Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight
Infobox comic book title
title = Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight
caption= Trade paperback cover of "Buffy: The Long Way Home". Art by
schedule = Monthly
Dark Horse Comics
issues = 18 (40 planned)
Joss Whedon Brian K. Vaughan Drew Goddard
colorists = Dave Stewart
sort=Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight
TPB=The Long Way Home
TPB1=No Future for You
TPB2=Wolves at the Gate
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight" is a
comic bookseries published by Dark Horse Comics. The series serves as a canonical continuation of the television series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", and follows the events of that show's final televised season.cite news | author=Jennifer Vineyard | url=http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1551286/20070131/index.jhtml | title=Re-Buffed: New Comic Book Series Resurrects Vampire Slayer | publisher= MTV| date= 2007-02-01| accessdate=2007-02-15] It is produced by Joss Whedon, who wrote the first arc, "The Long Way Home".cite news | author=Rickey A. Purdin | url=http://www.wizarduniverse.com/magazine/wizard/002837101.cfm | title=Buffy Season 8 | publisher=Wizard Entertainment | date= 2006-12-20| accessdate=2007-02-15] The first issue was released on March 14, 2007.cite news | url=http://www.darkhorse.com/profile/preview.php?theid=14-111 | title=Dark Horse Comics > Preview > Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1 | publisher=Dark Horse Comics | accessdate=2007-02-28]
The series was originally supposed to consist of about 25 issues [ [http://www.darkhorse.com/news/interviews.php?id=1421 News > Interviews > Interview with Buffy creator Joss Whedon 3/26/07] ] , but series editor Scott Allie stated that they were already "up to about 50, could go a little higher",cite news | url=http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=106241 | title=Scott Allie discusses Buffy #1 and the future of Season 8] [cite news |last=Gustines |first=George |url=http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/26/arts/television/26coun.html|title=Adopting the Hollywood Model for Comic Books, Producers and All |publisher="
The New York Times" |date=2007-05-26 |accessdate=2007-05-27] before it was finally decided that the series would have a 40-issue run. At present, some plans for a spin-off limited seriesare in discussion [ [http://www.stakesandsalvation.com/2007/05/interview-with-scott-allie.html Interview with Scott Allie] , "Stakes and Salvation", Scott Allie. May 16, 2007.] where side-stories too far outside of "Season Eights narrative would be played out. The success of the series prompted IDW Publishingand Joss Whedon to announce a concurring continuation of the "Angel" television series, entitled '.cite web |url= http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=122899 |title= SDCC '07: Brian Lynch on "Angel: After the Fall |accessdate=2007-07-30 |format= |publisher= Newsarama.com ]
The story takes place "at least a year and a half" after the events of "Chosen",cite news | author=Edward Gross | url=http://www.geekmonthly.com/features/2007/02/07/joss-whedon-hearing-voices/ | title=Joss Whedon - Season Eight: Part 2 | publisher=GeekMonthly.com | date=
2007-02-07| accessdate=2007-02-15] placing it at its earliest in the latter half of 2004 and after the events of "Not Fade Away". Buffy and Xander now lead command-central, which is situated at a citadel in Scotland. At their disposal are a wide array of psychics, seers, witches, and Slayers, along with a vast amount of technology. There are 1,800 Slayers worldwide according to Buffy, almost 500 of whom are working with the Scoobies, separated into 10 squads. Squads include Andrew's in Southern Italy, Giles' in England, Vi's in New York, Robin's in Cleveland, Ohioand another led by Rona in another U.S. state. For Buffy's protection and because her name is feared worldwide, two decoys are put in place: one partying in Romeand one on a mission in demonic underground caverns.
In the wake of
Sunnydale's destruction, elements within the U.S. government view them as an army akin to terrorist cells and characterize Buffy as a "charismatic, uncompromising and completely destructive" leader. General Voll, a member of a mystically aware Initiative-like government project, describes fear of their resources, power, and ideology. The government has teamed with Sunnydale survivor/powerful witch Amy Madisonand Season 6 villain Warren Mears. Simultaneously, an evil British socialite Slayer called Lady Genevieve Savidge plots to usurp Buffy's place in the Slayer hierarchy, and a shrewd cabal of Japanese vampires scheme to reverse the global activation of Potential Slayers in "Chosen". The appearances of these villains so far appear connected to "Twilight", the enigmatic Big Badof the season, a masked person who plans to destroy all of the Slayers and bring an end to the era of magic.
