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Joss Whedon – BtVS S8, Vol. 5: Predators and Prey

December 28, 2009

150. Predators and Prey by Joss Whedon, Jane Espenson, Steven S. DeKnight, Drew Z. Greenberg, Jim Krueger, Doug Petrie, Georges Jeanty (2009)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season Eight, Vol. 5 (Issues #21-25 of the comic)

Read my review of:
– Vol. 1: The Long Way Home
– Vol. 2: No Future for You
– Vol. 3: Wolves at the Gate
– Vol. 4: Time of Your Life

Length: 144 pages
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Horror

Started: 17 December 2009
Finished: 17 December 2009

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? I’ve been waiting for it to come out. Plus, I’ve been Buffy-less for too long, and am contemplating starting (another) re-watch.

Scoobies, step aside!
Buffyverse’s other folks
get their chance to shine.

Summary: Predators and Prey is more of a collection of stand-alone issues than it is a single cohesive story arc. However, they’re all tied together by the fallout of the events of “Harmonic Divergence”, the first issue, in which Harmony gets her own MTV reality show, sparking a new pop-culture trend for vampires… and sparking a flame of outrage and fear towards the Slayers who are preying on the new celebrities. In “Swell”, Satsu and Kennedy intercept a monster bearing a terrible cargo – a vamped-out Hello Kitty-esque doll, who’s not nearly as cute and cuddly as he appears. “Predators and Prey” involves Buffy and Andrew tracking down a group of slayers who’ve gone rogue in Italy. “Safe” checks in with Giles and Faith as they visit a Slayer Sanctuary that is not all that it claims to be. In “Living Doll”, Dawn gets her turn in the spotlight as we finally get an end to – and an explanation of – the thricewise business. There are also some short stories (3-4 pages) included at the end, featuring a day on set with Harmony, and an ad campaign for Vampy Cat.

Review: I was initially a little bit disappointed when I realized that this wasn’t a single arc – I wanted a good solid story. But then I realized that multiple short pieces allow more time to check in with multiple characters, and *then* I realized that one of those short pieces starred Giles and Faith, so I was a happy camper again. Perhaps the downside to spending so much time with Harmony, Satsu, Kennedy, Andrew, Giles, Faith, and Dawn is that there’s an unfortunate scarcity of Xander, and zero Willow. Still, each of the stories (except maybe “Harmonic Divergence” – Harmony gets old *real* fast) was very entertaining, moved the various pieces of the story along nicely, and was full of Buffy-style banter. (I particularly liked watching Andrew and Buffy team up.) The art continues to be good, although there were a few places where I couldn’t always tell who a character was supposed to be at first glance. But, overall, it was a fun, fast read; made me giggle at more than a few places; and has at least temporarily sated my Buffyverse cravings. Now when’s the next one coming out? 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Don’t read this series unless you’ve seen the show, and don’t read this volume until you’ve read the other four first. “Harmonic Divergence” would probably make sense on its own, but all of the rest of them build pretty heavily on what’s come before.

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

Other Reviews: Stella Matutina
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: “But I want in!”

Cover Thoughts: Brilliant. Buffy in Command Central, with the perfect “WTF?” expression on her face, surrounded by TV screens that show Harmony on Larry King, a news report about “The Slayer Threat Hits Rome”, and (my favorite) the cast of Law & Order with a vamped-out blonde in their midst. Hee hee!

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. December 28, 2009 12:44 am

    Never been much of a fan of reading buffy. Loved the show and the characters but something seems to get lost in print. Thanks for sharing this review.

    • December 31, 2009 9:41 am

      Cassandra – I agree that it’s not quite the same, but personally, the show makes the switch to comics much better than I would have expected.

  2. December 28, 2009 8:50 am

    There should always be more Xander! I especially enjoy his relationship with Dawn – so sweet. I can’t wait to get my hands on this volume!

    • December 31, 2009 9:42 am

      Jenny – Agreed! Dawn’s “chapter” is the only time he really shows up in this volume, so at least that’s nice.

  3. December 28, 2009 12:38 pm

    I never watched the show, but now think with all my Vampire infatuation… I should check out some of them. I’ve got a fun little thing going on over at my blog, thought you might like to play along! It’s here! Happy 2010.

    • December 31, 2009 9:42 am

      Lorielle – Definitely, definitely you should watch the show.

  4. December 28, 2009 7:03 pm

    I missed Xander too. And seriously, what was up with the lack of Willow? I kind of get it, given the last volume, but it’d be nice to see something about her, at least.

    • December 31, 2009 9:43 am

      Memory – I did get the feeling that she was just having a nap after being the star of the last volume, but even a throwaway line, like “Oh, Willow’s in (wherever), having a nap.” would have been nice.

  5. December 29, 2009 4:31 pm

    I gave up on these. When she finds out Spike is alive I’ll start over and read them all.

    • December 31, 2009 9:44 am

      Ladytink – I wonder if that’s going to happen. I can’t quite figure out the timeline between Buffy S8 and Angel: After the Fall, but there’s definitely plenty of Spike in the Angel graphic novels.

  6. January 9, 2010 7:23 am

    I’m really upset with who Twilight is going to turn out to be though.

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