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Buffy The Vampire Slayer #9

Posted: Saturday, December 8, 2007
By: Ray Tate

"No Future For You" Part Four

Writer: Brian K. Vaughn, Joss Whedon (Show Runner)
Artists: Georges Jeanty(p), Dexter Vines(i), Dave Stewart(c)

Publisher: Dark Horse

"In every generation, there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer....You're the one who sees everything, aren't you....Tomorrow, Willow will use the essence of the Scythe to change our destiny. From now on, every girl in the world who might be a Slayer, will be a Slayer. Every girl who could have the power, will have the power. Can stand up. Will stand up. Slayers....Every one of us. Make your choice. Are you ready to be strong..."

Very rarely do I talk about covers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer forces me to do so. This issue is available in two different covers, and I was actually torn. Do I get the beautiful, painted cover by Jo Chen like I usually do? Or do I get the splendid fitting gag cover where Giles and Faith emulate John Steed and Emma Peel? I went with the Jo Chen cover. It was a close call though.

Last chapter Buffy unwittingly divulged Faith's identity. This issue is the big dukeraoo between Faith and Gigi. I have to say that I was suprised. Some of what I predicted played out, but the ending left me as shocked and as speechless as it would have had the story aired on television. This is a testament to Brian K. Vaughn, Joss Whedon, Georges Jeanty, Dexter Vines and Dave Stewart combining fluidly to produce art that doubles as entertainment. Dialogue, characterization, action meld into a perfect mixture.

The operatic defeat of Gigi leads to Faith tackling Roden, Gigi's Warlock handler. You may expect this second battle to pale in comparison to the first series of fisticuffs in the book, but it doesn't. It's in fact more important because it reinforces Giles' underlying faith in Faith and Faith's self-worth.

While this is clearly Faith's story, Whedon and Vaughn do not forget about Buffy. Buffy has it out with Giles, and this introduces a fantastic example of brevity in art. Jeanty, Owens and Stewart realize the aims of the writers in two panels. In just two panels, you can understand that a dramatic change has occurred. In the case of Buffy, it's the way harsh words stab at years of trust and friendship. When the artists do something similar with Faith, it's the way she shrugs off power to reinforce the trust and friendship she has worked hard to reclaim.

Whedon seems to be holding Giles and Faith as a Steed and Peel back for the massive climax that will no doubt arrive when Buffy, the Slayers and the Scoobies face off against the newest Big Bad and his army. I can see the beginnings of Whedon's long game, but even without the context, this issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where Faith scores a massive victory over the forces of evil and the darker needs of her own nature is without a doubt one of the best.

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