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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 #6: No Future For You Part One (Dark Horse Comics) Comics – 2007
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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The second arc of the bestselling Season Eight starts here. Top creator Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man; Pride of Baghdad; Lost) takes over writing duties and dives headlong into what Faith is up to-infiltration, assassination, and nonstop Cleveland. The fugitive Slayer is given the assignment that could change her life . . . if Giles's specialized training doesn't make her want to end it first. Artist Georges Jeanty (The American Way) remains at the top of his game-and Joss Whedon stays on as Executive Producer-in this first part of "No Future for You." Buffy creator Joss Whedon brings Buffy back to Dark Horse in this direct follow-up to season seven of the smash-hit TV series.
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There has never been a Faith-centric episode before in either "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" or "Angel." I hear the gasps now. "What about Revelations, Bad Girls, Sanctuary, Orpheus, Who Are You, or Dirty Girls?" I see your point, guys. Faith was a major character in those. But those episodes aren't Faith-centric the way that 'The Zeppo' is Xander-centric, and 'Real Me' is Dawn-centric. See, in those Faithy episodes, we mostly just see Faith through other people's eyes. 'Who Are You?' is the exception to that, but even in that episode, we just see Faith simultaneously trying mess up/live Buffy's life. But here, we get a full on Faith-centric story, with the Bad Girl herself as the main character. That went on a little longer than I thought it would, for the record.
About the comic. It's, as they say, gold. The story was told perfectly, without the sometimes confusing transitions that made up "The Chain" and were sometimes present in "The Long Way Home." Each scene is given ample time to play out, and--instead of huge, swooping revelations and the return of old characters aplenty--what Vaughan concentrates on here is the subtle way each character's personalities reveal themselves when said characters talk to each other. The best examples of this are the Faith/Giles scenes in this issue: In a few short pages, so much seems to happen between these two characters. He gives her a mission (introducing the main plot of this arc), he trains her (and he SPOILER: gets stabbed by her with a SPOILER: fork), and the two of these characters connect and relate to each other in a way that they never have on the actual show.
The Buffy/Xander scene is interesting, but doesn't reveal much. It's funny, because I--and many other Season Eight readers--were under the impression that black borders on a page mean that it's a dream sequence. However, the Buffy and Xander conversation, black borders and all, seems utterly real. There was no indication whatsoever that the conversation was part of a dream; my only guess is that it was black-bordered because, perhaps, Buffy talks to Xander about dreams that she HAS been having, but other than than, I'm coming up with nothing.
Reading this felt like watching an episode of Buffy. The art was atmospheric and spot-on. The panelling of the issue was interesting, and really different than that of Issues 1-5. And different is always intriguing. There was more use of the empty white space in some pages, and I liked that. The scene with Lady Genevieve is particularly beautiful, and it makes me realize how much I missed Georges' art. About what I mentioned before though. Giles' shirt. It's just.... no. Really, really no. Please, never again Georges.
Now, this is usually where I start to get into the downside of the comic, but turns out that there really isn't any. All I have as of complaints is something about Giles' attire that I'll bring up in the ART section, but everything else here seems perfectly fine. Vaughan's writing is perfect in capturing the characters, and he clearly is a great comic-script writer. If I were to say anything I didn't like about this issue, it wouldn't be part of the story. It's actually something that I read in the "Slay the Critics" section. Someone wrote in to ask the question many of have been debating on since the release of Issue #3. "If Warren didn't die, how could The First Evil take on his form in Season Seven." Joss himself actually stopped in to answer that question. His answer is, and I quote, "He was legally dead for like a second. Amy didn't tell him 'cause she didn't want to upset him. I forgot, okay?!" One thing I've always admired about Joss Whedon is the attention that he gives to continuity, and I admit that it's very big of him to admit his error. However, I think he could've explained it away much better and made the fans much happier than the way he answered it. Warren very plainly tells Willow in Issue #4 that her "Bored now" were the last words he heard of his human life. Well then. Joss simply could've said that the fact that Amy's magic--not at all a human, or living, function--was sustaining Warren, and that he--like a vampire--was to be considered UNDEAD. That would allow for him to be the walking, talking thinger that he is AND for The First to appear as him. But oh well. There's our answer.
Oh, by the way, that in no way is meant to be an insult to Joss. I love the guy. Hell, I'm known for putting the smack down on anyone who disses him. I just kinda felt we deserved a better explanation than that, is all.
But, about the actual comic itself, it's great. Really great. Up until today, "The Long Way Home part 3" was my favorite issue of the series. Well, it's just moved to second place, because "No Future For You part I" rocks out with its youknowwhat out.
One episode of ANGEL explored the new world in which there are many slayers. In that episode Angel had to go up against a slayer who was insane. In this new episode Giles recruits Faith to go up against a slayer who is apparently evil. Frankly, I expect a twist of some sort, but at this point the slayer, an aristocratic young lady in Great Britain, clearly is serving the interests of a warlock. Why we don't know but Faith has been commissioned with the job of killing her.
I really liked this episode a lot. I loved the first five issues, but if I had a complaint with them it was that they tried to work too many familiar characters into them. The stories had, I felt, a bit too much content for the number of pages allotted. But here there was a near perfect balance between story and content.
This issue was written by Brian K. Vaughan, which is interesting for a host of reasons. One of the most gifted comic writers around, one of Vaughan's greatest creations was The Runaways, which he did for Marvel. Anyone familiar with BUFFY could have guessed that the TV series was the major influence on The Runaways, something that Vaughan has confirmed in interviews. So it seemed appropriate that when Vaughan ended his work on the comic that Joss Whedon would take over. And now Vaughan has come over to write this new Faith arc for Whedon. They have formed a wonderful mutual admiration society and should -- please dear God bring this about -- Whedon tire of comics and finally get back to television as he ought, I'm certain that Vaughan might get an opportunity to write for a new medium. The great news is that so far both Vaughan and Whedon are doing a wonderful job of honoring and carrying on each other's creations.
In short, this continues to be a remarkably good series. And as a huge fan of BUFFY I continue to find this new season of my all time favorite show (along with BATTLESTAR GALACTICA) to be enormously satisfying.