Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10Written By: Christos Gage Art by: Rebekah Isaacs
If you grew up in the nineties you have seen or at least heard of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” because the only people who haven’t are war criminals and elk who live in the wild Canadian tundra. So needless to say, Buffy Summers is a thoroughly entrenched super hero in geek fandoms. And if that’s the case, why haven’t I reviewed an issue with her yet?
It’s been awhile since Buffy was on TV but that doesn’t mean she was gone. Joss Whedon, perpetually in love with comic books, ported her to her own book and made the incredible decision that comic books would be the new vehicle for the vampire slayer cannon. This means the universe isn’t stagnate. Anything that happens in the panels is irrefutably permanent so just suck it up and deal with it—oh, except for that weird thing Joss Whedon has with death in that it’s like giving birth control to a bowling ball, it doesn’t really matter.
I opened the pages of that book and the first thing anybody says is how great it was Buffy didn’t stay dead. There’s a litany of characters that they mourn but who show up again like herpes in a frat house. There’s a couple pages dedicated to Xander being mopey with the ghost of his ex-fiancé Anya. I know being a ghost is a far cry from being brought to life until you consider that Spike spent a season as a ghost on “Angel” before un-shuffling the mortal coil. It wouldn’t be so bad except they were bringing back every character from Buffy’s past; I was surprised she didn’t find her mom dancing with Tara while Jack Lemmon sang a jaunty tune. Really, I expect this sort of thing from Joss Whedon material—but that’s not what this was. Everything fit together so well for fans—that’s what it was, a fanfic.
All the characters that we loved so much tumbled into this book. At every turn you could look left and see Andrew being the socially stinted misfit and if you blinked you’d be confused why Faith and a troop of slayers are charging on the scene with assault rifles. There’s even a huge spoiler that Christos Gage had to retconn in order to achieve. To me, it seems like bribery. If you read this book your favorite character will pop up in three panels of ass kicking action before retiring to the chocolate mountain of puppies and Christmas presents. What the Hell kind of reward is that? When I read a book I want the writer to kick me with Taser toed boots. Then when I’m crying into the carpet, pat me on the shoulder and give me a ring pop for my troubles. I suppose Christos Gage is working from a relaunch. He has to bring the excitement, give us a reason to read. But he lays it on kind of thick. Honestly, the action alone is enough to get a readership.
If you were looking for a book with grievous bodily injury and rampant murder then this book is for you. In the tradition of previous Buffy stories, there is a copious body count left behind—well not “body” since they are vampires and they turn to dust. The art and paneling are superb and the movement looks flowing and brutal. And if this was an entire book of people being chopped in half and staked in the chest it would be a most excellent buy. The action is better than most superhero books out today and all the kicks and punches are so fantastically executed the entire book could be a poster gallery. So why crowbar in this wanton fan service? If you are targeting previous fans of the Buffy-verse, don’t worry, they will be buying your book anyways. You don’t need to be a suck up in order for them to get on board. All they want is for this universe to continue and for Buffy to have more adventures.
How do you expand on a character that has had multiple Armageddons? She has died and had her entire life destroyed, what could possibly be a consequence or risk for her? Well, let me tell you a little about someone who knows world shattering events. When Mark Grayson found out his own father was trying to conquer the Earth, he had to fight in an epic throw down. He had to fight his own father, smashing everything he knew and understood about his life—and nearly killing him in the process. But in the end, he knew the Earth was more important to him than even his family.
So is “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” a good book? I enjoyed it but really the only reason you should buy it is you’ve already purchased anything related to Joss Whedon.