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Buffy the Vampire Slayer #9

Posted: Thursday, December 6, 2007
By: Matthew McLean

“No Future for You” (part 4)

Writer: Brian K. Vaughn
Artist(s): Georges Jeanty, Andy Owens (i), Dave Stewart (c)

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

The death of magic. It begins in blood and betrayal.

Or at least this chapter does. There’s also some humor, tragedy and a good number of surprises mixed in. In other words, good, solid Buffy fun.

After a brief reflection on Faith’s time with Mayor Wilkins and a rather tangential connection to issue #9, it jumps right back in to Faith’s fight with the blue blooded slayer, Gigi. Having discovered, last issue, that Faith is not at all she said she was, Gigi is out for blood.

For a number of reasons, this fight is a real pleasure to read. While Gigi may be swinging her battle axe, Faith is restraining herself in the hopes of reaching someone who she had a brief connection, even if it was under false pretenses. So there’s one thing that makes it enjoyable; Faith doesn’t go all black-eyed evil, but remains decent individual that she has slowly been growing into. The second is simply watching Gigi, used to hunting down and killing harmless, untrained girls, go up against a seasoned professional. While Faith might be pulling her punches, she still has tons more experience than Gigi and it shows. There’s sadistic pleasure in seeing the arrogant royal get her ass handed to her by a working class American. The art does a great job of conveying the power and speed of a slayer-on-slayer fight.

The conclusion to the pessimistically named “No Future for You” brings the focus back to what the story has been about in its larger context; what will Faith do now? Always shunted to the side, marginalized by her past actions and attitude, it could be easy to see Faith switching sides again. The answer to this possibility in this issue is direct and satisfying.

Vaughn, among other things, has also mastered something that makes Whedon’s work always enjoyable; the small moments between characters that convey so much. While Buffy makes only a very brief appearance, her conversation with Giles and an off-hand remark that follows says volumes.

Perhaps most waited for, though, is the reveal of the Big Bad at the end of this issue. While I’m sure the entity’s physical appearance will be a subject of much debate, as it is a bit super-heroish, the conspiracy that has been slowly revealing itself through Season Eight is given cause and reason. For those who have not read it, it won’t be mentioned here, but it can easily be said that it is both ominous and intriguing.

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