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A brilliant arc in Buffy Season 8
on May 14, 2008
Warning! Spoilers ahead!
This Faith arc is the second major story to be told in BUFFY Season 8 and is a wonderful spin on Faith's own story.
Anyone who has seen BUFFY knows the story of Faith (and not merely in Andrew's fanciful version from "Bad Girls" in Season Seven). Faith is essentially what you get when someone from a broken home with all the attendant emotional difficulties becomes a slayer. Without a stable support network, in Season Three Faith falls prey to the Mayor, who gives her the kind of fatherly care she received from no other place. Largely thanks to Angel, she gradually gets her life back under control, but even so she remains an outsider compared to Buffy and her gang of new slayers.
In "No Future for You" Giles approaches Faith with a proposition. One of the new slayers had been killing other slayers. If Faith could get close to her and kill her, he would give Faith financial backing to go anywhere she wanted. What follows is a tragic story as Faith realizes that the killer slayer had been profoundly misinformed about Buffy (who she intended to kill). Instead of killing her, she hopes to give her the kind of second chance that Angel had given her. Unfortunately her good intentions are for naught, resulting not only in the new slayer's death, but in Buffy becoming more suspicious than ever of Faith's good intentions. Giles, however, understands more fully the nature of the situation, and with a newfound respect for how much Faith has grown as a person, asks her to team with him to take care of other challenging situations in the future regarding out of control slayers.
"No Future for You" was written by comics superstar Brian K. Vaughan, author of some of the best graphic work of the past few years, including PRIDE OF BAGHDAD, the wonderful series Y: THE LAST MAN, and, an especial favorite of mine, THE RUNAWAYS, Marvel's youngest and hippest group of superheroes. Anyone who has read THE RUNAWAYS will instantly sense how deeply it was influenced by BUFFY. So it was natural for Whedon to ask Vaughan to write one of the arcs in BUFFY Season 8. Interestingly, while Vaughan was writing "No Future for You," Whedon was taking a shot at writing the first post-Vaughan arc for THE RUNAWAYS. I actually have some hope that Vaughan might be able to contribute a script for Whedon's new series DOLLHOUSE, but that could be difficult since Vaughan is currently serving as executive story editor on the TV series LOST. But in a couple of years?
I actually preferred this arc to the first group of issues written by Whedon. Those were very good, but not quite as focused as these. But as Michael Scott might say, "They're all good."