My reviewrating: 4 of 5 stars
As what I believe is the first case of a television show continuing as comic book (this first batch of comics is called Season 8, just as if it were the next series of episodes), this breaks all kinds of creative ground, and of course has the potential to step into some pot holes as it forges its way to unknown territory. (Have I mixed my metaphors enough yet?)
It's hard to imagine what it must be like to be in Joss Whedon's shoes. With the transition from sound stages and scripts to paperback and text boxes, your long-loved characters are no longer bound by location shoots, film crew budgets, actor schedules, or frankly, reality of any kind. The stories are free to go wherever the imagination takes these people. Far more significant than those thousands of Star Wars books that supposedly carry on the story, the Buffy comics are crafted by the creator himself, and are meant to hold the same tenor, language and quirkiness of the TV series. This transition from one television media to comic book media is both a total a paradigm shift, and in another way, a totally logical next step: from one pop culture temple to another. And I'd say, it pretty much does it perfectly. Though I'm not a comic book reader (i have trouble tracking the different text styles- dialogue, narration, etc, and I sometimes forget to look at the pictures) I can hear the characters voices clearly in the dialogue, and the stories still abound with Whedon's obsessive love of underlining his genre while subverting it. It's a meta meta meta comic book- always reminding you it's a comic book while totally engulfing you in the plot.
Though I agree with other critiques I've seen of this volume, that instead of being normal people in supernatural circumstances, the comic books have these characters basically becoming straight up- mega-institutionalized super heroes, I trust Whedon to take us to new places safely, even if its awkward sometimes.
It's a one of a kind experience that I recommend. (though not so one of a kind anymore since Whedon is doing comics for his canceled show Firefly as well).
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