So much happens in this installment. I actually found this installment to be quite fun to read! I'll try to not bore you with the many details and eve...moreSo much happens in this installment. I actually found this installment to be quite fun to read! I'll try to not bore you with the many details and events...
Harmony, Cordelia's old laky now turned vampire, is caught feeding from a man outside of a nightclub. Oddly enough this creates a buzz around her, boosting her in popularity (what she has always wanted right?) and now has her own reality television show - and she is not hiding her vampire ways. In fact she is flaunting them. Upon meeting a potential slayer, Soledad, (who happen to have gained her powers that night upon turning the right age of 16) and invites her to a party she is throwing later that night for her reality television show. At the party, however, Soledad, unsuccessfully attempts to attack Harmony causing a huge boost in her tv ratings. More importantly, the video of the party is being pushed to spread the message that all Slayers are evil!
Meanwhile, Satsu (another slayer) and Kennedy (Willow's maybe-ex girlfriend) work out some issues while tracking a monster (that they successfully defeat, of course). Satsu, in love with Buffy, feels that Kennedy is checking upon her, and more specifically that Kennedy was chosen because she is a lesbian (like Satsu). During this time they find a Vampire-Cat Toy Doll, the Vampy Cat Play Friend. This little cute, while a bit freaky, doll comes alive later that night and climbs down Satsu's throat while she is sleeping, waking up the next morning acting very strange.... Soon they learn that a large shipment was sent to Buffy's secret location!!
Back at the Scooby Gang headquarters, Buffy has to deal with Simone Doffler, a rougue slayer who can't stop causing trouble. This time Simone is robbing stores and basically being a terror. Andrew and Buffy leave to find Simone and to try to stop her. And if this was not enough plot for you, we still have Giles and Faith. I am completely enamored by the Giles and Faith plot line. I have always been a huge fan of Giles, and of course Faith (just Buffy more), but in the graphic novel series I am finding myself becoming more of a fan of Faith than Buffy (the tv and books are another story though). Faith has really grown as a character in these past few installments - more than a graphic novel character would, you would think. In this plot line an old Watcher returns: Duncan Fillworthe, who has a sinister game going on that lures Slayers into a so-called-Sanctuary, only to meet a doomed end.
While there was a lot that was going on in this installment it was fun and pack full of action and adventure - actually just the right mixture. There were a few funny bits in this installment. In particular, when Buffy and Andrew leave to find Simone they do it old school - via road trip. While Andrew cannot shut up the entire time Buffy is board out of her mind, that is until he brings up Daniel Craig and then Buffy perks up.
The only real negative thing I could say about this installment is the art work (beyond the installment covers). For some reason most of the art work was just not doing it for me. For example, take a look at Buffy and Andrew in the car... that does not look like either of them. I know graphic novels are a bit different, but seriously, Buffy looks more like a guy than a girl. Right? (less)
The fourth installment in the 8th season of Buffy takes you hundreds of years into a much darker New York City in the future. Here Buffy encounters a...moreThe fourth installment in the 8th season of Buffy takes you hundreds of years into a much darker New York City in the future. Here Buffy encounters a slayer named Melaka Fray. Dark Willow also returns. What is odd is that Melaka is the only slayer... the only slayer who also has a brother that is a vampire leader, Harth. While Buffy originally works alongside Melaka she finds herself alone, Maleka having sided with the evil Willow after promising her that their world would end if Buffy continued to live. In the end Buffy makes a very difficult decision to get back home to the present. A decision that could have repercussions in the future (my own personal opinion).
On the fun side, if time traveling doesn't give you enough of that supernatural element, our favorite little sister Dawn is no longer a Giant but a Centaur. Also, another character makes a return when Buffy and Willow travel to New York City: Willow's girlfriend, Kennedy.
A few questions come up while reading this installment... what is Dark Willow's purpose in the future? Did she trick Maleka in telling her that the world would end if Buffy lived? If so, why? What will happen to Buffy's and present day Willow's relationship now? What is going to happen to Dawn? Will Xander fall in love with someone new now that Renee is dead?
So far, out of the installments, this one gives you more questions, all of which I believe will be crucial to the future of the Scooby Gang and their battle against Twilight. And once again the graphics are amazing and Joss Whedon has not lost his touch in making sure that Season 8 is staying true to all that is Buffy.(less)
Sunnydale may be gone, literally, but the Scooby Gang's fight against evil is far from over in the beginning of a new season of Buffy made up of 4 par...moreSunnydale may be gone, literally, but the Scooby Gang's fight against evil is far from over in the beginning of a new season of Buffy made up of 4 parts. There is no longer just 1 Slayer, but every possible Slayer out there is now a full-fledged Slayer. This makes kicking demon butt much easier. Holding headquarters at an old castle in Scotland, Xander has become a pseudo-Watcher still managing to be witty and funny (even with one eye). Dawn... she is huge, having literally been turned into a giant by a Thricewise. While Buffy may be the main Slayer, she is not the only one, helping Xander manage all the new Slayers fighting demons around the world, who are divided up into ten squads. To keep Buffy safe and the evils guessing, decoy Buffy's are scattered around the world as well.
