Buffy, Angel & Faith: New Season
Unpopular Opinion Time: Let me start this by saying that I loved watching Buffy as a kid, and I loved it again when I was reintroduced to it as an adult. Let me finish this by saying that I’m glad I crossed Buffy the Comic off my pull list.
Hold on, wait, wait, don’t get your pitchforks and light your torches just yet. I didn’t say that I would stop reading it or convincing others to let me borrow their copies or just give me a quick rundown of the arc when I wanted it. I’m saying that I’m happy I decided to save my money.
Season 8 ended with all magic gone from the world, Buffy waitressing in San Francisco, Faith having a newly inherited home (via the late Giles) and a lot of pissed off women across the globe.
Season 9 starts off with drunken, remorseful Buffy who relives her harsh night of drinking through broken strings of memory. There was a party at her new place, we’re introduced to her new roomies Anaheed and Tumbler (yeah), there were bits of hitting on Riley, Willow got a haircut and is dating around. Oh, and Buffy wakes up thinking that she maybe accidentally slept with Willow. Nothing happened. And lots of pissed off women across the globe.
There are mysterious deaths popping up around San Fran, specifically three women without any identifiable means of death that the police have become aware of – all the while some muscular scary demon-y guy escapes his confinement and mumbles something ominous about killing everything, and Simone the rogue slayer is still crazy.
The problem I have with season 9 is that it doesn’t cover up the gross over characterization of season 8. Willow, Xander, Buffy, Dawn, Spike…they’re the loveable characters you’ve always known, but essentially beefed up on crack. The comic is so chock-full of gimmicky oneliners and lame puns that I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry. Gimmicky one liners and lame puns were always a quintessential part of the show though, right? Well, yeah, of course they were, but it didn’t happen in every sentence-y (see the last few pages of the issue).
I feel like Joss is going “don’t you think Buffy would say something quirky here? Let’s put something quirky. Oh, and here, and here. Ooh and make Spike’s quip quirky too.”
I want the emotions and the funny, but the emotions first.
Angel & Faith, on the other hand, is a breath of fresh air. Given, it does say Executive Producer: Joss Whedon on any free space in the comic, but I think Christos Gage is deftly maneuvering his way around the book.
It has considerably less characters to balance and it keeps things simple and real. I like it.
Angel finally breaks free from his Twilight-possession-regret coma after old case files of Giles come to life and the duo decide to tie up loose ends. Together, they make a great team, and in this issue tackle a tentacle creature possessing a little girl. (Not that kind of tentacle creature, you pervert.)
The witty banter in this comic, as opposed to Buffy, is exactly that – witty. It isn’t overbearing, in your face, it just makes you smile. Prime example? When Faith mentions that “Gene Simmons’s tongue [the tentacle monster] just called me fat. Things are about to get nasty.”
Both comics are going to be interwoven and will make up a complete Buffy universe, like it used to be, which is all well and good. Die-hard fans will continue to pick up Buffy (or read it, as is apparently the case with me), but Angel & Faith is the real gemstone here. Pick it up if you get a chance. Issue two dropped this week at your local comic book store.