Monday, January 9, 2017

Comic Book Review: Buffy The Vampire Slayer - Last Gleaming

I found this old book at a thrift store in town not long ago. My wife and I had a discussion about Buffy recently and it's relevance to tv today. Each episode contained the sinister villain, the plucky hero and her gang, the power rangers styled battle near the end, and the resolution plus weekly cliffhanger. It was formula. It had sexy stars. It was comfortable tv for those of us who liked genre television in an era where there wasn't much for us to choose from. Monday nights were great!

Fast forward to 2017.

I look back on the show and still enjoy the writing. Whedon was coming into his own at the time. I am past the Power Rangers like battles and some of the plucky characters a little.. I actually find the show even a little juvenile now. I guess that is part of the pain that is turning 41. Still, I can sit down and watch an episode and be entertained. Isn't that the idea?

Well, back to the book I'm reviewing. Part of the idea here is that this book (well, it's part of a series of comic books, this is just the last 5 or 6 issues of the series) picks up, in cannon, right after the end of the TV series (which I believe lasted 7 seasons). We have Buffy making a go of it with an army of slayers, and there's yet another world ending event about to happen. Interesting setup.

There is some real joy for a Buffy fan in these books, as Joss Whedon actually wrote them (with help). Too bad that the story is completely betrayed by substandard artwork by Georges Jeanty. While it captures characters well from time to time, it is so inconsistent that in many pages, I didn't even know who each character was! The standard "look" was leaned on heavily for each character. I knew who Angel and Spike were, Xander had the eye patch, and Buffy was generally the blonde girl. But Willow, Dawn, and a series of characters who must have been introduced throughout season 8 may have well be hand drawn dice thrown into a Yahtzee cup and thrown at each page. Willow in particular was a complete lost cause. With so much happening on so many pages, by book 2 I was just starting to skip pages, as I had no idea who many of the characters even were.

I did get through the story on the strength of Joss Whedon and Scott Allie's writing. It felt like a Buffy episode put to paper, with the same weight of decision for Buffy as it ever has been in any episode. She had to make a real tough decision in the end, and was forced to do something after something frighteningly devastating happened. The world has changed again! And it's Buffy's doing! And Nobody knows! Sound familiar? :) It works though, in it's own little way.

Should you read this? Sure! It's Whedonverse stuff! It's worth a flip for sure if you are in it for the story. If you are an art fan... save your 20 bucks. This is literally one of the WORST drawn books I've seen in YEARS. Darkhorse Comics really should have higher standards than this. With so many underground artists showing how well they can do, this book is almost insultingly bad.

Since this book was released in... oh... 2011... and was likely released as issues in 2010, here's hoping 6 years has helped Jeanty develop his skills some. His environments are great! His characters... hrm.

6 out of 10, solely on the writing.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Friday, July 11, 2014

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The Ultimate Household Tool!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Friday, April 19, 2013