Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday Soapbox



SPOILER ALERT: If you have any intention of reading Buffy Season 8 and you want to be surprised, stop reading now.

As we approach the end of Buffy Season 8, I am sad to say that I’m glad it’s ending. Before the series began I was literally counting the months with excitement, and in the beginning it was just what I wanted. The witty sarcasm, geeky Xanderisms, and of course new awkward situations that translate better through comics than through television.

The earlier multi-issue arcs and one-shots were great. I loved when Buffy was in the future with Fray dealing with evil Willow. The Harmony one shot was quirky and fun. Faith and Giles off on their own adventure with evil debutantes, and the guest appearance by Dracula made me smile. I even liked the love story between Xander and Dawn. Who knew?

Unfortunately, the over-arching story of season 8 suffered by getting way too broad. I think the writers were so excited to have a new playing field, they did too much. Honestly, I was enjoying it until the gang/army went to see Oz. Then the magic and the giant muppet-like gods went over the top, okay if that had been that I could have dealt, but then came the reveal of Twilight. The character of Twilight had been dancing around the story for quite a while as the major villain in the background and I didn’t pay much attention to him because he was boring. So the reveal that Twilight was actually Angel…anticlimactic and maddening. I had been waiting for Angel the entire run and I would have welcomed him in any other context. I won’t even go into the sex scene in the sky, or double agent Riley (or was it triple agent? I lost count). It was what happened after that where I was rubbing my eyes and shaking my head. I just don’t buy that Angel would believe the drivel that he’s spewing to Buffy about why he did it. And then to bring in Spike?!?!? How is that necessary? Buffy and Angel have no chemistry in this story and don’t tell me it’s the medium, because comic book characters can absolutely have chemistry. Dinah Lance is a perfect example of that. (Are we seeing a pattern here? Is it obvious that I’m a Black Canary girl?)

I know this is a downer of an entry, so let me leave it at this. Simplicity is a good thing when you have such strong and well-developed characters and a story can be charming and thought provoking without being convoluted. Do I still love Joss Whedon? Of course. Will I read Season 9? Most likely.



Anonymous said...

Oh, damn. Missed the spoiler alert. LOL

Anonymous said...

I've only read about Black Canary in one of the Birds of Prey collections. (I had to check it out because of the tv show -- very different, but good. Was having trouble finding the rest, though!)

Jac and Paul Zappone said...

In order to read all of the Birds of Prey, we actually had to get single issues. If you want to skip the Chuck Dixon years though, all of the Gail Simone arcs are available in graphic form and they are well worth a read. Once you read the Green Arrows, there is also a Green Arrow/Black Canary series that is really fun.

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