Hey everyone! Long time no see! I ran into a reading slump despite my growing list of ARC’s and To Read List. Decided it was time to take some time off and explore new horizons outside my reading list. During my “hiatus”, I discovered a new love…graphic novels.
Now, originally, I was not a huge comic book reader nor had I indulged in graphic novels. That is, until I remembered one of my all-time favorite fictional heroes stories did not finish after the show ended on the screen. In honor of International Women’s Day, I’m reviewing the Buffy the Vampire Slayer graphic novels Volume 1-4!
My birthday is next Tuesday and as tradition I try to binge watch as much Buffy the Vampire Slayer for two weeks till it’s my birthday. Why? Buffy was a symbol back when I was a kid. The 90s was a time where girls like myself were beginning to see that we were much more than girls who wore dresses and looked “pretty”. Buffy showed us we could be warriors and save the world. That we did not need a man by our side in order to achieve greatness and achieve greatness. For seven years, she gave us “Something to Sing About”, quite literally in fact. If you haven’t seen the show, allow me to to educate you for a moment….
Que the Musical Number!
Back to the novels, the writers try to pick up where Season 8 left off. SPOILER ALERT: They saved the world and moved on. Only in the novels, Buffy and her recruited Slayers are still battling the evil of the world and have their own castle headquarters in Scotland. Dawn, Buffy’s sister, is now a giant. Xander is in commander in chief of the slayers while Buffy is going out on various missions. Willow, well, she’s MIA till almost halfway through the first volume. But when she shows up levitating her way into the chaotic scene, I about lost it, it was awesome.
I had to laugh in the beginning because if you followed closely with the show Angel, it’s spin-off, they poked at the fact Buffy’s past lovers Angel and Spike searched for her in Rome and were shocked to discover “Buffy” was in love with a demon called The Immortal. The novel reveals Buffy now has decoys…..yeah decoys…..and the fact they were both fooled by a decoy made it even more hilarious.
My final thoughts on the first volume, well, it is a rocky and confusing start. I think they were trying to figure what direction they were going. The continuity issues and plot holes also bothered me. I sort of liked the twists but I had issues with the villains. They introduced a military general as a possible antagonist then he disappears close to the end of the novel not seen since.
Volume 1 – My Rating: 5 out of 10 Book Charms
Volume 2: No Future For You focuses on the the runner-up slayer Faith aka the Unhinged Slayer. Faith has had a long list of issues since her being Chosen including murdering an innocent man and turning evil for a season.
Giles, Buffy’s former Watcher, proposes a deal for Faith. In exchange for her help, he would grant her a passport and a new identity. A chance to start over and be able to move forward without getting arrested and taken back to prison for the murder years ago. Her mission, take out a high-class British slayer who has her eye on killing Buffy and taking charge of the brigade.
I loved watching Faith’s struggle in this one. If you watched the series, you’ve seen her fight between doing what is right and wrong. We see how far she has come in the novels and I like how much she’s grown. I thought due to her connection to the evil slayer that she’d move back to the evil side. However, Faith proves yet again you can’t always predict what she may do.
Volume 2 – My Rating: 8 out of 10 Book Charms
Volume 3: Wolves at the Gate: this volume is where the series as a whole makes a huge turnaround, in a good way. Oriental vampires infiltrate the base and steal Buffy’s Scythe under the guise of Dracula’s powers. Short version, we see Dracula again! Yes, this Dracula:
He’s back and it turns out he gave away his secrets after losing to poker. POKER! The Prince of Vampiric Darkness risked his powers getting into the wrong hands and they definitely did. The Oriental Vampires lead Buffy, Dracula, and the rest of the gang to Japan where they rage a full out battle in the middle of Tokyo. My favorite part of the whole volume would be Giant Dawn making her way into downtown Tokyo and going all Godzilla on the evil vamps. Hey, if you are a giant and battling evil, might as well make the most of it.
Volume 3 – My Rating: 9 out of 10 Book Charms
Volume 4: Time of Your Life is trippy. Buffy is dragged through a riff in the universe and pushed into the future where there is only one slayer once again. Fair warning to those who want to read these comics, I recommend reading Joss Whedon’s comic book series Fray before reading this volume due to it featuring that universe in this series. Other than that, this volume takes the stance to continue to foreshadow the possible demise of the slayers in the future.
Volume 4 – My Review: 7 out of 10 Book Charms
I’m heading to my library to pick up the next three volumes of this series along with Angel’s graphic novels. Remember, no matter who you are, you have the power to slay your demons within you. Stay strong!