Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8, Episode 9: No Future For You, Part Four
Written by Brian K. Vaughan; Illustrated by Georges Jeanty
Brian K. Vaughan’s Faith storyline draws to a close, and I have to say that, on the whole, I enjoyed it much more than the first four-parter that Joss Whedon wrote. Part of that may be because I like Faith more than I like Buffy (this has got to be the only series I enjoy despite not having much time for its protagonist), but I suspect it’s also because it feels more self-assured and manages to maintain a more consistent tone and focus. Faith’s character is fertile ground, and Vaughan does an excellent job of exploring her conflicted feelings, which make a lot more sense in this instalment than they did in the previous one. I particularly enjoyed her flashback involving the Mayor, given that (a) the Mayor was a great villain and (b) it’s really the first time Faith has actually verbalised how she feels about her relationship with him. Surprise surprise, she’s conflicted.
I also like the ruthless side of Giles that is shown in this episode, and I hope that this will lead to more of an exploration of the inner turmoil he experiences over the issue of taking a human life, particularly given how quickly his killing of Ben in the final episode of Season 5 was brushed under the carpet. The final pages of this issue seem to be foreshadowing Giles’ affections being transferred from Buffy to Faith, which is intriguing, and actually oddly satisfying, given that Buffy and Giles both treated each other like crap throughout Season 7. Faith, I suspect, in her own way, has more respect for Giles than Buffy does, and the thought of them going rogue together does please me considerably.
Oh, and the final page introduces what I assume is going to be the Season’s Big Bad (it doesn’t appear to be either Amy or Warren, thank god). He appears as a big floating guy in a mask not unlike the one Jason Voorhees wears… oh, and his voice is emphasised by the use of a different font for his dialogue. We don’t learn anything much about him at this stage, but it does appear that the end of the world is - dun, dun, dun! - nigh. Again.
The next two episodes appear to both be stand-alone storylines written by Joss Whedon. I’m particularly looking forward to Episode 10, which, judging by the cover, sees Willow, my absolute favourite character, take centre stage. After that, Drew Goddard, who wrote on Season 7, is doing a four-issue arc, seemingly set in Tokyo. Well, it should be different, at any rate.