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153 of 160 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
I must admit that as a Buffy fan who hasn't read a comic since age 7 I was a skeptic...but a skeptic in serious withdrawal willing to slurp down just about any Buffy chum Joss flung my way (sorry fan-fictors but there's Payless and then there's Prada). This volume seriously delivers. I read it twice in 24 hours, once quickly to get the major points (who's back, who's bad, who's bedding who), and then again slowly to savor the dialogue and story line. It comes off as basically a two-hour, two-dimensional Buffy movie in what would naturally be a trilogy of films (ahh, only in my and James Marster's dreams I'm afraid). Artwork really pops, transitions are smooth and cinematic, and the trademark Buffy-speech humor is dead-on. Sure there are a few small holes in the storyline (like where a certain character mysteriously recovers from grotesque disfiguring brain surgery w/out a single panel's explanation). Ok, that's a big hole. And yes there are baby slayers with bad Euro trash accents to ignore. But let's chock it up to suspension of disbelief and ooh! look at Buffy she still has her shiny red axe thingy! This volume probably would be meaningless to anyone who had not watched all 7 seasons and memorized the lyrics to Once More with Feeling when they couldn't get a date to the prom, but who cares about them! Losers!
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62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Nobody loves his fans more than Joss Whedon. This is a man who once said he'd rather make something that 100 people NEED to see then something 1000 people WANT to see and the man works tirelessly and continuously to bring us the very best in sci-fi/horror/fantasy entertainment. So yeah, I'm a fan. "Buffy: Season 8" shoved off in spite of worthless television politics and Sarah Michelle Gellar's refusal to play the character (until her bank account bottoms out, anyway) by switching mediums entirely and making the official leap to the printed page. The transistion has been exemplary.

"The Long Way Home" picks up some time after the end of the 7th season. Buffy Summers is leading an army of awakened slayers in surgical strikes against demons worldwide. Instantly, the reader is greeted with a feeling of complete comfort in the old "Buffyverse"; the dialogue is so spot on you will hear the original actor's voices in your head as you read. Sly references to past events abound: Xander, still sporting his eyepatch, fancys himself a Nick Fury-type commander and fills the pages with geeky references, Dawn is suffering some very literal growing pains, Andrew makes us question his sexuality and continues pontificating at length about "Star Wars", etc; hardcore fans will not be let down. Villains with scores to settle return, including at least one you seriously never expected to see again. Each returning character is given the coolest possible introduction to the comic medium and if it possible to cheer while reading a book, you will.

The art is more than a little bit endearing, stylish, and cool. And the covers! Good God, the covers! Each month I spend what seems like minutes on end admiring the jaw-dropping artwork that greets me before I can even turn a single page. I will boldly declare the cover art of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8" to be the best of any comic I've ever seen. Long may it continue.

The story is something much more epic than anyting that could realistically be portrayed on a television budget. The settings are varied and as cool as they come, the battles are large in scale, and the cast is expanded leading the series to become more of an ensemble than ever. Misleads (usually romantic) that make you gasp are dangled in front of your eyes and then expertly diverted in a way that will make you smile about being had. Well done, Mr. Whedon. The creatures are no longer limited to men in costumes and low-budget CG, the demons are large in size, and others are just odd, such as an underground colony of slug monsters and fairies. This adds yet more depth and possiblities to the story.

Issues #1-4 chronicle the actual "Long Way Home" arc, while #5 is an excellent self-contained story about a slayer chosen to serve as one of Buffy's several doubles. It is arguably the strongest issue in spite of the fact that Buffy isn't even in it and the supporting cast only make token appearances. It's a real testament to Joss Wheson's great storytelling skills. And did I forget to mention the excellent humor that peppers each issue? Well, I guess that goes without saying, doesn't it?

Even if you have never read a comic in your life, this is a great time to begin. "Buffy: Season 8" is off to a fantastic start and if you missed
the boat, thank God for trade paperbacks. If you are already a comic fan then you know what the potential here is and you can rest assured that the hype is warranted. Next stop: "Angel: Season 6".
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Have you wondered what Buffy, Willow, Xander and Giles have been up to since Sunnydale imploded? Joss Whedon has the answers. Have you pondered the effect on the world of the sudden existence of countless powerful young women with Slayer powers? Joss knows, and he's willing to share. Has it occurred to you that someone -- or something -- might have survived in the rubble of Sunnydale? You might be surprised by that one.

Did you think it was kind of lame when we learned in "Angel" that Buffy was off bopping in Italy with the powerful Immortal? She wasn't. Whedon handily explains that away -- without messing up the continuity even a bit.

"The Long Way Home" is the first story arc of the new series, and it takes us to the Scottish castle where Buffy hangs her hat as leader of a Slayer commando unit, where Xander acts as a new Watcher and ops coordinator, where Willow takes care of both mystical and technical affairs, and where Dawn -- still kind of whiny, damn it -- parks her very, very, very large sneakers.

