by Jai Hutchison
‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ the television show, is 20 years old this year and is still going strong. But back in 2003, on May 20th when the finale episode aired for the first time, we all thought the world of Buffy was over, that the Scooby gang had packed up and were finished with their demon fighting days. But four years later the amazing Joss Whedon resurrected Buffyverse from our screens and whacked it into the comic book world. Some were unsure, many were excited, but one thing we could all agree on was that we wanted, NEEDED, to know what happened next! The Buffy comics pick up about a year after Sunnydale has been annihilated, and not only do they bring back our beloved favourite characters from the show, but also some unexpected blasts from the past, (that you really will not be expecting) and some new editions too.
This transformation is due, we find out, to her sleeping with a Thricewise; a demon that can take human form, and is known to be a mischievous trickster. Just as she did in the TV series, Dawn spends most of her time complaining and trying to figure out where and how she fits into the world. Incase it didn’t quite come across clearly enough; Dawn is not my favourite character, I find her a tad annoying.
The American government sees Buffy and the new slayers as a threat and joins forces with some surprise past enemies of Buffy’s to take them out. These enemies are members of Twilight, the big bad I previously mentioned that Buffy and the gang will have to take on in Season 8.
Luckily for Buffy, when an unexpected witch we all know from the past teams up with Twilight and attacks her, she has the almighty Willow Rosenberg by her side who swoops in after being missing for some time. But does Willow save the day? I’m afraid you’ll have to read season 8 to find out.
The artwork of season 8 varies throughout as each artist has their own take, but overall it is very consistent with the television show; Jo Chen’s cover art in particular is brilliant. I really love how the characters that have transitioned into the comics still look the same; this could have easily had disaster written all over it but worked out really well. Although the comic is its own entity, the characters have very strongly and clearly been translated on to the pages: in image as well as personality. In an interview with Geek Nation, Georges Jeanty talks about his process when drawing the Buffy characters and how he tried to assure he kept the character’s similarities.
What is great about the Buffyverse moving mediums is that there is room to expand within imagination and really push where you can go with character profiles and plots in the comic in comparison with the TV show, and I feel that the team has really taken advantage of that. In an interview with Dark Horse, Joss Whedon talks about how the comic has given him the opportunity to try different things, and had season 8 been a television show Giant Dawn would not be a reality.
I was really excited when Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 8 was released; it is a fantastic continuation of the show and if you are a Buffy fan I am sure you will enjoy it too. And if you are not a Buffy fan, give it a try and I’m sure you’ll be converted; there’s a reason the show has stayed on the air for 20 years! Fans will also be glad to know where Whedon takes us next with Buffyverse in the comic world. Buffy continues on with Joss Whedon and some other fantastic writers, and Season 11 Volume 1 is due for publication on August 2nd 2017. There have also been some tie-ins including ‘Willow Wonderland’, ‘Spike: A Dark Place’, ‘Spike- Into The Light’, several issues of ‘Angel &Faith’ and ‘Fray: Future Slayer’. So although Sunnydale may have fallen in 2003, our heroine still stands tall, Buffy and the Scoobies are still battling evil and continue to entertain fans worldwide.