When Spike and Willow duck out of the main “Buffy” Season 9 series, their solo adventures are told in a pair of five-issue miniseries, with Spike brooding over his purpose in life without Buffy, and Willow seeking a way to regain some of her magic powers.
In retrospect, I was destined to be a huge “Daredevil” fan before finally getting around to watching Season 1 (2015, Netflix) of this Marvel Cinematic Universe series. Frank Miller’s 1980s comics that redefined Daredevil into a grim vigilante heavily influenced Eastman & Laird’s invention of one of my favorite comics: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” Splinter comes from Stick, the Foot comes from the Hand, and the same ooze that gives Daredevil his heightened senses mutates the Turtles.
This question has been creeping into the back of my mind throughout the “Buffy” franchise’s three seasons of official continuations from Dark Horse Comics, but it’s especially evident now, early in Season 10 of “Buffy” and “Angel & Faith”: Are these titles running out of good ideas?
For the first time in a decade, two “Buffy” series are simultaneously building toward a seasonal conclusion. Back in 2003, TV’s “Buffy” and “Angel” were in the midst of Seasons 7 and 4, respectively. Now, Dark Horse Comics’ “Angel & Faith” and “Buffy” are working toward their Season 9 conclusions — the final installments of those 25-issue series are slated for August and September, respectively.
There are no spinoff TV series, movies or books, but almost nine years after “Angel” aired its final episode, the Buffyverse is thriving in comics. In fact, there are currently four titles going under the Season 9 banner: The regular titles “Buffy” and “Angel & Faith,” plus the miniseries “Spike: A Dark Place” and “Willow: Wonderland.”
Since the beginning of “Buffy,” I’ve found myself liking the characters more and more and the world they live in — the “mythology,” in geek-speak — less and less. (I’m talking in generalities; obviously, Angel’s backstory in Season 2 was a great addition to the mythology, for example.) It puts me in a weird position going into Season 9 of “Buffy” (and the corresponding “Angel & Faith”) from Dark Horse Comics, because with the whole world knowing about vampires and demons and Slayers, it doesn’t feel like those wonderful early days. But on the other hand, I love me some “Buffy” characters like never before.