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Jane Espenson – BtVS S8, Vol. 6: Retreat

April 14, 2010

37. Retreat by Jane Espenson, Georges Jeanty, Andy Owens, Michelle Madsen, Joss Whedon (2010)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8, Volume 6

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
– Vol. 5: Predators and Prey

Length: 144 pages
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy

Started: 04 April 2010
Finished: 04 April 2010

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? I’m good and hooked on the series, of course.

Summary: The Slayers in hiding, both from the public – who thinks they’re vicious killers – and from the dark forces of the mysterious baddie Twilight. When Twilight finds a way to detect magical power, the Slayers’ cover is blown, and they must find a way to deal with their magic – both Willow’s variety and the magic of the Slayers’ power. So, they go seeking the help of the one person they know who can control and suppress his supernatural powers: Oz. With his help, the Slayers will learn how to give up their power, and hopefully throw Twilight off their scent.

This volume also includes two short stories, one featuring Harmony’s appearance on The Colbert Report, and one featuring a very bad dream of Buffy’s.

Review: I think I was predisposed to like this volume. Jane Espenson has been involved with some of my favorite TV shows in various capacities, including writing “Conversations with Dead People” from Buffy, “Shindig” from Firefly, and the one episode of Battlestar Galactica that makes me cry like a little tiny girl every time I watch it (“The Passage”, if you’re curious.) She can tell a good, moving story, can write snappy dialogue like nobody’s business, and certainly knows her way around the Buffyverse and its particular argot. And, expected, I really liked the story of this volume; so much of Buffy & Co.’s identities are bound up in their power that having to voluntarily give it away leads to some really interesting narrative places.

I was not particularly crazy about the artwork in this volume, however. Throughout the series, each of the characters has got their own one recognizable feature, but I feel like apart from that one feature, the characters have started to drift away from what the actors actually look like. This was especially problematic with Oz, who hasn’t been around for the previous five volumes – if the cover hadn’t included such a good painting of him, I never would have figured out who he was supposed to be from the drawings. But, while art is obviously important to graphic novels, I’m admittedly mostly in it for the story, so I still really enjoyed this volume. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Don’t start the story here, obviously, but for folks who were feeling that Season 8 was a little light on the werewolves up to this point, your prayers have been answered!

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

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

First Line: “I liked the other way we did this better.”

Cover Thoughts: I started from the left, got to Oz, got excited, and didn’t really look at the rest of it. :)

5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2010 1:13 am

    Awww, this post reminds me of my huge BtVS backlog (and Angel as well). To think that I’ve probably read the entire series save the latest two installments of the comics (which I heard is getting a negative rep from the Brad Meltzer storyline). Oh well. Time is always an issue. Not to mention writing an entire review for the volumes I didn’t post about. Hahaha.

    • April 16, 2010 9:52 am

      Lightheaded – I essentially gave up on Angel after Vol. 4. If my library buys it, I’ll probably read it, but I’m not going to request that they buy it just for me.

  2. April 14, 2010 8:37 am

    Oz! Oz, Oz, Oz! I love Oz! I was sad when Oz left the show. Obviously I need to catch up on my BtVS, especially now that I have found out from the internets what is going on with Twilight.

    • April 16, 2010 9:56 am

      Jenny – I love Oz too. How can you not?

      I have managed to stay unspoiled re: Twilight, although my unspoiledness is kind of making me feel dumb, like I should be able to figure out what’s going on by now, but it’s just not clicking for me.

  3. May 17, 2010 12:38 am

    I can’t wait until I have a library card so I can get my hands on this! I’m so glad I now have a library that actually gets new books on the shelves quickly, so I don’t have to buy them in order to read them in a decent amount of time.

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