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Buffy – Season 8: The Chain

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

I’m two weeks late yet again on my review — sorry, I’m going to make more of an effort to be on time for now on.

Fortunately (well, more like unfortunately, really), I haven’t been missing much. Yes, about all I can say after reading issue #5 is:

Menh.

I’m not really sure why Joss wrote this issue (it wasn’t in the original planning, as far as I’m aware). Maybe he realized that in the long run he didn’t need two Buffy doubles and so decided to kill one off. Maybe he felt he had to delve back into the basic mythos story a little bit for anyone new to the Buffyverse who might be hopping aboard at this point (although I can’t imagine there are too many people who would pick up something titled ‘Season 8’ without knowing what the hell happened in seasons 1 – 7). So what we end up with is another Bad Eggs or Beer Bad — almost casual, throw-away episodes which are more silly than anything, which give you a chuckle, but then you move on to the really good stuff.

Except The Chain isn’t even funny. It’s just pretty dull. And it involves a character we’ve never met before, will never meet again, and don’t even know the name of — hence, what makes us care about her? It actually reminds me a lot of the ‘Stacy’ story from Tales of the Vampires, except the opposite obviously, as Stacy was a vampire. But they both play out pretty much the same: young girl whom nobody understands — you know, typical teenage angsty things — who suddenly finds a group of people she can finally connect with — be they Slayerettes or vampires — and she finds her role in life (or unlife, as it were). It’s a recycled story, which is not something I expect from Whedon, which is why I’m a lot harder on him for these sorts of things then I would be a lesser writer.

Are all these new things he introduces — the ‘Under-community’ and its various tribes, a demon-horde possibly rising up from beneath, this strange woman traveling around with Giles who seems to have quite a bit of authority — going to recur or are they just throw-aways for this issue? Because now we have a big Faith arc coming up which I can’t see being very connected to this story (unless it is — again, I don’t like to read the spoilers about upcoming storylines).

I understand the necessity to take breaks from the main plot every once in a while, but when it happens I want it to be either funny or relevant, not rehash. Also, I’m going to be picky and complain about the art. The regular artist, Georges Jeanty, was on break for this issue and his fill-in Paul Lee is just not up to snuff. Everything is very flat, from the detailing to the colour. Needless to say, I can’t wait for No Future For You so the series can get back on the role it started with. 8yffub03971semaj

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Sunday, September 5, 2010 10:58 pm

    I realize now this issue was inspired by the death of one of Joss’s friends, so, it makes more sense now.

    Why it took me three years to realize it is another question.

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