Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home

Reviewed: August 28, 2008
By: story by Joss Whedon / art by Georges Jeanty, Andy Owens & Dave Stewart
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
134 pages, $15.95

Seven - well, six and half, really - seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer brought the tale of Sunnydale and its strange inhabitants to end. Indeed, it brought Sunnydale to an end as well as the iron clad ruler that said there could only be one vampire slayer in the world at any one time. Buffy and the Scoobie gang broke that charm to bits, and every potential slayer in the world suddenly became one. End of series.

Not quite. Whedon has a way of doing that. They cancelled Firefly, but when DVD sales proved hat to have been a corporate error Whedon made a movie called Serenity to tie of most of the loose plot threads.

Buffy ended, so Whedon went to Dark Horse Comics and proposed that he do season eight for them. There are advantages to the graphic arts medium. Your special effects don’t cost any more than an indoor living room set for instance, and the actors only age as much as you want them to.

In the first five books of season eight, collected here, we find out there ar at least 1800 slayers i the world now, and that a certain segment of the US military is very nervous about that, so much so that they are willing to make a deal with two of the only survivors of the hole that ate Sunnydale to kill Buffy and help them dismantle her squads.

Buffy and some of the scoobies are in Scotland fighting monsters and trying to figure out why Dawn has shot up to three times normal size when the attack comes. Ultimately it’s all a ruse to draw Buffy back to a new secret military base where they think they will be able to handle here, Obviously they missed what happened to the Initiative in season four.

The book is good fun and feels pretty much like the show. So far there have been 10 issues published and the mystical part of the story arc is beginning to take shape, but how long Whedon will take to develop the whole plot is anyone’s guess. A TV season was 22 shows, wo perhaps that will be the number of issues.