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Review: Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 8 #35

The end of Twilight is here (if only it was the end of the other Twilight...)


We're still recovering from the revelation of Twilight and seeing the after effects of Buffy and Angel's hook up. The rest of the world is being torn apart. Is this the end of everything? There have been some crazy things happening in the Buffy comic lately and if you've ever watched the show, you really should be checking the comic out.
 

The Good:

Brad Meltzer continues to capture the characters as if they jump out of the television and into the comic. For anyone that has enjoyed the Buffy series, pretty much all the characters you'd want to see are here. 
 
Throughout the story we also get tiny nods or Easter Eggs as usual. You'll have a hard time choosing a cover. There's the always amazing artwork by Jo Chen as well as the variant by Georges Jenty which is a homage to Uncanny X-Men #138 (seen below):
== TEASER ==

The Bad:

While I do dig Georges Jenty's art, I have to admit there are some times where the characters lose their detail. I know that's part of the style but it sometimes just feels weird when a character's face can't be seen because they're standing in the background. Things get a little close to being too cheesy as Buffy and Angel look towards enlightenment. But the ending does make up for it.
 

The Verdict:

Even though this is billed as the "Final Chapter," that applies more towards the Twilight story. The overall story is still going. I enjoyed the comic but it started getting a little too sappy. I understand that there's a lot still between Buffy and Angel but there's also a lot of action involved in this story that we want to see. If you're a Buffy fan, you know how good this series is. If you're not completely familiar with the Buffyverse, this won't be the best starting point. Try backing up a few issues or pick up a trade. This is easily a 4 out of 5.
10 Comments
Posted by Dek7264

I'm looking forward to checking this one out and seeing this Twilight story wrap up.
Posted by RubyShadesp3

I used to be an uber Buffy/Angel fan, so I can't wait to check this out. I made it a priority to follow Buffy Season 8 when it first came out, but after the first fifteen or so issues it lost my interest. Hopefully this time will be different.

Posted by uroboros

i have put in the hard yards with this story arc and i can't wait to actually see some kind of result..

Posted by blackcanaryguy

I was a huge Buffy fan, but I have to say this season 8 title really lost its way for me about halfway through. I find this latest arc not only cliched but almost absurd, even by Buffy standards.

Posted by danhimself

I was confused...I still have no idea what happened between Buffy and Angel other than the super powered booty knockin...but this wasn't the last issue of Season 8 aka season finale?

Posted by cmaprice

Big Buffy fan.
 
Gotta say, not digging the comics. Brian K Vaughan's arc was the only one I actually thought was worth a damn, and it in fact made me like Faith, one of my least favorite Buffy characters. Everything else is so preoccupied that the characters and spirit of the show have been completely removed.

Edited by Grim
Posted by Grim
@cmaprice said:
" Big Buffy fan.  Gotta say, not digging the comics. Brian K Vaughan's arc was the only one I actually thought was worth a damn, and it in fact made me like Faith, one of my least favorite Buffy characters. Everything else is so preoccupied that the characters and spirit of the show have been completely removed. "
i disagree. i do think the comic has lost some of  the shows charm, but every time any of the characters slide into that "whedon talk", im reminded that their all still the same characters. And the upside to the comics is that they get to do what the show never could. Allot of this stuff wouldnt have worked on the show. 
 You just have to face the facts. The show used to give us allot in an hour. The comic has to split what would have been episodes into two and three issues. So things are a little cramped sumtimes. But its the only fix we have for our addiction, so your options are to either realize that nothing can ever beat the actual show and be happy that we have a decently good comic following the same story and spirit, or ditch the comics and keep watching your seasons.
Posted by cmaprice
@Grim said:

" @cmaprice said:

" Big Buffy fan.  Gotta say, not digging the comics. Brian K Vaughan's arc was the only one I actually thought was worth a damn, and it in fact made me like Faith, one of my least favorite Buffy characters. Everything else is so preoccupied that the characters and spirit of the show have been completely removed. "
i disagree. i do think the comic has lost some of  the shows charm, but every time any of the characters slide into that "whedon talk", im reminded that their all still the same characters. And the upside to the comics is that they get to do what the show never could. Allot of this stuff wouldnt have worked on the show.   You just have to face the facts. The show used to give us allot in an hour. The comic has to split what would have been episodes into two and three issues. So things are a little cramped sumtimes. But its the only fix we have for our addiction, so your options are to either realize that nothing can ever beat the actual show and be happy that we have a decently good comic following the same story and spirit, or ditch the comics and keep watching your seasons. "
 With all due respect, I disagree (well, that's readily apparent, considering I'm responding to your disagreement)
 
I can certainly take a step back and recognize this is a different medium with its own conventions, limitations, and benefits. Afterall, I was a comic fan before Buffy was ever created. I have a degree in writing and directing film, but I'm currently working on an indie graphic novel. I'm well aware this is not quite an apples-to-apples comparison.
 
However. There is much more to these characters than Whedon-speak. If that's all there was to nailing them, they would all be interchangeable, even across titles. It's not just that they lack their television counterpart sparks, though. It's also that they lack a spark of their own to justify their inclusion in this medium (well, apart from making money), in my opinion.
 
The whole Buffy/Itsu thing, for example, to me was completely exploitation and the dialogue following it did not adequately justify its inclusion. Then of course, Willow acts like a hurt schoolgirl because she'd wanted a crack at Buffy. Willow's always been like Buffy's sister, and in many ways is more so than Dawn ever will be. It was out of character and seemed to suggest the writers were just trying to make it sexy "oh! we have our main character sleeping with a girl... luckily we have another lesbian on hand to make things more awkward even though we've explored nothing of Buffy's sexual psychology or why her feelings of isolation would allow her to betray her duties as a leader and decent human being by sleeping with a girl, for whom she has no real feelings, has authority over, and knows that the girl in question actually has very strong feelings for her." Especially since the show had made such a stink about Parker using Buffy for sex. While Parker was a player, using charm to line up one night stands, is it any less bad to exploit a girl you have authority over when you know you have no future and she's, as proven by magic, in love with you? She's already sailed this boat with Spike, but the difference is that on the show we had insight into her psychological circumstances. If anything, a comic book lends itself better to clearly demonstrating a person's moral justifications, or lack thereof. Yet they awkwardly just throw cliche "morning after" talk we've seen a million times before.
 
As I said, the No Future For You arc was excellent. It was on par and actually made a character more accessible to me than she's ever been. Vaughan opened Faith up and let us identify with her while not betraying her roots. I trust, given the quality of the piece, that if she'd done something drastically out of character like the main scoobies are doing left and right, we'd have gotten some insight, even the slightest hint as to why the change occurred. Don't misunderstand-- not everything has to be explained. That'd also be poor storytelling. But everything has to be suggested or otherwise consistent.  

Also, those are not really my only options. That's like saying "If you don't like a political leader, you either need to get over it and embrace them or leave the state/country!" Nope. I can continue as I am and hope that through discussion, the fans voice their issues. As was proven in the course of the 7 seasons on air, the creative team often conceded when fans called them out on goofy missteps. For example, in season 7 in Storyteller, Andrew takes the camera off of Buffy in the middle of an epic inspirational rant to comment on how she's been doing it far too much. Or how about the same episode when how vampires show up on video (as a camera relies on mirrors) is questioned as a nod to fans who had been speculating since Spike was recording his henchmen in season 2. The ideal position isn't "take it or leave it", it's express my concerns, start discourse, and hope things improve in the future.
Posted by B'Town

Need more Buffy.    
 
Does anyone know anything about Season 9?