Joss’ last issue for a while has now been reviewed. Next up, an arc with Faith by Brian K. Vaughan.

General Information

Title: Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 8 #5: The Chain

Author: Joss Whedon

Illustrator(s): Paul Lee (pencils), Andy Owens (inks), and Dave Stewart (colours)

Original Publication Date: Cover dated August 2007.

Cover Price: $2.99 US

Past comic reviews can be found here.

Premise

In a somewhat unusual issue, we follow the mission of one of the Buffy decoys in operation out there.

High Point

“I said something else.”

Low Point

I don’t see them going that retro with the TV ads.

The Scores

This is an original take in the Buffy universe, doing an entire story without Buffy. We’ve got new characters and races, too. I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork by Lee is solid. The likenesses of Giles and Andrew (and Willow, if that’s actually her in the TV spot) aren’t as good as they had been in the previous issues, but the storytelling is there, and the actions of the characters in each panel are easily differentiable. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is really well done. We’ve got Whedon’s hand clearly in place, and an interesting (and complete) tale being told. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization is good. I feel as though we know our central character very well by the end of the issue. Perhaps the most telling sign of that is that I’ve now read the issue twice, and it wasn’t until I sat down to write the review that I realized we never even knew her name. We know her thoughts so well that her name just no longer seems important. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is strong, drawing us in and making us care about the new character right from the outset. I give it 5 out of 6.

The flow has some mild interruptions as a result of flashbacks, but they’re not a huge concern. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s the same standard of quality we’ve been seeing all along. Whedon knows how to write them, and Dark Horse is finding the right artists to pair him with. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight #5: The Chain receives 35 out of 42.

Additional Notes and Comments

The promised review of Iron Man #19-20 (the “World
War Hulk” crossover) will wait a couple of days to space out the comic book content. Also, the next Buffy story arc is under a new creative team (Brian K. Vaughan writing, under Whedon’s supervision), so I’m going to review that as a complete set. This has been referred to as the “Faith” arc, and features that particular slayer on the cover.