Without giving too much away, I'll say that Buffy is hit with a magical assassination attempt and the American military takes an unfriendly view of the Slayer army, which strikes where and when it sees fit without respect to international boundaries. And, to round out the book, there's the very touching and well-imagined stand-alone tale about a very special Slayer with a very unique assignment.

I was pretty sure that nothing would fill the large Buffy-shaped hole in my heart. I'm not sure a new comic series is as good as a new TV series or a string of big-budget films (hint, hint), but it does a far better job than I could have expected. With Joss at the helm, you know the story is good and the specific voices of his beloved characters sound exactly as they should. The art, by Georges Jeanty, falls just short of photorealism; it's beautiful stuff, well drawn and fluid, and the characters are instantly recognizable as the actors who portrayed them.

Buffy the Comic Book has been hit-or-miss over the years. This new incarnation is a bullseye. I can only hope the creative team, led by Whedon, can maintain this outstanding level of quality.

by Tom Knapp, Rambles.(net) editor
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
It's no secret that every Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan on the planet has been missing the snappy brilliance of Joss Whedon's critically acclaimed series, but fear not. Whedon, who has crafted the best X-Men stories in quite some time for Marvel with Astonishing X-Men, returns to his most popular creation with Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight; a canon comic continuation of the series that picks up where the show left off. Buffy is in Scotland training and leading groups of newly cristened Slayers in the battle against evil demons and vamps, but soon finds that a sinister plot is at hand which involves a cult and the government. Soon enough, some surprising old foes re-appear to wreak havoc on Buffy, Xander, Willow, and the rest of the old crew. What makes Long Way Home so good is that Whedon is relishing in crafting a Buffy flavored comic, while he also ties up some loose ends and adds a nice deal of in-jokes to boot. The dialogue is poppy and snappy, the action is fierce, the twists and surprises are great, and by the book's end, you'll be begging for more. The TPB concludes with a stand alone segment entitled "The Chain" (featuring guest art from Paul Lee), in which a newly powered Slayer is given a very special mission. The rest of the artwork by Georges Jeanty and Whedon's Fray inker Andy Owens is great as well, and rounds out this excellent package. Needless to say, The Long Way Home is a must own for any and every Buffy afficiondo, regardless of whether or not you're into comics in the least.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I'm a die-hard Buffy fan. After that very last episode it was so hard to let those characters go because I was so attached to them and to the show. The show is truly, hands-down one of the best television shows ever created. Period.

Then the comics came out. I'd heard of them a long time ago, but I had never picked them up. So recently I bought myself a copy of this very first volume of stories. In my head I was thinking "Ok this is going to be cool. What an innovative way to keep the show running!" So I read through it in a couple of days. And then I read through it again. Something just didn't feel right. In a lot of ways I liken these season eight comics to the season five episode of BTVS where Dawn attempts to bring their mother, Joyce, back to life. Dawn wanted it so bad, like we fans so want there to be another chapter in BTVS. It's selfish so to speak but the need is there. So we push hard enough and long enough until something like these comic books come out. The pieces are all there: Buffy, Willow, Xander, Giles and various other characters from the Buffyverse. But something is definitely amiss. I really dislike the way the characters are portrayed, especially the women. The page of comic art with Willow standing there in the red pants, I mean come on!! You can totally see how over-enhanced her breasts and butt are!! Did anyone ever wear clothes so melted on like that on the show? NO! How about the image where it shows the potential slayers at the slumber party playing games in scantily clad lingerie? Seriously? Even poor Xander had a double take sequence when he began to hint at his own handling of his manly needs, if you catch my drift. Dawn bathing in a pond with nothing to cover her up but a few bubbles? Why did they have to portray that sequence in that situation? I honestly can't think of a single good reason. It's gross to me and it really slaps the show and it's history across the proverbial face.

Overall, the story has a nice quality to it. Some of these ideas I would have loved to have seen played out on my TV screen. But sometimes the writing just didn't seem to be very coherent. Like the writers were pulling a page from the "Lost TV show handbook" about how to confuse their readers. I found myself having to go back and forth a lot and do a lot of rereading, but often times I just could not make sense of certain lines of dialogue or events that played out.

I want more Buffy badly. But these comic books just are not it. They feel very indulgent, almost like they were written not by Joss Whedon but by some oversexed, overzealous comic book nerd who writes those crappy Buffy fan-fics that are all over the net. I can't justify paying any more money in the vain hope that the rest of the book series will be any better, because frankly this first volume is just that bad!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I am an old Buffy fan, but I am new to comic books. So I have a mixed review to offer.

The comic book format is difficult for me to fully appreciate. The artist renderings of the characters is, perhaps, too artistic. I know the characters well from the TV show, but I have trouble recognizing them in the comic book. Until they are identified by name, I am not sure who is who. It's sort of like having new actors play the parts. To make it worse, artists change from issue to issue, so you get used to how a character is drawn and then it changes.

Some of the wit and drama of the TV series is here, and that is why I will probably end up buying all the volumes. But, it's comic book pacing, which is not TV show pacing. It sometimes takes me a couple of read throughs to begin to understand what is happening.

