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    Advance Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight #37

    By | October 6th, 2010
    Posted in Reviews | % Comments

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer #37: Last Gleaming part 2 (of 5)

    Spike and Buffy are finally reunited (*sigh*) and lucky him-he’s discovered the source of all her problems, and it’s not Angel. Now Buffy must revisit the place where love was indiscriminate, the Scoobies were formed, and Hell’s mouth was closed for good.

    Joss Whedon and Georges Jeanty launch readers into the finale of Buffy Season Eight, promising more adventure, twists, and turns. Bonds are tested, lives altered, and oh!-the fate of humanity hangs in the balance.

    Joss Whedon writes the series finale!

    I love Buffy. I’ve been a fan for over half of my life, and I’m so glad that Joss Whedon decided to continue the series in one of my favorite mediums. Well, season 8 is ending and he’s taking time out of his busy schedule plotting Avengers and counting stacks of money to write the series finale of season 8.

    What did I think though? Check after the cut!

    Well, by now you should know the rating system, but in the event you do, there’s another refresher:

    0: Uwe Boll will direct the adaptation of this comic
    0.1 – 1: Burn upon touching
    1- 1.9: Abysmal
    2.0 – 2.9: Art. Writing. Editing. All bad.
    3.0 – 3.9: You’d be a masochist to pick this up.
    4.0 – 4.9: “I’ll give it another month…but that was not good.”
    5.0 – 5.9: “Really? The Watcher? In the face? I guess it was fun.”
    6.0 – 6.9: “Hmm. That was decent.”
    7.0 – 7.9: Well made but a few problems
    8.0 – 8.9: Nearly flawless
    9.0 – 9.9: Outstanding
    10: Perfection. Issue of the year contender

    For starters, this time we got some actual explanation as to what happened in the past. Lovely explanations that really don’t make much sense at all.

    First, we have this artifact. The Seed of Wonder or the Egg of Destiny or what have you. This was explained as an artifact that predates…EVERYTHING. We already had one of those, and it was called The First last season (this artifact is even compared to The First, which caused more confusion than it should have.) The thing is, this artifact has more in common with the Scythe from season 7; a mega powerful weapon that appeared out of nowhere with a lot of power, and not a lot of history to go with it. It’s a poorly defined artifact that seemingly can do anything it wants given the situation. Sure we get an explanation, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s an explanation we accept because we do, not because it’s something that’s well explained. First it was the source of all magic, and then it helped create the universe, and finally it keeps the demons at bay.

    I think a lot of the problem with this season comes from the lack of cohesion from arc to arc. The best thing about the previous seasons is that there were some standalone episodes that would move the overarching plot forward, but you could still enjoy on an insular level. But they still worked as an overall whole.

    Here, the books didn’t do a good job of building up the plot. Instead, it feels like Joss is rushing to make his series make sense for the past 36 issues. But it’s not working. If Twilight’s identity and his machinations had been revealed earlier and let’s say the series had either been shorter or at least had that cohesive theme we had needed, the book would read a lot better in the end. Perhaps a single writer over the past issues would have helped. That’s not even talking about the rehashed explanations and rough references from other series that doesn’t come off as “cute,” just annoying. I know the series has always been good with the in-jokes and the cute gags about other properties, but there is a rather obvious LOST comparison that doesn’t come off as cute, just kind of lame (maybe because the TV show ended a year BEFORE LOST started…which boggles my mind and makes me sad.). Then there’s the reappearance of that mysterious force guiding Angel, which turns out effectively turning the whole Buffyverse into a parody of itself. I don’t want to spoil you, but when you read the end, think about a Big Bad from the Angel series. The similarities were stunning.

    Continued below

    But on the bright side, there’s always Georges Jeanty. He is the constant of this book and he tells the one thing about the book which has always been enjoyable- the action, and he’s a master storyteller in his own right. Even if the plot itself feels cobbled together from other sources, the art tells the story it’s supposed to tell damn well.

    The man was a brilliant choice on Joss and Dark Horse’s part to pencil the series. His non-realistic style perfectly matches the tone that Joss is trying to convey, while still making sure the characters resemble the actors who portrayed them on TV.

    I hate the fact that this season is seemingly ending on a sour note. Hopefully it’ll read better when I watch the DVD set all together. And by that, I mean read all the trades together and get my thoughts on the full season. But for now, it’s a browser for sure. And if you’re not a fan, it certainly won’t endear you to the series.

    Final Verdict: 5.5 – Browse

    //TAGS | Whedonversity

    Gilbert Short

    Gilbert Short. The Man. The Myth. The Legend. When he's not reading comic books so you don't have to, he's likely listening to mediocre music or watching excellent television. Passionate about Giants baseball and 49ers football. When he was a kid he wanted to be The Ultimate Warrior. He still kind of does. His favorite character is Superman and he will argue with you about it if you try to convince him otherwise. He also happens to be the head of Social Media Relations, which means you should totally give him a follow onTwitter.


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