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Buffy The Vampire Slayer

"Buffy Season 8" Comic Book - Issue 02 "The Long Way Home" - Silverbulletcomicbooks.com Review

Friday 6 April 2007, by Webmaster

Josh Whedon either has a very firm grasp of what his audience wants to see or a magical checklist of the things that left some of his audience dissatisfied last issue. Going with the less probable magic checklist theory:

Giles? Check.

Willow? Check.

Plot line acceleration? Check.

Xander also gets more page appearances. Andrew makes his first appearance in the comic as well, although his presence probably wasn’t in real high demand.

When the Sunnydale team went from being a group of four to a team of several hundred, the moniker of "Scooby Gang" really ceased to apply. That becomes even more apparent in this issue for a few reasons. First, the issues of training, working with, and coordinating such a large group, which certainly presents new strengths and greater potential, has an entirely new set of problems, particularly leadership. In the opening pages, the reader is treated to seeing the different command styles of three of old characters: Giles, Buffy and Andrew. Giles is all dry wit and exacting observation. Buffy manages to be flippant and poignant at the same time, while using her slayer muscle to physically work with new recruits. Andrew, as always, is Whedon’s celebration and buffoon of geek culture, answering a question from a slayer trainee with an example from Star Wars.

That last one is probably the biggest disappointment in the book as it raises a perfectly valid question then opts not to answer it. The question (why don’t slayers use guns?) has been asked many times by fans of the show. After all, vampire or not, you catch a .45 slug in the face, it will give you pause. Perhaps long enough pause for someone to put a stake through the heart. However, Andrew merely says that slayers do not use guns and moves on. Surely there’s a better reason than that.

Needless to say, all of the characters are handled with the same deftness that made the show worth watching. Somehow the team behind this Buffy comic have made it translate onto the page without missing a step. While Whedon’s writing certainly plays a huge role in this, the art does an excellent job as well. While the characters very much look like the actors from the show, so do cardboard cutouts. However, the art also renders the expressions and emotions of the characters nearly as well as the actors once did.

I had another point around here somewhere. Oh yeah, my reasons why the sudden size enlargement has changed things. Well, the sudden growth in numbers means they have a new enemy which may very well be the most dangerous opponent in the world: the U.S. military. Rightly concerned about the sudden explosion in super-human girls, the military has classified the slayer army as a possible terrorist threat. However, those readers who complained that the pacing of the first issue was a bit slow, rest assured that’s not the problem in issue #2. Why? Because the military, and other forces as well, are out to get the slayers, and they’re not f@#%’ing around.