TV in comics update: Buffy, Angel, The Stranded and Serenity
Buffy the Vampire Slayer - season eight - Issues #10 & #11
These were stand-alone "episodes," unlike 'The Long Way Home' and 'No Future for You'. A few things are revealed here that help keep the Big Bad of this season in play. Willow has even more power than we could have realized in past seasons, and an unexpected person has a crush on Buffy. I really liked 'A Beautiful Sunset' (#11) more than any other issue, with a great moment where one of the main, masked antagonists is almost revealed. Classic Joss writing.
A new multi-part series kicks off March 5, written by veteran Drew Goddard.
Angel: After the Fall - Issues #1 through #3
As much as I've loved having Buffy back with an eighth season, I had mixed feelings when I heard Angel would be coming back in comic form (and following canon.) Firstly, Dark Horse passed on obtaining the license for the series (a thing I believe they later admitted regretting), meaning the two series would, again, not cross-over into each other. Secondly, I had my own assumption of what happened after the events in the televised "series finale," and I knew they were going completely away from that (not that I felt I was right, mind you, just that they were going for a far-out-there world that could really only work in comics).
I'm happy to report that I was totally wrong to think this series would suck. So far, at three issues in, I'm hooked and loving it. The writing is on-par with what we're used to from the televised show, if not better. The shockers thrown at us early on make fans of the series hungry to read more. It would be difficult to discuss this series with anyone without giving away some sort of spoiler. If you've been wondering if the series is worth picking up, definitely give the first three issues a try. They may be hard to find, though, as I've had to go to the comic store on release day mornings to get a copy before they sell out!
The Stranded - Issue #1
This series bears mention because it's something a television network put out, Sci Fi, along with Virgin Comics. other than that, it's not television related ... yet, at least. I do wonder if the network is trying a new approach by releasing a comic book first, with a show based on it second. So far I'm not sure they could pull it off with the effects intact.
The first issue definitely has me interested to see where they are going with the series, and has a kind-of anime feel to it, though in the theme and not the art.
Serenity: Better Days
This one nearly flew under the radar for me, and I'm glad I caught wind of it early enough to keep a lookout for it next month. This is another series that will be co-written by the man him self, Joss Whedon, and at least according to my contacts at Dark Horse, is considered canon in the Firefly universe. The series is only set to run for three issues, just like the previous series, Serenity: Those Left Behind (which, sadly, I never picked up but plan to.)
'Better Days' takes place in the Firefly timeframe, even though its title indicates it's more movie-related. Somewhat more specifically, the series takes place "before the movie and before certain people were iced." Look for the first issue on March 12.