Read it at last! Here's my review:
Overall: 8 of 10 (more for the potential than for specific action)
S9 #1: Freefall
My title: 'That's the dance of the "Brave Little Toaster"'
- Buffy has a new apartment w/ new roomies, throws a "rager" housewarming party with plenty of friends/police/alcohol; the audience (along w/ Buffy) spend much of the comic in flashback as she tries to remember what she did and who (if anyone) she slept with
- Secondary plot: someone has killed 3 beautiful girls with no apparent injuries, on the streets of San Francisco
- Additional tease: something big, green & deadly (BG&D for short) which has been chained by magic, break lose due to the weakening of magic (undoubtedly Buffy's seed destroying ripple affect) and is off to "kill kill"
- Throw-a-way plot: someone sends a demon to collect Buffy's college loan
Buffy - This is the highlight of the comic for me. Buffy is in a DARK place and trying to gloss it all over. Her hangover line is really telling IMO: "Beside what I'm feeling isn't just pain or even guilt, for five whole minutes. It's dread". I interpret that line that Buffy is in a constant state of pain and guilt over what happened in S8 and now is experiencing dread (as the overpowering feeling) for a five minute breather of her regularly scheduled pain and guilt.
If this is where Joss is going, then I'm on-board. S8 had a great deal of WTF'ery and just moving on with life is not gong to work. In stark contrast is Andrew, who has coped with the massive change by forming a disaster relief organization with the slayers previously under his commend. Andrew (who could be considered a major foot soldier in her war on demons but not the mastermind), is doing something emotionally healthy. He's giving the slayer's a positive purpose. Buffy is slinging coffee and back to solo hunting.
Xander - This is more of a mystery but I'm going to ignore the sexual red herrings (IMO) and say Xander is ALSO going thru something depressing and doesn't want Dawn to know. He's obviously tipped his hand to Buffy but is all avoidy. I'm going to go out on a limb and hazard a guess that Xander misses the hero life. He was the one to say "let's be normal" and perhaps he's unwilling to let his disillusionment of what being "normal" means to him impact Dawn. He and Buffy are both very Dawn protective and it wouldn't surprise me that this shared secret is nothing more than him realizing being a carpenter and nothing more is not enough. Now the vagueness of the Buffy/Xander scenes are enough to let the plot go in many directions but that's where my head is at.
Willow - Y-y-ouch. Dating another anti-Tara. This woman is as far away from Earth Mother as possible. Willow appears to have a job but she's not coping well either. And she can't get off the "Buffy you screwed up by destroying the seed" argument.
Others: Riley is a voice of reason when he says: "Buffy, you can stop convincing yourself things are better now." and offers his support for the big choice she made "people were dying, I was nearly one of them". I think the psych major is seeing things pretty clearly and he also is dealing better than Buffy with his new terrorist mission. Spike is just hanging around IMO waiting to catch Buffy when she finally falls down. The roomies are cool (as someone said, they look like Red Shirts* because we learned their names and they are likeable).
- Loved the Jo Chen cover, loved the attention to details in the party scenes (very madcap, very choc-full of little treasures).
- Disliked many of the main character drawings. Many panels are just okay, some are truly awful (ex: Willow showing up with her date does NOT look like Willow very much)
- I'm on-board for this not-really-a-comedy comic as the set-up for S9. I'm hoping all three: Buffy/Xander/Willow get some quality time devoted to healing what is ailing them. The Scoobies are a bit on the ropes right now IMO. I'm feeling "The Yoko Factor" fight is going to be tame compared to what will eventually spew forth. They are IMO in a lot of pain and trying to deal but not very well. I read in another review that reading this comic was like listening to Buffy's inner thoughts and that's why it was so chaotic. I like that notion.
- Did Buffy sleep with someone? Mmmm, maybe that guy Henreich in 2D. She's definitely into self-destructive these days.
- Who's killing the girls on the street: I'm guessing one of two or three big-bads this season
- Pink Mohawk is gunning for Buffy, I anticipate a Riley/Buffy takedown
- BG&D looks like another pile 'o guilt for the Slayer to deal with
- What's Xander sad about - my theory in "Character"
Best Funny Line: "But I got dressed and I walked far and I opened the whole door"
Coolest effect: Washed out hangover-Buffy w/ party-Buffy in bright colors
Bottom line: It's definitely denial time in San Francisco. I hope the payoff happens and we get to hear what the Scoobies are actually feeling and see some healing start to go on. Joss left the world, and the Scoobs, in a real mess. I'm looking forward to cleanup.
*Red Shirt: gratuitous Star Trek reference, they'll be around for a while but they are doomed to die in Jossian fashion (because they are nice and we like them).
Edited by SueB, Sep 24, 2011 @ 4:51 PM.