Meanwhile, back in America, Buffy and her 'minions' are sought after by the US Government as a terrorist group. During the army's make their way deeper into the Hellmouth they find an old Nemesis of Buffy's of who finds a way to not only try to attack Buffy but finds Willow as well.
This is technically the first Buffy graphic novel that I have read since the show ended. And while this did make the plot a little confusing at first, as it took time to get use to the comic-flow of it, I loved it! The graphics are also just amazing! I cannot get over how real some of them look and how gorgeous they are. Jo Chen has really set herself apart from other artists in this series. Beyond the gorgeous art Joss Whedon has stayed true to what makes Buffy Buffy - the wit and dialogue. If anyone else but Mr. Whedon was writing this it would not be worth reading. So put aside your skepticism and wariness and read this series - if you are a Buffy freak like me, you won't regret it!!(less)
After being kicked out of her previous school (for burning down the school gym that happened to be filled with vampires) Buffy is the newest mitricula...moreAfter being kicked out of her previous school (for burning down the school gym that happened to be filled with vampires) Buffy is the newest mitriculating student at Sunnydale High School. On her first day she meets a few characters that will become essential in her fight against all that is evil: Xander, Willow, Giles, and even Cordelia. Sound familiar.... well it should. The Harvest is literally verbatim of the show. Is this bad? I don't think so. Being a life-long obsessed fan of the show it was fantastic revisiting the beginning.
Buffy was hoping that a new school meant no vampires, but of course what would a Vampire Slayer be without the Vampires. On her first day of school a body is discovered in the girls' locker room, a body that has two particular puncture wounds on its neck.... Hmmm I wonder... Buffy quickly learns that her duties as the Vampire Slayer are not over. Then bring in Angel, the handsome mysterious 'friend' that warns Buffy about the Master's evil plans: The Harvest - his attempt to come back into the world after being stuck underground inside a mystical bubble-thingy.
Buffy turned to the Watcher. "So Giles, you got anything else that can make this day worse?" "How about the end of the world?" he replied calmly.
Again, after being a huge fan of this show for so very long (boy do I feel old) I am reveling in re-reading all the books. While the humor and one liners are timeless I grew up looking up to Buffy, somehow handling everything that is thrown her way and maintaining true friendships all the while being human (even struggling with being grounded like normal teens). In such a series, character development is built through every installment and through each fight the Scooby Gang fights. While Buffy is clearly the star of the series, each character shines in their own right - even Cordelia. This is one of those series that without literally every character (even the baddies) the books would not be as amazing as they are. If you are a fan of this show you won't be disappointed in the first installment of the book series. A must read for any die-hard fan!(less)
It is the end of the summer. For everyone, except Willow, this means the boredom and hum drum of school. Lucky for them they can end the summer with e...moreIt is the end of the summer. For everyone, except Willow, this means the boredom and hum drum of school. Lucky for them they can end the summer with excitement as a new carnival is in town. However, they find that this particular Carnival might just be a bit too much excitement for them. Right away Buffy notices that not only is the Carnival strange but so are the carny folk who run it. However, not able to put her finger on it she tends to focus more on the fact that two carny folk take special interest in Willow and Xander... leaving Buffy boyfriend & summer-romance-less. But Buffy finds she's able to keep her mind a bit busy when she finds coyotes roaming the streets attacking innocent dogs! This is very peculiar behavior for coyote indeed, at least according to Giles. So what is the connection between the Carnival and the Coyotes...?
While this installment was not long, more towards the length of fanfiction, it was still a very fun read. It was nice to read something that was not part of the tv series, but something a bit different outside of it. One aspect that I found a bit disappointing was the amount of build up only to end as quickly as it did (literally within a few pages, if that). I do wish that the author spent more time on the ending, keeping the buildup, but if I had to choose I would have chosen a much longer ending than the build up. I also wish the author had included more of Giles in this installment. While he is present, and actually pretty vital to Buffy's success (as she always is successful), I would have loved to have read an deeper exploration into his role.
While the overall novel was not deep or meaningful in many ways, it did show the human qualities that Buffy posses - which I think is easy for us to forget about as she is always doing super human action moves and saving the world A LOT. The human quality of jealousy and loneliness was very prominent in this installment. Buffy finds herself jealous of the attention that Xander and Willow receive from the carny folks. She also finds herself jealous that she cannot have fun just like every other normal teenager. This in turn ties directly into the fearful quality of loneliness. We all know Buffy has a pretty lonely life, despite the Scooby Gang's presence. She knows she can never have a normal life, let a lone a normal romantic relationship. Highlighting this aspect, I think, is what makes this show relateable to many people who feel the same qualities of jealousy and loneliness.
Overall this was a fun fast paced novel with quite a bit of butt-kicking, by yours truly the Slayer, and quick wit, the staple of the ENTIRE Buffy series. I recommend this read for any and all Buffy fans.(less)