“No Future For You Part One”
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Georges Jeanty, Andy Owens (i)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Sometimes it can be hard to objectively evaluate a comic book because you dislike it for purely subjective reasons. I give you Buffy the Vampire Slayer #6, which is one of those comics.
Now you could criticize it for objective reasons. I mean, there is no such thing as a perfect comic.
So let’s objectively criticize. First, it’s called Buffy the Vampire the Slayer, and yet we only get three pages of Buffy.
On the other hand, one of the strengths of the Buffy-verse is that it has a deep bench of likeable – or at least interesting – supporting characters, so the spotlight can wonder from time to time without the quality faltering.
Moreover, this time the focus is on Faith – a character we saw relatively little of on the television show outside of a couple of seasons – and on Giles, and we’ve had a serious shortage of Giles since “Season Eight” began. So, yeah, lack of Buffy isn’t such a bad thing from time to time, and this is one of those times.
But Buffy isn’t the only one who is MIA in issue six. This is the first installment of “Season Eight” not written by Joss Whedon; surely there will be grounds on which to criticize the writing. After Joss, after all, any Buffy scribe is second best.
And, yes, Vaughan’s story is far from flawless. For starters, it hinges on a tired cliché: the stuffy Brit teaching the crass lass to be a proper lady. I’ll admit I rolled my eyes over that one, especially when Faith made a My Fair Lady joke. If Vaughan was aware of how hackneyed his plot was, why didn’t he scrap it?
But put that aside; Vaughan’s dialogue is Whedon-esque in its wit, with Tracy-Hepburn-like banter abounding. Plus, the big bad being set up for Faith’s part of “Season Eight” promises to be the sort of wickedly fun killer that Buffy fans haven’t seen since Glory. The Glory days, I suppose you could call them.
The art? If you’ve picked up any of the series’ first five issues, you know Jeanty has been doing a tremendous job, faithfully – no pun intended – capturing the appearances of the characters without being slavishly devoted to realism. His art is “cartoony” enough to capture the fun and action a Buffy story needs, while being grounded enough in reality to switch gears when the stories go all dark and deep, as Buffy tales often do.
In short, Buffy the Vampire Slayer #6 maintains the high standards of its five predecessors, despite the clichés and the lack of Buffy and Whedon. If you’re a fan of good comics and you haven’t been following this one, get thee to the back issue boxes. Trust me, it’s good stuff. And if you’re a Buffy fan, you’ll think it’s great stuff. Of course, if you’re a Buffy fan, you already know that.
So why do I object, non-objectively, to this issue? Too many cheapshots at Cleveland, Ohio. I’m from Canton, Ohio, where we aspire to being as cool as “the mistake on the lake,” the poorest big city in the country, and the home of Brian K. Vaughan.
So Cantonians, proceed with caution. The rest of you are going to get your $2.99-worth.
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