The unpredictable has grown predictable.
Not that this issue isn't entertaining and likely satisfying
for hard-core Buffites, but plot twists and supposed sudden
revelations have a tired feeling. Of course, after years
of a show that consistently defied expectations in its storytelling,
it's only natural that we'd start being able to make some
calls. If you're unconventional, eventually it becomes conventional.
Focusing on the Demon Axe, which actually
first appeared in the far future of Joss Whedon's Fray
before entering near the end of Season 7 on television,
the story pits Buffy and her team against a group of Japanese
vampires determined to do something dire with the mystic
weapon. While that's not predictable, particularly, writer
Drew Goddard hasn't really done anything with the change
of culture. Once they power up, all vampires look alike,
and only the kindergoth attire and the stolen power to become
mist set them apart.
Yes, even that unique power isn't.
It was stolen from Dracula, who has temporarily allied himself
with the Slayers to get revenge. He's an arrogant and vaguely
fey character injecting new life into the mix, alternately
dismissing and loving Xander as his confidante. Meanwhile,
Xander has devolved into being little more than a Woody
For just an instant, the plot turns in
the climax of this issue moved me, but more out of reflex
than genuine connection. Finally, the team makes use of
Dawn's giant status - a bit made clear on the cover of the
book, so that's no spoiler. And that's fun, no question
But haven't we kind of gotten used to Buffy
the Vampire Slayer having some depth, some truly affecting
shocks, some subtext? Now that the newness of having "the
8th season" has worn off, shouldn't this book really be
more like what made the television series great, not just
good, instead of merely wallowing in being able to show
special effects television couldn't afford?
I'm in it for the long haul, because it's fun. It's just
not inspiring me right now.