A subplot involves the repercussions of Dawn's college relationship with a boy named Kenny (described as a "thricewise"), whom she cheated on, losing her virginity to his roommate. Consequently, Dawn has been cursed with mystical transformations: first into a giant and later a centaur; her friends are unable to reverse them. Among the core group, Buffy is for a time romantically drawn to a female Slayer named Satsu, and Xander to Slayer Renée; Willow's relationship with the core group is more estranged, while she protectively withholds Kennedy from her friends. Giles and Buffy, at odds, have momentarily fallen from speaking terms with one another. Giles now works with Faith, in trying to prevent more Slayers from going rogue.
Announced writers and story arcs
Joss Whedonserves as "executive producer" for the series across every issue, giving his other writers notes on characterization, continuity and his overall concept in mind as he would when overseeing "Buffy" as a television series. Joss wrote the first story arc, "The Long Way Home" (#1–4) as well as several one-shot stories (#5, #10, and #11), and is set to write the series' fourth (#16–19) and final (#36–40) story arcs himself as well.
Comic and television writer
Brian K. Vaughanbecame the first guest writer on the series, writing the second story arc "No Future for You" (#6–9). While Vaughan was not a "Buffyverse" staff member, he was a fan of both series (particularly the character of Faith) and Joss Whedon himself was a fan of Vaughan's Marvel Comicsseries "Runaways", on which he served as writer during the period Vaughan wrote "No Future for You."
Former "Buffy" and "Angel" writer
Drew Goddardwrote the series' third arc, "Wolves at the Gate." Goddard first became a "Buffy" writer in its final season, starting with the episode "Selfless" and finishing with the "Angel" episode " The Girl in Question", which itself obliquely hints at the life of "Buffy" post-Season Seven. Goddard went on to become a writer for the movie " Cloverfield" and acclaimed American dramas "Lost" and "Alias" (all working alongside producer J. J. Abrams) while also penning the story "Antique" for canonical "Buffy" comic book " Tales of the Vampires", which he goes onto reference in "Wolves at the Gate".
Film, comics and television writer-producer
Jeph Loebis set to write issue #20 of the series. Loeb had previously been involved with Joss in the conception of " Buffy the Animated Series", which never came to be. Following Loeb are Buffyverse alumni Jane Espenson, Doug Petrie,cite news | author=Joss Whedon | url=http://whedonesque.com/comments/12098#155373 | title=Post from Joss at Whedonesque | publisher= Whedonesque.com| date= 2006-12-20| accessdate=2007-02-15] Drew Greenberg, Jim Kruegerand Steven S. DeKnightwho between them are set to tell the story between issues #21 and #25, which will be a single arc told from a number of different perspectives. Some of these one-shots follow the perspectives of Harmony (#21, Espenson), Buffy/Andrew, Xander/Dawn and Giles/Faith. [ [http://splashpage.mtv.com/2008/09/18/joss-whedon-teases-return-of-oz-things-to-come-in-buffy-the-vampire-slayer-season-eight/ Joss Whedon Teases Return Of Oz, Things To Come In ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season Eight’] , MTV News.] Jane Espenson then returns for a five-issue arc involving the character of Oz for issues #26-30. [ [http://www.newsarama.com/comics/080726-comiccon-dark-horse.html SDCC '08 - Dark Horse Comics Panel] , Newsrama, July 27, 2008] Brad Meltzer, author of several " New York Times" best-selling books and later both "Identity Crisis" and " Justice League of America" for DC Comicsis set to write the penultimate story arc of "Season Eight", issues #31–35. Whedon himself resumes authorship for the final five issues of the series, bringing "Season Eight" to an end. [ [http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=12803 Scott Allie Breaks Down Buffy’s Big Day (Or Night?)] , Comic Book Resources, March 6, 2008]
The issues are being collected together into trade paperbacks:Comics TPB table
Comics TPB line|1|The Long Way Home|
Dark Horse Comics|2007|1593078226|*"Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight" #1–5 [ [http://www.comicsbulletin.com/reviews/119446695187372.htm "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, Volume One: The Long Way Home" trade review] , Comics Bulletin, November 7, 2007]
Georges Jeanty• Paul Lee
notes=A hardcover edition was also published at the same time.
