cover image Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, Vol. 1: The Long Way Home

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, Vol. 1: The Long Way Home

Joss Whedon, . . Dark Horse, $18.95 (136pp) ISBN 978-1-59307-822-5

The newest incarnation of the Buffy comic, written by series creator Whedon, is effectively the new season of the TV series. It plunges right into the show's dense cosmology and doesn't bother to explain anything to neophytes. Regulars will love it, however. “The Long Way Home” establishes the season 8 status quo: demon-killing heroine Buffy Summers is now commanding an army of hundreds of Slayers (and her little sister, Dawn, has been turned into a giant by Whedon's favorite transformative force, sex). Still, there's some creepy unfinished business from the TV show to deal with, and the U.S. Army is coming after her, too. A shorter story, “The Chain,” concerns the bittersweet, truncated life of a Buffy look-alike sent underground as a decoy for the forces of evil. Jeanty, Owens and Lee's artwork, understandably, is in a very straightforward mainstream-comics style—the characters look as much as possible like the TV actors—although they manage a few interpretive flourishes, like a Cubist witch seen by one character in a fantasy sequence. The real draw, of course, is Whedon's writing. His dialogue is as snappy as ever, and his plots are hypercompressed and telegraphic. (Nov.)