Drew Goddard – BtVS S8, Vol. 3: Wolves at the Gate
87. Wolves at the Gate by Drew Goddard, Georges Jeanty, Andy Owens, Michelle Madsen, Richard Starkings, Jon Foster, Jo Chen, Joss Whedon (2008)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season Eight, Vol. 3 (issues #11-15 of the comic)
Length: 136 pages
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy
Started: 19 July 2009
Finished: 19 July 2009
Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? Do you really need to ask? Plus, graphic novels are about all I really have the attention span for at the moment.
Dracula’s back, folks!
Bad guys steal Buffy’s scythe, so
it’s off to Japan.
Summary: This time around we get the single-issue story “A Beautiful Sunset” first, scripted by Joss Whedon himself, in which Buffy deals with the isolation of power, even as she gets her first face-to-face meeting with Twilight, this season’s Big Bad. In the main four-part story arc, “Wolves at the Gate”, the Scotland slayer HQ is attacked by a group of Japanese vampires who can turn into wolves, or fog. When they steal Buffy’s scythe, she’ll stop at nothing to get it back, although before they head to Tokyo, they’ll have to enlist the help of the vampire whose powers are being used by the Japanese gang: Dracula himself.
Review: In terms of plot development, this volume is pretty simple: Bad guys steal Buffy’s scythe (which… ARGH! That. Is. Not. A. SCYTHE! It is an ax. AN AX!), Buffy & Co. track them down, kick their butts, and get the scythe back. In terms of character developments, however, this volume is incredible. Buffy and Xander do most of the heavy lifting, but Willow and others get plenty of nice character moments. There’s some new emotional entanglements, Buffy’s usual “it’s lonely at the top” angsting, and this is the moment where the seriousness of this season’s Big Bad really hits home for each of the characters.
But, amidst all of the pathos and heartbreak, this volume is also literally laugh-out-loud funny. Not just a muted chuckle, either – I was roaring with laughter at some scenes (Not to give too much away, but they’re in Tokyo… and Buffy’s little sister isn’t exactly so little anymore. Now take whatever you’re imagining and multiply the funny by five.) The dialogue, the banter between characters, the snarky sarcasm and quick-cuts… everybody sounds like themselves, and they all sound like a Joss Whedon show. So, all-in-all, an excellent mix of uproariously funny, terribly sad, a few kick-ass fight scenes, a few more teasing hints about Twilight’s identity and agenda, and an interesting if not particularly complex plot staring one stupid mis-named scythe. 4 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: Anyone who liked Buffy the TV show really, really needs to be reading this series. I loved No Future for You, and this installment is equally good, albeit in different ways.
First Line: Once upon a time… I did something good.