Buffy season 8 #26

Buffy season 8 #26 coverFor my money, Jane Espenson wrote some of the best Buffy episodes during her stint as executive story editor and writer on the show including third season gems like “Earshot,” and the fourth season’s “Superstar” and many of the seventh season episodes.
However, she also wrote some mediocre ones like “The Replacement” and my absolute least favorite episode ever, “Doublemeat Palace” which is considered the worst in many circles.
Buffy season 8 #26 is penned by Espenson and it feels like an extension of her work on the seventh season of the show, right down to Willow being embraced and doted on by Kennedy and featuring a huge battle between Twilight’s army of demons and the Slayers which also have magic users amidst their ranks.
Perhaps as a response to criticism that the book hasn’t resolved any subplots of late and was stagnating with constant one-shots without resolution of the main story threads, this comic feels like a watershed. Everything comes to a head, the battle against Twilight’s forces and a poignant reunion with Giles and Faith. Giles has been working with and rehabilitating Faith most of season 8, but I find it hard to swallow the fact that after all the history between the characters, Buffy can work so easily with Faith again. Of course, like she says in this issue, she has a lot of other things to worry about including trying to keep the other Slayers alive. Amy and Warren’s partnership is further explored in this comic, but as two minor villains who didn’t pose too much of a threat to Buffy in the show, their union and promotion to A list baddies is less than spectacular. Previous Buffy adversaries have proven to be more interesting. The artwork by regular penciler Georges Jeanty is serviceable, but some of it feels rushed, as though not a lot of detail has been devoted to the panels which contrast with Jeanty’s usual methods. It isn’t the case throughout the comic. There are panels which are replete with detail and there are some very effective close ups and facial expressions used effectively to create mood and tension, but some of the battle scenes and crowd shots are less detailed.
While the central theme of the new season, that humans have accepted vampires and that Slayers are now feared by humanity and have been driven into deeper and deeper hiding is explored, it’s subverted by the battle sequences. This is a more grim comic than Buffy usually offers with Andrew’s comic relief being limited. I was also confused by the ending, I know I am supposed to be surprised by the appearance of a familiar character at the end, but in reality it is hard to tell who it is. I do like the cover of this comic with the cast beautifully rendered in Earth tone hues.
Buffy #26 is a good extension of season 8 but not a standout example of how good this comic has been since its inception.

2 Responses to Buffy season 8 #26

  1. me says:

    It’s Oz, dude.

  2. tyroshutterbug says:

    yea kinda figured that out by now

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