from the series, so read on for a few not-so spoilery tidbits.
I'm sure many of you have already seen the first few released pages from the first issue of the series, so it's not going to be a big secret if I remind you that we start with Buffy's revelation that there are several decoy Buffy's running around. We also learn that one of these decoys was actually the one dating "The Immortal" we were sort of introduced to in Angel.
The rest of this first book is paced very much like what you'd expect from the opening act of one TV episode, like right before the usual Nerf Herder song. We meet three other characters besides Buffy who we've come to know through the years of the show: Xander, Dawn and one more I'll have to leave as a surprise. We also learn that Willow, Giles and Andrew are working with Buffy in some capacity...somewhere.
As I was reading this issue, I tried to put aside that it was a comic book and see if I could feel this as an episode of television written by Whedon. The first page clearly tells us Joss wrote the "script" for this series, though it felt sort of ... off. That's the only way I can really explain it. I realize this is a small portion of a larger story, but the quotables were few and the funny was lax. And if you know the prior television incarnation of this series, there's never a lack of humor and quotables.
I am a fan of a few runs of comic books and graphic novels, so the flow of a story in this format isn't lost on me. However, it's interesting to see something transform from canon television-to-comic, when usually it's very much the other way around (and that's almost always not canon). Maybe it's just the nature of the medium, that comic stories just don't flow the way a TV show does. So for someone used to seeing things done a certain way for seven years and then seeing it done differently (even though it's by the same person), it's more obvious.
This is a very different world Buffy is in, and I'm sure that has a lot to do with how the story already seems so strange.
I think just from the first book alone, fans of Joss simply won't want to wait out those painful weeks for the next one. It's just a shame that the run on this "season" is going to feel so short when we close the book on the final chapter.
A couple of things to look foward to:
- Sunnydale's condition (both aboveground and below).
- Xander's newfound position in the ranks.
- Dawn's unique situation due to a run-in with a "thricewise" (this was revealed to the public elsewhere).
- A character from Buffy's past who's not all that happy with Sunnydale going boom.