color=Comics TPB line|2|No Future for You|Dark Horse Comics|2008|159307963X|*"Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight" #6–10 [ [http://www.darkhorse.com/profile/profile.php?sku=15-021 "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, Volume 2: No Future for You"] ,
Brian K. Vaughan• Joss Whedon
Georges Jeanty• Cliff Richards
color=yComics TPB line|3|Wolves at the Gate|Dark Horse Comics|2008|1595821651|*"Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight" #11–15
Drew Goddard• Joss Whedon
notes=This volume has yet to be published.
lead= Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight
Initial reaction to "Season Eight" was generally positive, despite the switch in medium leading to comparison between the television series and the comic. Mathew Springer of The Comicbloc described the series as "very good … and slightly strange." He praised Whedon's writing in the opening issue, claiming "The humor, pop culture references and spot-on quirky characterizations are all on vibrant display", and looked forward to the direction the book was going in. However, he admitted that it was hard for him to accept the comic as canon, claiming "there’s something subtly undermining this effort simply because it’s a comic book and not on television".cite news|author=Mathew Springer|url=http://comicbloc.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=924&Itemid=57|title=Review: "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8" #1|publisher=Comic Bloc|date=
2007-03-22|accessdate=2007-11-21] Mark Stoddard of Comix Nexus also approached the series "with some trepidation, unsure of whether there would be more great stories that really needed to be told, and wondering whether the magic of TV could be replicated in the medium of comics".cite news|author=Mark Stoddard|url=http://comicsnexus.insidepulse.com/articles/71912/2007/11/09/review-buffy-season-8-8.html|title=Review: "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8" #8|publisher=Comics Nexus|date= 2007-11-09|accessdate=2007-11-21] TV Squad's Keith McDuffee felt that reading "Buffy" as a comic book after seeing it on television for seven years was strange,cite news|author=Keith McDuffee|url=http://www.tvsquad.com/2007/02/19/buffy-the-vampire-slayer-season-8-comic-an-early-look/|title="Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8" comic - An early look|publisher=TV Squad|date= 2007-02-19|accessdate=2007-11-21] but the new format was a good thing because "You don't have ugly casting problems and the special effects budget isn't a concern at all".cite news|author=Keith McDuffee|url=http://www.tvsquad.com/2007/03/16/buffy-the-vampire-slayer-the-long-way-home-season-premiere/|title="Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home, Part 1" (season premiere)|publisher=TV Squad|date= 2007-03-16|accessdate=2007-11-21] In a later review, he reaffirmed this opinion, stating "Thank God for a medium that lets creativity go completely wild without budget worries".cite news|author=Keith McDuffee|url=http://www.tvsquad.com/2007/05/03/buffy-the-vampire-slayer-the-long-way-home-part-3/|title="Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home, Part 3"|publisher=TV Squad|date= 2007-05-03|accessdate=2007-11-21]
Georges Jeanty's artwork received praise for being dynamic and true to the characters, rather than trying to appear photo-realistic. According to Mathew Springer, "He brings these people to life not as drawings of actors and actresses, but as fully-realized comic book characters in their own right." Mark Stoddard understood why Whedon chose Jeanty for the book, claiming "his layouts and storytelling are clear, he handles the action sequences pretty well, and the character likenesses are excellent, retaining a sense of artistic individuality, rather than simply generating portraits or rehashing television stills". However, Keith McDuffee criticized Jeanty's work, feeling "The cover images...are amazingly detailed and truly capture what we remember of the characters, but the inside pages have a bit to be desired". Richard George of
