Buffy aired its last episode back in May 2003, which is way before I even started this blog, so even though I still reference it relatively often, I've never really blogged much about it. And up until early this year, there wasn't really a reason to. But then the Buffy Season 8 comics started to come out!
The series is split into mini-arcs, and the first 4-issue arc was written by Joss Whedon himself. And I have to say that it's really been a pleasure. I hadn't realized how much I missed the show and its unique blend of humor and action and angst and gore until I picked up that first issue. The TV series ended at the right time, I think, some might say it even went too long, but that didn't mean the story was over. There's still plenty more to tell and a comic book is a really great medium. Each issue is pretty short...I imagine it would amount to maybe half an episode, or maybe even less. But all the characters and dialogue are there, just as I remember them.
There are now a massive amount of Slayers in the world now, all having been activated during the proper TV finale, and Buffy is a de-facto leader of sorts, having rounded up nearly 500 of them and splitting them into squads around the world. Buffy and Dawn are stationed in Scotland, with Xander heading up a sort of Command Central connectd to the rest of the squads, including ones led by Giles and Andrew. Willow is as powerful as ever, and appears in the first arc to battle some old enemies. One thing that's great about comic books is that you don't to negotiate actors to have characters return so really anyone is game. Issue #5 is a standalone, but the season's second arc will feature Faith. And many of the show's old writers as well as writers from the comic book world are slated for their own arcs. Each issue has really gorgeous cover art, and the artwork inside renders the characters quite well too.
I have to admit that I've never been a big comic book reader. I've read a few here and there that I liked but I never got that into any one series. I find the sheer volume of comic books to be a bit overwhelming actually. And without really any friends who are into them I never properly got into it. I've also never read any of the previous Buffy comics. But maybe this is like my gateway drug? I now stop by my local comic book store every month for the new issues, so I could check out some other things too...
And on a related note, Joss Whedon has also recently announced that he'll be doing something similar for Angel, set after its own series finale. I wasn't really as big a fan of Angel, and bizarrely I haven't even watched all the episodes yet although I have the whole series on DVD (I've watched all of the first and last seasons, but I'm missing pretty big chunks in between). Some new Firefly comics may also be on the way, and there have been rumblings of a possible Ripper TV movie featuring Giles. Check out all the scoop from Comic-Con here. I have been a bit disappointed that Joss Whedon hasn't had any new TV shows since Firefly got cancelled so it's good to see that he's really been keeping himself busy with lots of other things.