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Joss Whedon – The Long Way Home

July 3, 2009

80. The Long Way Home by Joss Whedon, Georges Jeanty, Andy Owens, Dave Stewart, Richard Starkings, Jo Chen, Paul Lee (2007)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season Eight, Vol. 1 (Issues #1-5 of the comic)

Length: 136 pages

Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy

Started: 26 June 2009
Finished: 26 June 2009

Where did it come from? The Library
Why do I have it? I’d finished my rewatch of the Buffy DVDs, and thought it was about time to get to Season 8.

Buffy’s back, hooray!
The action gets bigger when
you just pay for ink.

**This review contains spoilers inasmuch as it assumes that you know how Buffy S7 ends.**

Summary: After the cataclysmic end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 7, our favorite petite blond evil-fighter finds herself with a whole host of new problems. After Willow gave every potential in the world full Slayer strength, Buffy has relocated to Scotland with Xander as her new pseudo-Watcher, while members of her team are busily training the new Slayers around the world. Averting the apocalypse has never earned our gang more than a temporary rest, though, and Buffy still has to deal with problems both normal (Dawn’s growing up, causing all kinds of sisterly tension) and supernatural (Dawn’s really grown *up* – about forty feet up, and she refuses to talk to Buffy about the reason.) Plus, in the course of daily monster-fighting, Buffy stumbles across hints of a new organization, called Twilight, which will bring together new force and some old enemies in order to bring down the Slayer and her friends. This volume also includes a one-off issue titled “The Chain”, which explores the idea that even if there are now thousands of Slayers, the name of Buffy Summers still carries some weight.

Review: True to the title, this really is exactly like another season of Buffy, only with an unlimited budget to pay for special effects and guest stars. The story structure is the same: following multiple storylines that all feed into the overall arc. The editing is the same: cuts between scenes where the previous scene’s dialogue feeds into the next image. The language is the same: the snarky sense of humor is recognizeably Joss Whedon, and the rhythms of speech are recognizably Buffy. The characters are the same: they all sound like themselves, and for the most part look like themselves (Giles, Willow, and Xander are all great; personally, I was less-impressed with Buffy herself, and Andrew’s almost unrecognizable in some panels.) The story moves quickly, and you have to pay attention to stay on top of what’s going on… and I’m sure there are plenty of clues hidden in the dialogue and the drawings that I didn’t catch. Overall, though, comics and Joss Whedon and Buffy are a natural fit, and I’m looking forward to seeing where the story goes from here. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: My recommendation isn’t going to be worth a whole lot, here, Buffy fans should definitely read it, even if they’re not really into comic books; non-Buffy fans should absolutely NOT start here.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: Stella Matutina, Everyday Reads, Dreaming Out Loud, Mervi’s Book Reviews
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: The thing about changing the world… once you do it, the world’s all different.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. July 4, 2009 11:58 am

    I haven’t read most of the Buffy comics, but I found that the characters with distinctive speech patterns in the TV show, like Willow, came across least well. Whereas with people like Xander, where it’s the words, not the delivery, that really identify him, it feels just like real Xander.

    …I wish there were more Buffy.

  2. July 4, 2009 4:00 pm

    And it only gets better from here!

  3. July 6, 2009 8:56 am

    Jenny – I think you’re right about words vs. speech patterns, but for pretty much *everybody*, I can hear their actual voices in my head as I read, which is impressive.

    Memory – Yay! I’ve got the rest reserved at the library… very exciting!

  4. July 10, 2009 5:58 am

    Great review! I’ve been hesitant about this one, and every I see them at the bookstore I flip through the pages. After your review, I think I’ll give it a try! I miss Buffy, and a 8th season on paper sounds like fun! :D


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