Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8, Episode 11: A Beautiful Sunset
Written by Joss Whedon; Illustrated by Georges Jeanty
Hmph. Another month, another underwhelming episode of Buffy’s eighth season. I’m fast reaching the point where I’m considering cancelling my subscription. Yes, for the first few issues there was the novelty factor of seeing my favourite characters (well, some of them, at any rate) having new adventures that were given some degree of authenticity due to being sanctioned (and, much of the time, written) by their creator, but that appeal has long since dried up.
This week, Buffy finally encounters the season’s Big Bad, the muscular, masked Jason Voorhees lookalike who first appeared in Episode 9. Guess what? Buffy announces that he’s tougher than any opponent she’s ever faced before. Sort of like Caleb, and the First, and Dark Willow, and Glory, and Adam, and the Mayor, and… See what I’m getting at? Oh, and it looks as if we’re headed for another season of “I’m so alone” angst, to boot. Clearly, Joss Whedon still hasn’t learned that fans generally don’t enjoy seeing Buffy moping about as a manic depressive. Nor do I particularly enjoy having the gang at separate corners of the earth. I’d like to see them actually interacting properly, not briefly mentioning or phoning each other every now and then.
They’ve changed the cover art too. The new artist isn’t bad at all, but his work is not a patch on that of Jo Chen, which I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I called the best thing about these comics.
Next month, Drew Goddard comes in and starts his Tokyo arc. This four-parter will probably be the last chance I give the series… although, given that Goddard is probably the single most overrated writer in Buffydom (his greatest claim to fame is that he wrote one or two of the Season 7 episodes that weren’t complete garbage), I’m not holding out much hope.