REVIEW: Buffy the Vampire Slayer #6

REVIEW

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #6

Script: Brian K. Vaughan

Pencils:: Georges Jeanty

Inks: Andy Owens

Company: Dark Horse Comics

The termination of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer after its seventh season was, for many people, a sad and tragic event. The fact that Buffy creator Joss Whedon’s other show set in the Buffyverse, Angel, was canceled just a year later; and that his brilliant “Western set in the future” series Firefly was never even given a chance to succeed compounded the misery. But perhaps it was actually a blessing in disguise: Whedon’s vision, unhampered by budget concerns or diva-esque behavior from his actors, is flourishing in the comics medium. This run of “Season Eight” has been amazing: quickly-paced, steeped in continuity, hilarous, thrilling, and with a stunning set of covers from Jo Chen.

Issue #6 brings back the most complex character from the original show: Faith, the rogue Slayer. She’s now, for some reason, living in Cleveland. And she seems to have taken up the role of “wetworks specialist” in the Slayer society – taking on assignments that the Watchers feel are too much for the other Slayers (especially the few hundred brand new girls) to handle.

This is the first issue not written by Whedon – the scripting duties for this storyline are being done by Brian K. Vaughan, author of the excellent Y: The Last Man comic. However, as Editor Scott Allie explains in the Letters section, Whedon is now acting as “Executive Producer”: overlooking the creation of the book, working on the storyline concept with Vaughan, etc. And his hand is definitely felt in this book: you can actually hear the voice and attitude of Faith from her dialogue. The tone is perfect.

This issue is the first in a multi-part series covering a question I’ve seen asked before on the web: if there are 2,000 new slayers, and only five hundred are working with Buffy – what are the rest doing? And are some of them using their new power for, shall we say, less than noble intentions? That last question is answered with a rather resounding “Oh, yes” here, in the person of young Lady Geneveve Savidge. This rich, spoiled heiress is presenting a near-apocalyptic threat, and Giles recruits Faith to take her down.

The two most important parts of any Buffy show/comic have always been the dialogue and the interactions between the main characters. And here, we get plenty of both, including multiple pages delving into the fascinating dynamic between Giles and Faith. “Faith, do you honestly think you’re the first young person to have stumbled upon the notion of rebellion?”, he asks her. “You and I aren’t so unalike.” I am very much looking forward to more of this.

My only (slight) complaint with this series so far is with Georges Jeanty’s drawing of Buffy: she simply does not look like Sarah Michelle Gellar, in my opinion. And apparently, it’s a Slayer thing: his drawing of Faith does not look especially similar to Eliza Dushku either. I don’t understand how he can absolutely nail Giles, Xander, Willow and Dawn, but not these two.

Regardless, this is truly a minor problem, and the overall artwork is simply beautiful to look at. If you were ever even slightly interested in the television show, go out of your way to pick up the entire run (if you can find them – the first issue was re-printed three times and still sold out each time).

Rating: 9 out of 10
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