Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8, issue 40 – a failure and a success

The problem fans had with Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 became crystalized to me after reading the final issue of the series. Spike has a conversation with Buffy that likens her not to her past self but to Angel, who had a history of making tough choices while Buffy merely had to find a way to beat the bad guys.

This was made even more clear in the final panel of the comic. Buffy’s words echoed the final words Angel spoke at the end of his own television series.

Joss Whedon’s vision for Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 was a world steeped in the complex moral drama of Angel: The Series. Whedon’s work following Buffy has been about playing with the gray moral areas. In his attempt to bring this into Buffy’s world, he has put off a number of his fans. For that reason he essentially wrote an apology at the end of issue 40 and a promise for a return to form for Season 9. I see this as a compromise of his artistic integrity, writing for the fans rather than for what he believed was the next step, but I’ve never been one to speak too highly of Whedon anyway. Next time he whines about the upcoming Buffy movie, he should be reminded of the fact that he’s already compromised Buffy.

Meanwhile, I appreciated the world created in Season 8. The scope, the grittiness, and the tough decisions added something that was lacking in those final seasons of the TV series. It seemed mature. At times the scope might have been a little too big, but a worldwide release of the abilities of potential slayers means it would be quite absurd for the world to revolve around Sunnydale. Overall, I liked it. I liked that the writers made the tough decisions as well, like in making Angel the villain-but-not-really and in the loss of Giles. Even bringing Warren back as a magically sustained character was inspired. But all good things come to an end. I will definitely be checking out Season 9 when it releases, but I’ve already been soured on it.

About Gospel X

Media commentator who tries not to waste time - and often fails

Posted on January 26, 2011, in Buffy, comics, fantasy, urban fantasy, vampires and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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