The Best and Worst of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9

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For previous installments of Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

For previous installments of Angel:

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Buffy Season 9 deals directly with the destruction of the Seed of Wonder at the end of Season 8, and is split into two parts: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9, and Angel & Faith. This post deals only with the former.

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The Best:

Guarded, Welcome to the Team, and The Core

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In brief:

  • Guarded deals with Buffy working for Deepscan with Slayer Kennedy, and the reappearence of Eldre Koh, plus Wolfram & Hart are somehow involved;
  • Billy the Vampire Slayer is one of my favorite stories of the entire season, which introduces vampire slayer Billy Lane, a gay man, and his watcher, a vampire hunter, Devon, written by Jane Espenson;
  • Welcome to the Team introduces a particuarly favorite character to Buffy, Illryria, and they get to face the season’s foe, The Siphon, while teaming up with Eldre Koh;
  • The Core also sees the return of Illyria, Eldre Koh, Slayer Simone Dolfer, D’Hoffryn, and Severin. A plan to bring back magic is also afoot; and
  • Love vs. Life returns to Billy Lane and Devon in their hometown to face zompires.

According to the Blackman’N Robin review of Guarded:

Buffy The Vampire Slayer has come a long way since the show finished its run. Throughout the Season 8 comics we’ve seen the characters grow more than they ever did in the show. Season 9 continues that trend. But now that there’s a world without magic, vampires becoming more feral, and everyone blaming Buffy for it all, what’s a Slayer to do?

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Vol. 3 Guarded continues Buffy’s tale as she deals with a world without magic and the fact that being a Slayer doesn’t mean a whole lot anymore. Former Slayer, Kennedy offers Buffy a job in personal security, taking Slayers and using their skills to protect high profile clients.

I’m a huge Buffy fan, and even though Season 8 was too over the top and the ending was borderline confusing and ridiculous, I still enjoyed it. Season 9 keeps things more grounded and brings the series back to its roots, with Buffy having to deal with slaying and normal life. But seeing as the world knows about demons and vampires, being a Slayer isn’t all that important, especially now that police are training to take down vampires. This puts Buffy in a position of having to find a way to make it in the new world. In comes Kennedy who offers Buffy a job, which includes protecting high end clients from any threat.

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Guarded contains issues #11-#15, but the Guarded arc only covers the first 3 issues. The arc is great, as it really forces Buffy to think about what it means to be a Slayer now, and if the world even needs a Slayer anymore. Of course she’s still dealing with the fact that she destroyed magic on Earth and people are quick to remind her of it, so it makes for great tension when Kennedy tries to include Buffy in her business. So we also get hilarious moment of Buffy trying to do a job that should be simple for someone with her skills, yet completely fumble at it because of the mindset she is stuck in that demons are bad, period.

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On the tail end we have the introduction of Billy the vampire slayer. Billy is not an actual Slayer, but he is convinced by someone to be one anyway. As an introduction to a new character, the story is great, especially since it shows that being a Slayer no longer means having been called to be one. The only issue with this is that it is such a sudden shift from the previous arc that it feels out of place.

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The artwork is great for the most part, though if you are not overly familiar with these characters and can get hard to tell who is who sometimes since many of the faces are drawn the same. It is however consistent so nothing feels out of place, which helps when it comes to the more action oriented panels. The original covers are included which are absolutely gorgeous and for comics enthusiasts the variant covers are also included in the back along with concept art of some of the new characters introduced in this volume.

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According to the FandomPost review of Welcome to the Team:

The ripples keep flowing out of the pebble Buffy threw into the universe when she destroyed the seed. Dawn’s sick. She’s a being created by magic to protect a key that a being named Glory was trying to get and now that magic is gone from the universe, Dawn can’t sustain herself.

Dowling is in trouble himself, of the human variety. He, Billy, and Buffy tried to take out a zompire nest, with one super powered zompire, but things went south. Illyria, the very same from Angel, poofed Buffy out and Dowling got bit. He’ll live, but for now he’s not in good shape. Things are looking down for the new gang.

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Everything comes down to what Buffy did. The seed was everything to the universe and when Willow learned that they need it to co-exist in the universe with everything else, that was no joke. The repercussions are endless and the council, not of Watchers but of this universe, are trying to protect what little mystical energy is left in this world. The only difference this time is Buffy isn’t questioning her actions. She knows what she did was right, but now there are other wrong things that she has to try and fix.

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The Siphon, once again, threatens to end the world. He wants to save his girlfriend by going back in time and stop his girlfriend from ever being sired. The repercussions of that could cause a mini apocalypse, in the words of Illyria.

So things are fucked, basically. At least, that the impression right now. But there’s six issues left to make them at least slightly less fucked.

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According to the FandomPost review of The Core:

The ripples keep flowing out of the pebble Buffy threw into the universe when she destroyed the seed. Dawn’s sick. She’s a being created by magic to protect a key that a being named Glory was trying to get and now that magic is gone from the universe, Dawn can’t sustain herself.

Dowling is in trouble himself, of the human variety. He, Billy, and Buffy tried to take out a zompire nest, with one super powered zompire, but things went south. Illyria, the very same from Angel, poofed Buffy out and Dowling got bit. He’ll live, but for now he’s not in good shape. Things are looking down for the new gang.

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Everything comes down to what Buffy did. The seed was everything to the universe and when Willow learned that they need it to co-exist in the universe with everything else, that was no joke. The repercussions are endless and the council, not of Watchers but of this universe, are trying to protect what little mystical energy is left in this world. The only difference this time is Buffy isn’t questioning her actions. She knows what she did was right, but now there are other wrong things that she has to try and fix.

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The Siphon, once again, threatens to end the world. He wants to save his girlfriend by going back in time and stop his girlfriend from ever being sired. The repercussions of that could cause a mini apocalypse, in the words of Illyria.

So things are fucked, basically. At least, that the impression right now. But there’s six issues left to make them at least slightly less fucked.

The Worst:

On Your Own

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What once began as a story in which Buffy considers having an abortion, because she’s pregnant, turns out she is actually BuffyBot! Massive, massive failure, and let down.

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According to the FandomPost review of On Your Own:

We’re moving right along in season nine with the third story in the line “On Your Own.” This marks Buffy’s beginnings with relative solitude. Xander and Dawn are trying to live a normal life, even though Dawn is being created to be a key. But she’s just a normal college girl now!

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Meanwhile, Buffy is pregnant and who knows what’ll happen with that. It’s really anyone’s guess, but we get some nice intermingling flashbacks with the Slayer Spike killed, who also had a kid when she was a Slayer. As it turns out, you WERE the chosen one. You can’t back out of that and the urge to slay will always come back up. No matter what Buffy does, it’ll be a loss for her. But talking through it with Robin, the Slayer’s son, she’s convinced that she can’t do this. It’s an incredible character moment that only piles on Buffy’s vulnerabilities as a character.

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But we also get a look into Spike’s troubled emotions, from the eyes of a neutral third party. The cop they saved in issue four is back again and he’s psychoanalyzing Spike. Of course he still loves Buffy and of course he can’t do anything about it. Everyone’s story is incredibly poignant and tragic and it’s only going to be fun to see what happens from here.

 

untitledNext is the best and worst of Angel & Faith Season 9.

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4 thoughts on “The Best and Worst of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9

  1. Pingback: The Best and Worst of Angel and Faith: Buffy Season 9 | The Progressive Democrat

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