Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 8 volume 1 The Long way Home
Official Synopsis: Since the destruction of the Hellmouth, the Slayers-newly legion-have gotten organized and are kicking some serious undead butt. But not everything's fun and firearms, as an old enemy reappears and Dawn experiences some serious growing pains. Meanwhile, one of the "Buffy" decoy slayers is going through major pain of her own.
I used to be a big fan of Buffy back in the day. I even enjoyed up to about season 5 of the television series, and then I just lost interest, so it took a lot for me to pick up a comic based on this world and based on this world three seasons ahead of anything I might have remembered. So here are a few things I learned from this comic. One, a whole helluva lot has gone on in the last three seasons. Willow has disappeared, there is an army of slayers being trained for an end all type fight, and Giles is no longer watching buffy. These are not spoilers as you will find them out from the comic if you didn't already know it from the previous season of comics.
So fast forward to this story. The Long way Home. Visually it was a complete joy,The characters are very much the same from the television series I think partially because Joss Wheadon also produced the comic. The characters that we all know and love are back though some have taken on a different look. If you were a fan of the television series you will have no trouble picking out the main characters. The enemies or baddies in this book are so much more terrifying and well bad a$$ then the tv series could ever portray. The Demons and undead creatures just accentuate how powerful Buffy and her ilk can be. It makes you appreciate more when Buffy takes down 3 demons in one fell swoop when the images show these towering behemoths with razor sharp teeth and horns and claws all bent on her destruction. But this is just the start of the comic and the tip of the iceberg. the only problem I found with the artwork wasw durring a few of the scenes where buffy seemed excited or agitated and the artist's rendition of her eyes made her seem too comical in an anime sort of way and took away from the human realism shown in the rest of the comic.
Storywise I think its important to say it was easy to pick back up where I left off. If you have never seen or read a Buffy book or show you will not be completely lost although having a basic background of who the characters are and what has happened in the world deffinitely makes the plot more enjoyable. There is a great story to be had and its easy to get wrapped up in it. AN old friend makes a new enemy, a government conspiracy pulls in a magical character to helptake down the slayer. The slayer dies and a new one emerges... or does she? Willow resurfaces after being MIA for the last year and confronts the magical enemy only to fall victim to a trap used to try and destroy the slayer. Buffy falls prey to a trap of her own that puts her in a magical coma that only true loves kiss can wake her from, meanwhile an army of undead have just broken through the castles defenses and the rest of the slayer army is called into battle. Can Buffy awaken to help take down the undead army and save Willow from the mad man about to carve her up like a christmas ham? The story delves deeper into the background of the slayer chain and the road seems to bring the gang back to Sunnydale but things are far from the same.
Things that worked for me: I really enjoyed the familiar characters, the visually refreshing similarities from the book and the tv show as well as the same witty banter between the two made me remember what I liked about the series to begin with. Major boss fight scenes and awesome magic really pack a punch that left me wanting more.
Things that Didn't work for me: As much as they tried to info dump the past there was just too much that went on in previous installments for me to feel truly in the know on what was going on. I got the basic jist of the story but was still left scratching my head on more than one occasion, that said they did flow between characters rather well.
Overall Rating: Buffy the Vampire slayer Season 8 Volume 1 the Long Way Home was a wonderful read. The images and plotline drew me into a world I was once familiar with and put my beloved characters through an intriguing story that had me wanting more. Buffy fights her inner demons as well as her outer demons in a world where shes not sure who is real and who to trust. When everyone seems to want you dead and you get accused of trying to destroy the entire human race whats a girl to do? Kick butt and do it with style, and Buffy does just that. Loveable characters and entertaining dialog create a bond of friendship that is tangible and enjoyable and makes you care for the outcome of these friends. If you have never read a buffy story this is as good a place as any to start but once you read the Long Way Home I'm sure you will want to start at the beginning and soak up the world and lore that brings you to this point in time of the series. Joss does a great job of bringing his characters back to life on paper as he did with the television series. I would rate this story a 4 out of 5 stars. I loved it plain and simple. The only reason it didn't receive 5 stars is the fact that a new reader would become lost and not be able to appreciate the comic fully.