It’s easy to criticize other people’s work. Hell, it’s a lot more simple than praising it sometimes, but in the case of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER SEASON EIGHT I really had to struggle to come up with a legitimate list of ten things that could have either been handled better, or been left out of the forty issue story arc all together (CLICK HERE to read our Top 10 Good Things about BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER – SEASON 8).
SEASON EIGHT was an enjoyable return of much loved characters both heroes and villains, and it was nice to see the Scooby Gang back in action. And let’s face it; nothing is ever going to be perfect. You can’t please all of the people all of time. So here are the few exceptions to an otherwise completely enjoyable ride. SEASON EIGHT was a pretty solid season as far as BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER goes, and I for one, can’t wait for SEASON NINE.
So read the list with a grain of salt. These are my humble opinions, and by no means does that make them 100% right. Hopefully some of you out there will agree with me, and hopefully some will disagree…that’s what makes the world go round.
Remember a wise man once said, “Yes, it’s terribly simple. The good guys are always stalwart and true, the bad guys are easily distinguished by their pointy horns or black hats, and, uh, we always defeat them and save the day. No one ever dies, and everybody lives happily ever after.”
1. The Death of Giles
Why did this even need to happen? Having Angel snap Giles neck was gratuitous and sloppy story writing, and it just seemed to be there for the single panel shock effect. The death benefited not one single character, and the issue after it only had a tiny bit of resolution with the reading of the will and Faith becoming his sole heir. WASTE OF A GREAT CHARACTER.
2. The Return of Warren (sans skin)
Warren was always a weasel of a person, whether he was building sex bots or waving a gun and killing innocent lesbian Wicca – he was always a bad guy. Willow did the world a favor by killing him off, so I hate the 11th hour crap of “he was magically whisked away seconds before his death.” He didn’t add hardly anything to the Season Eight plot – he just was gross wandering around without skin. Plus having Warren alive negates all of his appearances from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER season seven –i.e.- the First can’t take the form of anybody who hasn’t died.
3. The MANY Transformations of Dawn
Dawn. Scrappy-Doo. Never has been a character I liked, or probably ever will like. So to take her through a ridiculous series of transformations from giant to centaur to doll was just pointless. It seemed like a great story idea that never quite got where it was going, and so ended up being a kitsch sub-plot that took time from the more important main stories. Mecha- Dawn was fun, but basically this was a failed attempt to make a boring character more interesting.
4. Angel is Twilight
I had this figured out from the first issue where they had a panel of Twilight’s coat and shoes. For some reason I just figured it must be Angel. Having said that, it was a bleh plot ‘twist’ and didn’t fit with anything IDW was doing with the character in his own book. They are going to streamline everything together this year to make sense, but at the time it was extremely confusing. Plus, is there a token booth to possess Angel? Seems to happen an awful lot.
5. Spike in a Spaceship full of Big Bugs
I don’t even know where to begin with this one, other than it will tie into the IDW Spike comic. Again, at the time of publication, just very strange and made no sense.
6. Dawn and Xander Together Forever
Ummm anyone else get a creepy PEDO vibe from this one? She’s quite a bit younger, and he helped raise her and babysat her. All of his ‘memories’ of the early days of Dawn would be from her pre-teen years. This was just a disturbing plot that I can’t reconcile. It’s too weird and a little too Celine Dion for me.
7. Not Bringing Back Tara
So Willow and Tara were always meant to be. The decision to kill her was one of the WORST points in BUFFY history, and on many surveys it is considered the point when the series ‘jumped the shark.’ With all of the magic and hoo ha of SEASON EIGHT, there isn’t any reason (scheduling conflicts etc. to take into account when working with actors) to have not brought her back. Plus Amber Benson, the uber-talented actress that portrayed Tara could write the issues and make it a HUGE event for Dark Horse! Plus Willow realized Tara is the ONLY one for her at the end of SEASON EIGHT, so bring her back for SEASON NINE.
8. The Whole Tibet Adventure
Buffy, the Slayer Army, Oz (peaceful and with wife and kid), Eastern Mystic gods, and an army of Twilight soldiers. This storyline not only got out of hand, it blew the roof of ridiculous plots and had giant omnipotent Hindu Gods duking it out with the Slayers and the army. The intense emotional connection of a Willow and Oz reunion took the back burner to this out of control storyline.
9. Buffy and Angel Shag in Space
So the whole super Buffy and Twilight thing was confusing and a mess all on it’s own without adding in the levels of oddness of Buffy and Angel shagging each other silly in outer space and creating a whole new reality. This also spawned a griffin of some kind which refers to them as father and mother, and just generally everything from there got wacky and out of hand leading to the unwarranted death of Giles.
10. A Drawn Out Printing Schedule
I have no idea if the writers were to blame or Dark Horse, or what, but this single 40 issue arc took forever to complete. There were ridiculous gaps in the printing run and some of those were filled with OK one-shots that tied into the main story. The problem with comics is that most comic book readers don’t have the patience to wait for months and months for the next issue of a book to come out. This is something Joss Whedon had problems with on his ASTONISHING X-MEN run as well. The only request for SEASON NINE is to get the books out on time kids!
AGREE? DISAGREE? LET US KNOW WHAT YOU DIDN’T LIKE ABOUT THE BUFFY SEASON 8 COMICS
CLICK HERE for the article – 5 THINGS WE’RE NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO WITH THE BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER movie reboot
CLICK HERE for a review of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER – SEASON 8 motion comics DVD
CLICK HERE for more exclusive ASSIGNMENT X interviews, news and more from the Joss Whedon universe