Just wanted to let you know I’ve got a new review up on Basement Jockeys regarding Joss Whedon’s comic book continuation of the “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer” series. Be sure to stay tuned for more news (regarding reviews, essays, or Bullied), writing exercises, and check out “Buffy Season 8 Vs. Vampire-Worship.”
UPDATE: The site Basement Jockeys is no longer in existence. You can see a reproduction of my original review below.
“Buffy, Season 8 Vs. Vampire-Worship”
Anyone who was dissatisfied with the series finale of Joss Whedon’s “Buffy: the Vampire Slayer” will be happy to know that Whedon continued the story in a new line of comics: “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, Season Eight.”
While I personally like season 7, I must admit it left us not only with an overly-hopeful (though awesome) ending, but also refused to tie up certain loose ends from earlier in the series, and doesn’t exactly jive the related comic trade “Fray” (which is about a future slayer). Season 8 successfully addresses these ends; I won’t say exactly where this season goes, for fear of spoilers. But rest assured every character left alive from the TV series “Buffy” (and even a character we were sure was dead) makes an appearance in 8. I mean everyone.
In addition to these reappearances, we’ve also got an army of slayers to contend with. While this army gives us an onslaught of bad-ass chicks to cheer on, Whedon also address the problems posed by the world having thousands of slayers. On the plus side, there are just that many more girls out fighting evil. On the down side, some girls pull a Faith and start abusing their power. Furthermore, the rest of the human race gets nervous about so many super-strong ladies running around and—with society’s new-found sympathy for vampires—starts plotting a slayer take-down.
Alongside the problems of a slayer-surplus, we’re also introduced to a new villain: Twilight. This person is basically an old-school comic character: he is super-strong, super fast, and can fly. He even wears a mask and costume. As if fighting a super-villain (or is he really a super-hero?) weren’t bad enough, he’s organizing all of Buffy’s enemies—old and new—against her. Worst of all, we don’t know his motives; is he really evil and manipulative, or is he simply trying to restore balance to a world overrun by slayers?
All seriousness aside, Whedon and his team also use Season 8 to address the public’s changing feelings towards vampires. Naming the villain “Twilight” is an obvious send-up of the popular series of the same name. This is made obvious when at one point Buffy herself comments “Twilight? Y’know I lived that idea first, right? (And my vampire was so much better).” She’s speaking not only for herself and her romance with Angel, but also for the “Buffy” series being the first of its kind to introduce a loving human-vampire relationship. And while Buffy and her friends are struggling against the vampire-friendly public (who dub slayers “terrorists”) in the story, the series itself is struggling against vampire friendly media, ranging from “Twilight” to “True Blood.”
So, this question is posed for both the story of Season 8 and the future of the “Buffy” series: when will the public finally remember that vampires are the bad guys?
This review comes a little late, as Season 9 has already started, but expect the review for that in the near future.