‘Buffy’ flashback: Season 8, Issues 1-10 (2007-08) (Comic book reviews)

A few years after “Buffy” went off the air, fans got the exciting news that the story would continue in comics, with Joss Whedon overseeing the project. Dark Horse even labels Whedon the “executive producer,” to provide a sense that this is another season of “Buffy,” in a different medium. Most comics prior to this became non-canon (with some exceptions, such as “Fray”), but while all Dark Horse comics from this point forward are canon (the situation with IDW’s “Angel” and “Spike” is more confusing), are they any good? Let’s begin our revisiting of the post-TV era of “Buffy,” which would eventually expand all the way to Season 12:

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The new ‘Buffy’ series: A spinoff would be awesome, a remake would be awful (TV commentary)

Fox 21 announced Friday that a new “Buffy” TV series is in the works, with most media using the term “reboot.” This usually means “remake” or “re-imagining,” and that’s how most fans took it. Ninety percent of comment threads and tweets were therefore negative about the announcement. Some fans took “reboot” to mean “spinoff” or “sequel,” and those people were much more positive about the news.

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‘Buffy’ flashback: ‘Tales of the Vampires’ (2003-04) and ‘Angels We Have Seen on High’ (2002) (Comic book reviews)

 

Often when a comic book series ends, that final issue will sit in its slot on the racks for a long time afterward, since there is no next issue to replace it. My enduring memory of “Tales of the Vampires” (December 2003-April 2004) is seeing Issue 5 on the rack for a year or so. It was the last issue of Dark Horse’s original “Buffy” run, leaving a three-year gap before Season 8 began in 2007. (It wasn’t a total dark age: There were “Buffy” novels throughout this time, and IDW’s “Angel” comics started in 2005.)

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‘Buffy’ flashback: ‘Tales of the Slayers’ (2001-02) (Comic book reviews)

The “Tales of the Slayers” comics – a trade paperback in November 2001 and the “Broken Bottle of Djinn” one-shot in October 2002 – are primarily written by “Buffy” and “Angel” TV writers, which creates a high expectation level. These nine stories are fun, easy reads, but not as deep or substantial as one might hope for.

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‘Angel’ flashback: ‘Long Night’s Journey’ (2001-02) (Comic book review)

Under the suggestion of Joss Whedon, Dark Horse shut down its “Angel” series in April 2001, then relaunched it a few months later with the four-issue “Long Night’s Journey” (September 2001-May 2002), which presumably was to be the start of another long-running volume but turned out to be one-series-and-done.

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‘Buffy’ flashback: ‘Fray’ (2001-03) (Comic book review)

While most of the Dark Horse “Buffy” comics released during the show’s TV run are considered non- or quasi-canonical – and are rarely talked about by fans — a glowing exception is the eight-issue “Fray” (June 2001-July 2003). Written by Joss Whedon when he had free moments while overseeing three TV shows, it’s the complete origin story of Melaka Fray, a Slayer called to duty in the 23rd century, long after Slayers and magic have been forgotten by the populace. Demons and vampires – called “lurks” – can be found in the slums, but no one knows their historical significance.

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An outsider’s take on the Marvel Cinematic Universe: ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ (2015) (Movie review)

This blog series chronicles my first viewing of the complete MCU movie saga. I’ll examine each film under various categories that reflect popular discussion points. Next up is the 11th film, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015):

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Snyder-Whedon mash-up ‘Justice League’ has no surprises, but works as a theme park ride (Movie review)

Comic book writers love their heroes, and are less likely to give love and attention to their villains. That’s human nature, I suppose, but boy does it hurt modern superhero movies. “Justice League” (2017), now available for home viewing, is the latest film to suffer from a bland, predictable villain, and it keeps a fun blockbuster from becoming something substantial. Steppenwolf – no, not that Steppenwolf – wants to destroy the world because, as a Geico commercial would say, “If you’re a supervillain, it’s what you do.”

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