I had a free day from my job at school because I switched days with one of my co-workers who needed the day off. That doesn’t mean I am idle however, I went to cover a meeting of the SGV Coalition of Chambers this morning and tonight I am going to a meeting of the Walnut Planning Commission. Then of course, I have to write the articles.
Yet, I am taking a short break to do a mini review of the latest issue of Buffy season eight which came out sometime last week. So here goes:
Joss Whedon comes back to the writing chores and as always, when it’s the main man doing the writing you know that there are going to be some watershed moments or something which advances our characters will happen. This holds true for the most part on this issue, though it’s a more subdued conversational issue to give the readers a breather from Vaughn’s action packed story arc featuring Faith.
A pleasant surprise this issue is the return of my favorite Buffy artist Cliff Richards. Richards worked on a lot of the 63 previous issues Dark Horse printed before season eight and it’s pure joy having him back drawing our favorite characters. This isn’t intended as a knock against Georges Jeanty who I think does a fantastic job on a regular basis pencilling this comic, but it is refreshing to have Richards back, if only on the occasional issue. I simply loved his work on both Buffy and Purgatori. Artwise, some things didn’t work this time, was I the only one who thought that was Riley on page 2 when in actuality it was supposed to be a gag about Daniel Craig? Plot wise, this issue is very strong, nothing in the Buffyverse stays unchanged for long, Willow has added flight to her repertoire of magic induced powers and we finally get the return of a character which brought much consternation to some of the show’s fanbase, (it’s a 7th season character in case you haven’t yet figured out who!) Whedon manages to fabricate tension between Buffy and Willow, but we have yet to see if this is something that was resolved or if it’s going to be a lingering thing between the two. Whedon masterfully (and perhaps maddeningly) leaves it open ended.
The scenes between Dawn (who’s still a giant) and Xander provided great comic relief and were nice moments of characterization between the two. Other writers can take over these characters, but only Joss has lived with them so long that he can do wonders with them. Sometimes the pacing of this comic book is slow and it tries our patience, but this was a well paced, well written offering.