Since I decided I couldn't get enough Buffy, I went on ahead and grabbed a Buffy Omnibus. These cover stories that happened before or during the show'...moreSince I decided I couldn't get enough Buffy, I went on ahead and grabbed a Buffy Omnibus. These cover stories that happened before or during the show's life. The first volume combines a Spike and Drusilla story as well as the original script that Whedon wrote for the Buffy movie, Buffy in Vegas, a Dawn story and covers Buffy stint in a mental hospital. This is definitely for you if you are interested in Buffy's past before she got to Sunnydale but be warned that this series lacks the Whedon charm and doesn't understand the show the way it should.
Golden has a forward at the beginning where he states that he didn't watch the show and didn't know that much about Buffy when he started writing these comics. Whedon has (to my understanding) no input in these comics and you can tell. It lacks the charm the show has and suffers from some seriously bad writing in the beginning. I found this particular evident in the Spike and Dru story where they feel the need to repeat things over and over again that they just showed. I mean, if they are vamps going on a feeding spree in a fair I don't need them to tell me that they are "evil, naughty vamps on an evil rampage of evil evilness evildoing (evil, evil, evil)" because I just saw them murder three people in the prior panel. I'm exaggerating, of course, but there is a lot of "duh" dialogue that truly doesn't need to be going on there. As the stories continue, they become increasingly better and feel more like the Buffy I know and love.
As far as the artwork goes, I'm not as big a fan of this as Season 8 but I did start to enjoy the simplistic style. There weren't as many creative ways the panels were put together but it was very clear who was speaking. I never understood what a square box around the words meant but these stories helped me to understand that it is a character narrating. They even made each character have different text when they were narrating which really helped clarify who was speaking.
I'd like to look at each story individually:
"All's Fair"- This is the Spike and Dru story which I felt was the weakest in the bunch. I wasn't all too crazy with the artwork because it didn't look much like that characters and the dialogue felt too literal. It told too much which really didn't work since the artwork was showing the same thing and do a better job of it. This stinks since I was looking most forward to this story.
"Buffy: The Origin"- This is a retelling of the original script for Whedon's Buffy movie. The artwork looked a lot more like the characters in this one and the feeling of Buffy started to come into play. Some of the dialogue felt like it could have been in the show and they seemed to get Buffy's character a little better. It was still a little corny but better than the first story.
"Viva Las Buffy!"- For me, this is where the comic started to get good. This follows Pike and Buffy as they go to Vegas to kick some vampire booty. It's told completely in Pike's point of view and I liked getting to see how he looked at her. I was also happy to see Angel show up in this story as it filled in some of his background. The dialogue got loads better and it even gave me some laugh out loud moments.
"Dawn & Hoopy the Bear"- This is perhaps my favorite comic in the bunch. It's a short one following Dawn's adventures with a cursed bear. Dawn was charmingly cute (before she became all "no one EVER understands me EVER, go away and leave me alone *cue door slam*) and it's nice to see how Buffy disappearance effects her.
"Slayer, Interrupted"- This comic depicts Buffy's stay in a mental hospital as she tries to decide whether she can accept her role as a slayer. As story goes, this one felt the most like a Buffy episode and similar to what we are getting in Season 8. The artwork was a lot better for me and I loved seeing Buffy as Alice in Alice in Wonderland!
If you're a Buffy fan, this is definitely for you. However, it isn't as good as Season 8 and starts off as little rocky. I definitely think the Omnibus finds it's swing a little less than halfway through and it is really fun to see Buffy's adventures pre-Sunnydale. I'll definitely be continuing on with these collections. In fact, I already have Volume 2 on order.(less)