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First Time Reading A New Buffy TPB while knowing Twilight’s Identity

February 21, 2010

Image Source Amazon.com

 

  I know I’m way behind on my Buffy reading and on updating this blog but this here is me fixing all that in one fell swoop. (What a weird phrase.) This is my first time reading a new set of Buffy comics while knowing the identity of Twilight, the big evil in this season and in one instance this made it all the funnier. It was a wonderful love letter to geeks everywhere. Lots of fun nerd references and humor thrown in. 4 stars of awesome right off the bat for that. 

  Predators and Prey turns the tables on the slayers with the vampires becoming pop culture icons (Like they currently are.) thanks to Harmony’s reality tv show Harmony Bites, which is of course aired on MTV, who else would? The whole reason the show’s any success is because it makes slayers look like bad guys. But it’s not Andrew’s fault! That new slayer chick refused to accept her new status as slayer and the joys of ‘sisterhood’ that go along with it. I mean if Andrew walked up to you and the first thing out of his mouth was ‘Let’s talk about your destiny’ wouldn’t you at lest hear him out before going all ‘me do solo work end of story weirdo’ on him? Plus it’s Andrew! How can you say no? After she gives Andrew the brush off she sneaks into Harmony’s party alone in order to take her down because it’s just the sisterhood thing she was against, not the being a slayer part. In fact she reminds me of Faith a little bit. Any who Harmony who’s paired up with Clem is enjoying her new life of glam because clearly Harmony was BORN to be a reality tv star. So slayer meets vampire and the camera crew sees all. It’s an epic chick fight but it ends in a loose for team Buffy. Harmony kills the ignorant slayer and the whole thing is beamed via TV satellite to Andrew’s crew and Buffy and the other scoobies. (Loved Buffy braiding Dawn’s horse-tail.) But who’s the bad guy in the eyes of the viewers? The killer or the killed? In a shocking out come that can only happen in a story penned by the magic Jane Espenson, Harmony is seen as the victim and the slayers as the bad guys. 

  Now all the networks are focusing on vampire tv and the slayers are in danger. Harmony has always been a pain in Buffy’s butt in one way or another but this takes the cake. (And her dog’s name, Queen Puffles of Pomerania. I kid you not.) It was almost like a one shot the way it focused mostly on Harmony with little bits and pieces from Buffy but it helped to set up the plot to the next issue. 

In part 2 we get a ‘Big F*cking Monster’ in Japan as Steven S. DeKnight let’s us know what’s been happening with Satsu as Kennedy checks in on her. This is where knowing Twilight’s identity plays a key role in the humor but bare with me as I get to there. It’s a big Tokyo style monster which Satsu ‘thinks’ she’s taken down while arguing with Kennedy who’s both checking up on her in the professional and unprofessional way. Mostly to check on her but mostly to make sure she’s over the very straight Buffy. Which she’s not really. Enter the stuffed Vampy Cats, one of the aftermaths of Harmony’s popularity. But the Vampy Cat Satsu and Kennedy find in their possession is very much like the demons in an early Buffy comic called ‘Three Little monsters’ (I think. It’s in omnibus 3 or 4.) In the way that their both evil. It de-gays Satsu temporarily but Kennedy and the other slayers aren’t easily fooled. With the knowledge that Vampy Cats are evil and about to take over the world the Tokyo slayers and Kennedy decide to take down the big shipment headed for Scotland and Buffy central. The boat scene gives us an epic battle of the two slayers versus the Vampy Cats and wait for it…THE SWELLL. 

  The Swell is where all the Vampy Cats come together to make one BIG GIANT AND UBER UGLY Vampy Cat that’s…Twilight’s evil minion. *****Warning****** If you don’t know Twilight’s identity skip to the next paragraph. This is the funny part as who would have ever thought that ANGEL of all people would resort to Vampy Cats to take down Buffy? It was hilarious as The Swell was all ‘Twilight demands it! Hail Twilight!’ 

  This story line almost made me like Kennedy and Satsu for a little bit which is saying something as I hate them. Nothing against anything I just really don’t like them. But it was another nice almost one shot that let us know how some of the recurring characters where doing. And there were explosions. Gotta love explosions. Harmony milked it for all it’s worth on Larry King and Xander once again didn’t think before he spoke. (Big Butts indeed.) Satsu decides to move on and be herself and now we’re ready for my FAVORITE Buffy comic ever. Predators and Prey. 

  It’s all about Andrew in this issue and the geek love is full on. Andrew and Buffy take down the evil Simone and the geek references he makes in what was to Buffy the longest trip ever? Spot on perfection. (Side note-I believe Jedis could take down Superman. And Linda Hamilton needs to be in the next Terminator movie. No exceptions.) But they totally geek bond over Daniel Craig and James Bond which was awesome. (Side note-Is Andrew gay to? If not maybe he and Buffy should team up in a more romantic way.) Not to give away to much but Andrew is like, scary Topher smart now and creating giant spiders for strange reasons. Bad news is that it ends up in Simone’s hands which is bad news times 10. So they have to go to her evil lair and try to get it back. 

  This is where it gets interesting. Simone’s taken over the island and Buffy promises to get the island back in the possession of its former inhabitants but Simone’s got the upper hand and takes Andrew captive with the help of her many followers. Now Buffy has to choose between The Ragna and Andrew. Andrew tries to quote Spock but Buffy having been friends with Xander for so long isn’t moved and wants her nerd back. Andrew’s slayer troop comes to save the day but minus the Ragna. That’s left behind for Simone and her followers to deal with. They couldn’t get the island back but they’re alive and Andrew’s part of the family and that’s all that matters. 

  Safe focused on Faith and Giles as they investigate a slayer safe haven that’s too good to be true in another almost one shot that let’s us know what the ‘other’ characters are doing. It was sad and deep while making you question right from wrong as the defending of one’s town is taken to far and Faith’s biggest fear is looked into. Giles saved the day but only by betraying an old friend. It was interesting and nice to know that Faith and Giles are doing ok despite not being on the best of terms with Buffy at the moment. 

  The final issue in this TPB is Living Doll and it’s all about Dawn. And what could be the foundation of the rumored Buffy/Xander relationship that atkes place in the next TPB. It brings Dawn’s betrayal of Kenny to a close as she finally apologizes and he lifts his spell. It took Andrew posing as a college student and some Yoda statues to do it but it happened. Buffy and Dawn reached an understanding that resulted in Buffy only being slightly pissed off that Dawn may have slightly scratched her Veronica Mars dvds. (And Xander is SO right about season 2 FYI it really was brilliant.) All in all it was well worth the wait and I can’t wait for the next TPB to come out next month so the spoilers I’ve heard about make sense finally. The tone was kept light and funny for the most part and really showed that Buffy isn’t just about Buffy herself. It’s about her and her family of friends as they try to keep the world safe no matter what because it’s the right thing to do. 

I give it 4 1/2 stars. I have to take a 1/2 star off because in theory nothing can ever be completely perfect.

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