As usual I'm quite far behind with my reviews of Buffy
comics but the next arc doesn't start for a while yet so it's not the end of the world. Then again it's Buffy
so it probably is
the end of the world. OK, basically I can't even tell if it's the end of the world or not this time.
The thing about doing a "season" in comics rather than on TV is that it takes a lot longer - we're over three years in as we approach the Season 8 finale. And the first issues would have been written in 2006, so although Wikipedia tells me that a certain other vampire story had been published by then, it certainly hadn't taken off in quite the way it subsequently has. So calling the season's Big Bad "Twilight" must have seemed like a perfectly reasonable idea at the time, but fast-forward to 2010 and Brad Meltzer (only the second "new" writer to take on a multi-part story since the launch of Season 8) has to include some knowing references to sparkly vampires. Especially since Twilight turns out to be Angel, Buffy's own big vampire romance.
Overall this four-issue arc worked better for me when I re-read the whole thing in one go than it did when I read it as each issue came out. The story's rhythm is such that it's obviously being written with the collected edition in mind, and there's nothing wrong with that - it starts well with Buffy and Xander having fun with her latest powers, then that goes wrong as it turns out the powers are the result of other slayers dying, then it turns out that isn't it and there's a big demon battle and... The main thing is, of course, that I'm really not sure what the main twist of the story is all about. Buffy has evolved into a higher being, via the medium of her and Angel having lots of sex, and this has made him invulnerable, except the invulnerability kicked in before any of this happened, and they've now ascended to a new plane of reality that has built itself up around them. Is that it? And now the old reality, where all the other characters live, is considered expendable and loads of demons have turned up. And because they can't let their friends die Buffy and Angel have deserted their new reality so the whole odd thing may turn out not to have mattered much anyway. OK.
like it, don't get me wrong, but I didn't love it. I don't think it's Meltzer's fault, if anything he did a good job with a very difficult/confusing plot development. But lately the series has felt a bit as if Joss Whedon's enjoying the lack of budget/casting limitations a bit too
much, and doing the Russell T Davies trick of throwing in everything he can think of just because he can. A feeling that's not dispelled much by the storyline's final frame...