Part two of ‘No Future For You‘, the third ‘episode’ of Season 8, drawn by Georges Jeanty and written by BKV.
Where BKV apparently now stands for Buffy Kills Vampires! (Someone tell Brian!)
Since we last saw Buffy on TV, the world has just gone a bit more Slayer-ful, as hundreds (thousands?) of potential slayers have been leveled-up into full stabbity mode. Now Buffy and the Scooby Faculty have set up Slayer High atop a mouldy castle enrolling and training the Girl-Wonders in the ways of Stab-Fu.
But, back-track a bit (say that a few times over, fast, and see what you end up with)
Why did everyone just assume all the new slayerettes are cute and cuddly? We’ve seen in the past what a headache a Slayer turned bad can prove to be. When freshly-activated Slayer GiGi turns out to be a bad egg, Giles thinks of that old saying ‘Takes one to know/catch one’ and calls in the last known homicidal Slayer, the now-reformed Faith. The catch? Gigi’s full name is Lady Geneviene Savidge, a spoiled British aristocrat with a hobby of using other slayers as game for her hunting expeditions. Faith will need to step up in society before she can stoop down to murder this new threat. If someone doesn’t run off with a “The Princess’ Slayer Diaries” pun soon, I’ll be a very frustrated geek! (yes, that’s a three-in-one pun, collect them all for the grand prize)
Jeanty is probably fake-casting Gigi after some young actress or another as she has the same almost-photoboxed quality about her like the rest of the cast. If this was the actual TV show 8th season back in the 2003-2004 season, I’d have cast a still young Fairuza Balk in the role. Other suggestions? (leave a comment! Me loves ’em). Meanwhile, Faith is a dead ringer, his Dawn has improved, but poor Willow remains trapped in chubby-face Amish hell.
Last issue impressed me with the trueness of the characters’ voices; this issue has less of the chatty chatty and more of the internal monologue with a side dish of stone gargoyle kicking action, Alias-styling masquerades and flashback doozies. Step-by-step:
We open up with a look back on the decidedly wicked Slayer-on-Slayer action from episode 3×21 (Graduation Day Part One), this time told from a Faith’s-eye-view. These 2 1/2 pages are deceptively laconic, much like most of BKV’s work; pause a moment, take into account the events of Season 3 from Faith’s POV, go back and reread and these short ‘three steps’ will reveal quite the treasure. (Long cheat sheet: Remember, Faith was blissfully unaware of the problems she was facing throughout season 3; in her mind she was just having fun and making friends. She was especially pleased to have found Buffy, a kindred spirit who could understand her problems; she used every opportunity available to girl-bond with B, constantly unloading her problems, hoping for B to reciprocate and share a moment. The Buffster though, had a different coping mechanism: an introvert to F’s extrovert; every time F tried to get closer, B would clam up even more, reveal only a bit of her enormous Angel issues at the time, and push her away. In the end she of course pushes her a bit too far for comfort, leading to the classic ‘you’re about to get it back‘ moment. B and F (i love this first letter game, saves up space that I can then waste in meaningless parentheses) may have kissed and made better in season 7, but that’s just an uneasy truce for Faith, since she still remembers Buffy’s ‘betrayal’.
And now, in true poetic fashion, she’s called in to do the same with Gigi. After her infiltration of the gala succeeds (more Veronica Mars than Alias in her subterfuge here), she comes close to Gigi, but freezes, leading to uncomfortable balcony chatter over fags (that’s cigarettes for you Queen-challenged folk) ; now Gigi thinks she has a new friend to confide in, while Faith is the one with the uneasy feelings.
Buffy doesn’t make an actual present-day appearance in the issue, but we’re not bereft of the obligatory cut-away ‘what are those wacky Scooby kids up to‘ scene. Dawn is still experiencing a growth spurt and fending off the birds-and-bees talk from Willow as they muse about sex, boys and reveal the dirty mystery behind Dawn’s wardrobe changes (hint: there aren’t any! eww). Whedon and co take good advantage of the main benefit of comics versus TV: no budgetary FX constraints! Why not have Dawn be 30-ft tall for the entire season? Why shouldn’t Willow be able to fly around every issue? And wouldn’t it be cool if Faith squared off mid-air against two giant stone gargoyles? (what, did I forget to mention that in the plot summary? oops!)
Jumping mediums may just turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to the Buffy franchise!