Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Volumes 1 & 2

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The Long Way Home

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home
Author: Joss Whedon
Artists: Georges Jeanty and Andy Owens

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: No Future for You
Author: Brian K. Vaughn
Artists: Georges Jeanty and Andy Owens

I was eager to start season 8 of Buffy after finishing the show I’d grown to love so deeply. I like to think of myself as having discerning taste, and I happily admit that I think Buffy is one of the best shows on television. I loved that cast like I love my friends. I was invested in them and their relationships and it was hard to say goodbye (uneven though the final season of the show may be).

Thanks to Whedon’s direct involvement, the comic books can be seen as part of the canon in the official Buffyverse. This had my expectations pretty high. But what’s important to realize is that the comic books are not the show. On the one hand, the stories of all my favorite characters pick up where they left off and I can hear their voices in my head as I read, but on the other hand, the books really play with the comic format. Things that wouldn’t have been physically possible to do on the show take place in the books right off the bat. While interesting, it does end up creating a sense of dissonance, at least initially. If you’re not used to superhero comics, I think portions of The Long Way Home and No Future for You will seem downright outlandish.

Parts of the story hint at some truly interesting if not great character development, especially with Xander and Faith’s arcs. Between the two volumes Faith’s story in No Future for You is the real standout, and that’s no doubt thanks to the involvement of Brian K. Vaughn (Saga, Y: The Last Man), who continually produces great original work. Unfortunately, other plotlines are laughably bizarre (I’m looking at you, Dawn).

Ultimately, these first two volumes of the series are like a couple of damaged puzzle pieces. They’re part of the overall picture, but they don’t quite fit they way they should. I’ll keep reading the series, but my expectations for greatness will stay low.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

No Future for You

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