Review: Buffy Season 9 Freefall
But a lot of people myself among them didn’t care. We kept reading through GIANT Dawn and Nic Furry Xander(how god damn ironic is that) and hundreds of slayers and maybe we cared about the continuity error but we kept reading anyway. I never finished season 8 because I just didn’t care – it was trying to be something that it wasn’t.
I’m glad to say that so far Season 9(or at least this trade) is an improvement. It’s still not the show. No, I don’t think the comics will ever capture the show completely, how could it, but the writing feels more true to what made Buffy great.
Like I said I never finished season 8, but you can pick up the important bits as you read and not be too confused. Basically in order to save the world Buffy destroyed this seed and upon doing so magic went poof! Oh and everyone knows about vampires and slayers(of which there are still a bunch? Not really clear). And Giles is dead 😦 .
Freefall starts with Buffy trying to remember what happened at a party she hosted the night before. The four part series tracks Buffy throwing said party and recovering while trying to figure out what she wants with her life.
Willow’s relationship with Buffy is strained after her magic goes bye bye, and she’s not the only one who is angry. Meanwhile vampires are being un-vampirified(dying without dusting). The cops blame it on Buffy leaving her to avoid the cops while solving the mystery herself.
After the main storyline there is a bonus comic about Spike flying around in a bug driven spaceship. It’s weird as ballz.
The art isn’t perfect, but it captures the characters in broad strokes. There is one character who I could never figure out. I don’t know if it was some character introduced in season 8 or not.
The nice thing about Season 9 is that the story gets back to Buffy basics. How does this girl make her way in the world? and let’s throw in some new monsters too. It works for me.
The dialogue is perhaps the greatest triumph of the book. It reads almost all of the time in such a way that you can hear the actors reading the lines in your head.
Also despite the large gap between the show and the comics, they manage to feel like no time passed in between. And although it is weird that Buffy and crew haven’t aged, but instead have just been placed into the current day it never took me out of the story. And I believe it is necessary, because what is Buffy without it’s timely jabs at pop culture. There are a myriad of references to old episodes too, some of which are pretty obscure, and they are a joy to read.
The comic will never be the show. It’s no surprise that the best Buffyverse comics are not ones directly about the show(e.g. Tales of the Slayers, Fray). But season 9 comes just as close to the feel of the source material as any adaptation comic around. And if nothing else it is a delight to be back in Buffy’s sometimes alarmingly normal life again.