Buffy Season Eight begins for me

It’s been a few weeks since I read the first volume of Buffy Season Eight, and I never did get around to giving you my impressions. But here you go:

I want to love everything Buffy and I hope I can get more into this.

Why couldn’t I like this? Is it just because Xander gets a big part and gets to be cool and because I really grew to hate Xander by the end of the series? Maybe.

It was hard for me to follow. Book 1: The Long Way Home, contains the first five issues of the series. I think head-hopping and scene/setting hopping were huge issues for me. When you’re watching TV, this works. You’re watching a scene and either there’s a commercial or there’s an instant’s blackness, and then you’re in another part of the story.

But I couldn’t make those transitions in this book. If those cues are there to let me know to restart, I’m not catching them. So you turn the page and you don’t know if you’re continuing where you were or if you’re starting something else. (I hope I’m making sense here.) Sure, you can figure it out, but readers and writers of prose fiction know that when you have to stop and figure it out, it pulls you out of the narrative and brings that choppy feeling to the experience.

The Superfriends, for the little kids, is very easily to follow, what with the very structured episodes, and the little yellow boxes that tell you where you are when the setting shifts, “Meanwhile, at the Superfriends’ satellite headquarters…” I realize that that’s is own style and not necessarily appropriate to this, and yet I find those square-cornered boxes are less intrusive to the narrative than being confused, and make the reading experience smoother and more like reading a novel. For teens and the adults who love to read about them, Miki Falls is a series that employs this well.

But back to Buffy.

The story takes place in a future that happens after the end of Season 7, when there are a whole bunch of slayers running around. (Btw, did you love that moment when they gave all the potential slayers the power and potentials all over the world were awakening to something they didn’t know was inside them? And there were so many of them. That part was awesome, the concept that so many girls who maybe didn’t feel strong or special suddenly found that they were pretty kick-ass, but it was because of something that was always there, waiting. Um, yeah, fan.) Anyway, back to the future, they seem to have acquired a lot of tech, they have a fortress, and Xander seems to be very much in charge of things. He’s supposedly very Watchery. I know, Xander’s the one who sees stuff. It still seems off to me. But I’ve already admitted my prejudice.

So we’re very much dumped into the middle of this new world in which military types, along with the help of some old foes, are the bad guys plotting against the heroes and causing them some problems, while the heroes are tracking down a paranormal mystery.

What is very much there is the snappy dialogue and Buffy-speak, which is nice. What’s missing, for me, is the sense of Buffy as the central character.

I’m not an avid comic reader, and I think mostly I just had problems with the format. I have the second book, and I’m hoping that when I pick that one up I’ll find myself sucked into the story.

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7 Comments

Filed under Superheroes, Heroism, and Romance

7 responses to “Buffy Season Eight begins for me

  1. I just read the season finale issue and I can say it was a good season. Some arcs were better than others, but still definitely worth reading. At the end of the issue is a letter from Joss thanking everyone for reading and also giving his thoughts on the season.

    With an unlimited budget he wanted season 8 to be epic and also lay the groundwork for the future world in Fray. If you haven’t read it, get this awesomeness immediately. It’s set in a future where slayers are kinda extinct. Any way, he acknowledged that the transition form TV to comics wasn’t perfect and knows what worked and what didn’t.

    I’ve got total confidence that season 9 will be much better, especially with the Angel and Spike properties returning to Dark Horse.

    Oh and the next arc is one of the best.

  2. Unfortunately, I ended up terribly disappointed in season 8. A lot of it was the reasons you mentioned, plus it seemed that the series was determined to bring back every single character who had ever been on the TV show, even when it made absolutely no sense to do so. I struggled to hang in there, but finally gave up on the series when the identity of “Twilight” was revealed. 😦 That was just my experience, though, so hopefully yours will be better!

  3. Oh, I should probably add that I am an avid comic reader, and have been all my life, so my problems with the series stemmed from content rather than the format.

  4. While reading Season Eight, I began to wonder if the fact they didn’t have unlimited special effects on the TV show wasn’t a good thing, because the comic book just went nuts with huge monsters and giant Dawns all manner of crazy things. I’ll keep reading them, because I love Buffy, but I wasn’t extraordinarily impressed.

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