I am new to comic books, and so I will admit that I may not have a proper appreciation for what we have here. I am bit disappointed, in that I don't feel this series captures the "magic" of the TV show. A novel might have been better. Still, this is the only season 8 we've got. So, I'll keep watching/reading with the hope that it will grow on me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I was pleasantly surprised when my comic arrived.
For one, it came packaged in gray, plastic packaging. But in the inside it was taped between 2 pieces of cardboard and sealed in plastic! I was so happy.
One of my main worries was that it would come to me all beat up, but thankfully it got here in perfect condition.
Also, it's thicker than I had thought.
When I hear "Comic" I think, really thin paper, easily tearable. But this has the thickness of a paperback book (maybe even a slightly thicker). And the pages are a little thicker than a magazine, so they won't tear or bend as easy as a regular comic.

The art work is phenomenal, and the layout is, obviously, like a comic book.

I had a really hard time finding a complete, legit list of comics for the Buffy series. So, to save anyone else looking some time, I will post it here (this list does not include the Angel series)

BtVS: Omnibus (Vol. 1-7)
Issue 1 is a rewrite of the original BtVS movie, but with Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy
The other 6 I believe follow the TV series until season 7.

BtVS: Season 8 (Vol. 1-8)

BtVS: Season 9 (Vol. 1-3)

Then there are 2 Spin-offs for Spike and Willow:

Spike: Alone Together Vol. 1
Spike: Stranger Things Vol. 2
Spike: The Complete Series

Willow & Tara: WannaBlessedBe
Willow & Tara: Wilderness

Also there is one BtVS Comic called Fray, which follows the story of a girl named Fray, a slayer in the future.

And lastly there is the BtVS: Tales. This is "Tales of the Slayers" and "Tales of the Vampires" put together in one issue.

These are all the Collected issues. Instead of buying all the different parts separate (for example: The Long Way Home has about 4 parts to it) they are all collected into one volume together.

There is also a collectors book from what I read called BuffyVerse Catalog. It's kind of pricey, but from what I've read it's a "Must-Have" for collectors :)

I apologize for the length of this review, but I figure this will help SOMEONE out lol.

Very excited to collect the rest of the Buffy comics :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon July 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
PJ Fact #24 - I am a Buffy nut. Buffy ran while I was in college and I was entranced with the snarky, pop-culture spouting, insanity of the whole show. I could literally watch rerun after rerun of the show - and for the year of 2005 my television dial never left TNT or TBS (one of those) because of the constant reruns. When I saw they had the Buffy Graphic Novel on netgalley.com I had to download it - even though graphic novels are best viewed on paper. Even with the silly scrolling and hard to read text boxes I still loved this comic!

REVIEW:
The characters looked so similar to the characters of the television show and the quirk and snark of the dialogue was still in full force. This is a must read for Buffy fans!

The comic picks up where Season 7 left off. All the slayers have been activated and Buffy is the general of this rag-tag bunch that has holed up in a castle halfway around the world from Sunnydale (now a crater). It is revealed that there are at least 1800 slayers that have been activated and 500 that are working for the Scooby Gang.

Buffy's gang is thought to be a terrorist organization though, especially after the destruction of Sunnydale, which according to a branch of the US Military is her sole doing. In the rubble, members of this military organization stumble across one of Buffy's old foes, who is determined to enact revenge on Buffy.

Must read for Buffy fans!

While this is going on, Buffy is investigating humans with odd tattoos on their chest and trying to placate her sister who by dating a demon has turned into a giant - all the while going on missions to snuff out demon infestations and training the novice slayers.

It was a great extension of the series, full of complex plot sequences, tremendous artwork and a great script. I can't wait to move on to Vol. 2.

RECOMMENDATIONS:
For fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I don't think I would recommend this to people that are not even slightly familiar with the series. You don't have to previously been into graphic novels...if you like/love/lust/covet Buffy - you MUST check out these comics.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
Looking back at the endings of both the Buffy and Angel TV series, I was satisfied with how Buffy ended and much less satisfied with how Angel ended. I wanted a comic book continuation of Angel, but was wary of opening the Buffy story back up again.

Despite that, I'm giving the Buffy continuation 5 stars over only a 4 star rating for the Angel comic continuation.

The writing on this is top notch, as is the art. Both the writing and, to a slightly lesser extent, the art capture very well the personae we watched grow in the BTVS show.

It seems that most of the negative reviews come from folks who either a) aren't used to the medium of comics or b) are comic aficionados disappointed in the TV/comic hybrid pacing style of this series. This isn't television. This isn't Batman. This is a comic continuation of a television show story and designed to play out as well as the medium allows.

Highly recommended for Buffy fans, but those not used to comics as a medium might have some difficulty adapting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I've been purchasing all the single issues(I'm up to #20)and am getting the trades to keep. This is a good re-introduction to all the characters, though if you're completely new to Buffy, you should familiarize yourself with the main series first. The art isn't bad, and the story made me go out and get the rest of the arc. Personally I think "The Chain" is the best thing here, and the fact that it's a one-shot doesn't hurt either.
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