Not sure if I need to tag events in this comic as “spoilers” as this is a retro-review since it went on sale early this month and die hards will already have read it. Actually, this is the latest I have ever bought a Buffy comic, so my apologies for my lateness, but a lot has been going on. So that out of the way, I do have a few thoughts and questions.
Paramount is the fact that two years have gone by, more or less, since Buffy season 8 got underway, so this is sort of an anniversary issue of sorts, though it isn’t billed as such by Dark Horse. Will there ever be an annual? Also, the regular TV season was 22 episodes in length, which is standard for a drama series. Given that this is issue 24, does it still make sense to call this comic season 8? If each monthly installment counts as an episode of the TV show then it should be in season 9. However, if you count each page as one second of screen time as is customary with screenplays and teleplays, then the comic falls short of the episodes in length (being 22 pages long) and in that case we would still be in season 8, but just barely.
Of course, this discussion is all academic as the two mediums are vastly different and don’t exactly translate.
As for the plot itself, it was a satisfying one shot but it is frustrating to have to wait for further developments on Twilight and some of the sub plots that have been put on hold. Jim Krueger turns in an entertaining enough story starring Giles and Faith and they brought back Cliff Richards, long running Buffy artist on the original Buffy comics (circa 1998) to render the protagonists. He’s still one of the best in my opinion as he does a terrific job of drawing Giles, Faith and the rest of the characters. The demon featured in the story is your prototypical Buffyesque creature, except he bears a striking resemblance to a creature created by Alan Moore in a Superman comic book I read a long time ago. This issue also sheds light on the fact that Giles along with one of his peers are the only two remaining members of the now defunct Watcher’s Council.
All and all, this was a satisfying one shot, but not the strongest offering in the series and not as funny as previous issues lacking the interaction of the Scoobies or the titular character who doesn’t even make an appearance.