Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight 2 by Brian K. Vaughan: A

From the back cover:
While Buffy is busy trying to uncover the mysterious new Big Bad known only as “Twilight,” Giles takes on a mission of his own that will require a Slayer who can handle a little dirty work. He recruits the notoriously rebellious Faith for an undercover job that demands her well-known penchant for violence. She must infiltrate the estate of a rogue Slayer and put a stop to this girl’s evil deeds no matter the cost.

Review:
This collection includes issues 6-10 of the series. The first four comprise Vaughan’s Faith arc that lends its name to this volume as subtitle—”No Future For You.” The last issue is a stand-alone written by Joss himself.

I’m current with the monthly issues of this series (up to 14 now), and I have to say that “No Future For You” is definitely my favorite arc thus far, which is a little weird since Vaughan was never a writer for the show. He really nails Faith, though, and all of her dialogue and inner thoughts ring true. I especially like her perspective on the conflicts she’s had with Buffy and her relationship with Mayor Wilkins. Here’s an excerpt:

Evil scumbag. That’s what most people think of the last guy who put me in a dress. But I don’t know. Dude may have been a bit of a snake… but he wasn’t a dog. Everybody thinks he was, like, exploiting me or whatever, but that’s not how it felt. So I totally get how chicks can get mixed up in the wrong crap. Even today, it’s still hard to look back at my time with that guy…and feel anything but loved.

Pretty awesome stuff. Vaughan also does well with the other characters, who both speak and act perfectly in character. I’m fascinated by the dynamic between Faith and Giles, especially in the scene where he mentions his own youthful rebellion and how they’re not so unalike, but the best is probably Buffy jumping to the absolute worst conclusion about Faith’s involvement with the rogue Slayer. It’s not only a very Buffy thing to do, but it also cuts Faith deeply to see that she will probably never really be trusted by Buffy, despite her various attempts at redemption.

Not so awesome, alas, is Georges Jeanty’s art. I’m not so miffed about it as this guy, but Faith really does look pretty awful in some panels. I realize that spot-on likenesses are not necessarily the artist’s goal, but she often looks like several different people per page, and each only marginally reminiscent of Eliza Dushku. I will, however, say that in more recent issues, Jeanty has drawn some truly exceptional panels of Willow.

Issue 10, “Anywhere But Here,” is important in its own right, featuring Buffy and Willow on a mission together and providing many answers, including where the funding for the Slayers came from and the current state of Willow’s relationship with Kennedy. Back at home, Dawn also finally discloses (to Xander) how she ended up gigantified. This is the kind of significant personal interaction I was missing in the first Buffy-centric arc, so I’m very pleased to get such a nice chunk of it here.

I really hope Vaughan writes an arc again soon or, even better, starts up a spin-off starring Faith and Giles. Sad to say, I would actually prefer that to the current arc that’s underway at present.

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Comments

  1. A Faith and Giles spinoff would be awesome. I hadn’t really thought too hard about Giles’s oft-referred-to-but-never-fully-explored bad boy past, but they really do make an interesting team.

    Once I finish watching Angel through (S5 left), I guess I’ll have to get going on After the Fall. The first GN of that is coming soonish I think. I won’t buy the individual comics of any of these.

  2. I hadn’t thought about their potential as a team until I saw it here. And then it just seemed so utterly right.

    I’ve enjoyed After the Fall so far. I think that it does a bit better job than Buffy of matching the feel of the series right out of the gate.


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  1. […] editions come out. I still haven’t liked any arc as much as Brian K. Vaughan’s “No Future for You” (issues 6-10), and somewhere along the way things have gotten so ridiculous that I just refuse to […]

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