IGNdescribed Jeanty's work as bringing "a mixture of real life practicality and zany cartoons", but warned readers not to compare it to the "immaculate" covers by Jo Chen, explaining, "Do not expect the art inside to be what it is on the outside, and don't hold one against the other. Both styles have their place".cite news|author=Richard George|url=http://uk.comics.ign.com/articles/772/772482p1.html|title=Advance Review: "Buffy" #1|publisher=IGN|date= 2007-03-13|accessdate=2007-11-21]
Reaction from original cast
Multiple cast members have commented on the appearances of the characters they originated for the TV series in the Season 8 comics:
Nicholas Brendon(who portrayed Xander) mentioned the events of issue #12 in the Paley Center for MediaBuffy cast reunion held March 20 2008, to the obvious surprise of James Marsters(Spike) and Sarah Michelle Gellar(Buffy).cite web|last=Goldman|first=Eric|title=Whedon, Gellar and More at the Buffy Reunion|url=http://tv.ign.com/articles/861/861435p2.html|publisher= IGN|date= 2008-03-24|accessdate=2008-05-24]
* Brendon later commented more extensively on Xander's depiction in Season 8: "He's looking good, rocking the eye patch in charge of 500 chicks. That is the one thing that Xander would be completely blown away about — being in charge of 500 slayers. Xander wasn't in charge of himself in the show!" [cite web|last=Rawson-Jones|first=Ben|title=Nicholas Brendon laps up 'Buffy' comics|url=http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/cult/a96657/nicholas-brendon-laps-up-buffy-comics.html|publisher=
Digital Spy|date= 2008-05-24|accessdate=2008-05-24]
* Anthony Stewart Head, who played Rupert Giles in the television series is quoted as saying: "I've seen bits of it and I'd love to see more because it's so cool. It's Joss — and I love Joss's writing. I haven’t had a lot of time but I must get the whole season and check it out." [cite web|last=Rawson-Jones|first=Ben|title=Anthony Head ('The Invisibles')|url=http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/cult/a94672/anthony-head-the-invisibles.html|date=
Elizabeth Anne Allen, who portrayed Amy in the television series commented favourably on the first story arc, describing it as "awesome" and commenting that " [Season Six/Seven] was fun.... but I really would have loved to play Amy in Season 8. She is much darker." [ [http://www.slayalive.com/index.cgi?board=shows&action=display&thread=1197082788 SlayAlive Interview: Elizabeth Anne Allen] , SlayAlive.com.]
** Won Diamond's Gem Award for "Comic Book of the Year, under $3.00."
** Won Diamond's Gem Award for "Licensed Comic of the Year." [ [http://blog.newsarama.com/2008/04/08/dc-idw-and-viz-win-top-diamond-gem-awards/ DC, IDW and Viz win top Diamond Gem Awards] ,
Newsarama, April 8, 2008]
** Nominated for "Best Continuing Series"
** Won "Best New Series"
Eisner Award. [ [http://www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_eisners_main.shtml Eisner Awards Celebrate the “Magic of Comics”] , Comic-Con]
** Nominated for best book in Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards. [cite web|last=Nordyke|first=Kimberly|title=Host, noms revealed for Kids Choice|url=http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/television/news/e3i461a44ce47dc584f8d1603c2bdae30f1|date=
*gcdb series|id=21518|title="Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight"
*comicbookdb|type=title|id=12638|title="Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight"
* [http://www.darkhorse.com/zones/buffy/index.php Buffy homepage at Dark Horse Comics]
* [http://www.darkhorse.com/reviews/previews.php?theid=14-111 5 page Season 8 issue #1 preview]
* [http://www.darkhorse.com/news/pressrelease.php?id=1414 News on second printing] , March 15 2007
* [http://www.tvguide.com/News-Views/Interviews-Features/Article/default.aspx?posting=%7B0C084F89-5673-43B9-9FFC-022578DAA927%7D TVGuide.com Q&A with Joss Whedon about Season 8] , December 6, 2006
* [http://www.darkhorse.com/news/interviews.php?id=1421 Interview with Joss Whedon] , March 23, 2007
* [http://books.guardian.co.uk/departments/artsandentertainment/story/0,,2048192,00.html Slay it again] , from "
The Guardian", April 2, 2007
* [http://buffycomics.hellmouthcentral.com/ The Comic Book Guide to Buffy the Vampire Slayer]
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