Joss Whedon is overseeing this new canonical series, and will personally write several issues (including this one.) If you missed it, you should know that it was far more popular than Dark Horse expected, so it’s gone back to the printers to get more copies on the shelves for March 28, the week before issue 2 comes out.

General Information

Title: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season Eight) #1

Author: Joss Whedon

Illustrator(s): Georges Jeanty (pencils), Andy Owens (inks), and Dave Stewart (colors)

Original Publication Date: March, 2007

Cover Price: $2.99 US

Past comic reviews can be found here.

Premise

Joss Whedon kicks off what is being treated as the next season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which returns in comic form, allowing them to use all characters without working out various salaries, visual effects budgets, and shooting schedules.

High Point

The identity of her new Watcher. It’s very, very predictable, but still cool to see, particularly when he’s telling his staff what they should call him.

Low Point

There’s technology here on both sides of the battle that seems way beyond what I’d expect them to have access to at this point. If it’s explained later, I’ll be thrilled, but right now it seems like it’s here because this is a comic and not a live action series.

The Scores

The originality suffers a bit for being something of an adaptation. The good news is that this doesn’t seem to be shaping up like any of the existing seasons of the series.

I give it 4 out of 6.

The artwork is decent, and easy to follow. The challenge with adapting live action work to the page is that everyone already knows exactly what each character looks like. Most do look like I remember them, though Buffy doesn’t really look that much like Sarah Michelle Gellar. She’s not so far off the mark that you don’t know exactly who she is in every appearance, but something doesn’t sit quite right. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story reads like one of Whedon’s season premieres. We learn where some characters are and what they’re doing, get some indication of a couple of outside factions that will be involved in the plot, find out about Buffy’s relationship with The Immortal that was revealed on Angel, and get some of that great Whedon dialogue to tie it all together. I give it 6 out of 6.

The characterization is there. We get reintroduced to four of the major characters on the show. (I haven’t watched season seven recently enough to recognize many of the new Slayers, though I’ve been meaning to rewatch it shortly.) Every one of them has the same voice they had on the series, and more impressively, demonstrate the same sort of body language. The internal monologues we get here we didn’t see on the show help this out a lot, too. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is great. As much as I’ve enjoyed Civil War in general, it’s not very upbeat, and that means I’ve read a lot of dark comics in the past few months. Reading this, which brings back all of the fun, funny, and action from the show’s earlier seasons, would be fun any time, but is especially appreciated right now. This is the show, back in the most practical possible way. I give it 6 out of 6.

The flow is excellent. Two different storylines are running here, and they connect and move with the juxtapositions that Whedon used on the show. Jeanty also delivers when it comes to providing an animated feel to a series of static panels. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this is a very promising first issue in a highly anticipated series. If you enjoyed the show, this will give you the same feel an attitude you are used to. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season Eight) #1 receives 37 out of 42.