Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 9 #10 Story by Andrew Chambliss and Scott Allie
Pencils by Cliff Richards
Ink by Andy Owens
Colors by Michelle Madsen
Cover by Phil Noto
Alternate Cover by Georges Jeanty with Dexter Vines and Michelle Madsen
Created by Joss Whedon Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: June 13, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99
Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 9 is all about the big existential questions interspersed with some brief action scenes and lovey bits thrown in. Joss Whedon is still the producer and occasional writer of his original creation, so all of those elements seem just as entertaining and challenging as ever. The Apart (Of Me) storyline has been no exception with Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 9 #10 rounding up the arc in an orderly fashion. There are no big explosions or revelations, but with a more internalized plot like this one, that would have just been rather tacky. Not to worry, there is stuff actually happening.
Buffy-Bot (body of robot, brain o’ Buffy) and Buffy-Not (body of Buffy, brain o’ Robot) get in a tussle with the latest big bad, the rough slayer Simone, Spike’s “bug army” shows up, Detective Dowling is upset over the loss of his partner turned zompire Cheung, Buffy makes a decision about her coffee shop gig, Spike and Buffy make some progress in their relationship etc. All that is rather important, as it sets up the next wave of Buffydom tales in a very natural manner.
What I care about, especially nine seasons in, is all the quiet stuff. Buffy is plagued with insecurities and self-analysis intrinsic to being a live-action heroine in the modern world. The difference is now as an adult, there is more at stake (pardon the pun) than in high school. Just like many non-supernatural types, Buffy is adjusting to a reality of financial struggle after coming from a generation where people were taught that if they went to school, they would be a success like their parents, or at least like somebody’s parents. The Scooby gang (her core group of friends) is scattered about the country, she just lost her one remaining parental figure Giles, there was the infamous faux pregnancy scare, magic banished from the land, etc. So, while most people would need a break, she literally gets one. Half of her gets to play in the suburban world she idealizes because it represents what she will never have, (a normal life) while the other half stays and fights. Here’s to hoping body and soul comes together so to speak, so we can all get back to Buffy business as usual in San Francisco.
Phil Noto gets my vote for “coolest cover I have seen in a good while” with a psychedelic possible homage to Firestarter (or at least that is the old movie poster it reminded me of) with a swirling spiral of self-doubt forming a halo behind Geller’s blonde head. Quotes include: “Only you could lose your own body” to the more mundane “Why don’t you own a car?” The coexistence of events that would concern anyone with events that would effect “The Chosen One” have helped to keep this show so vital, years after it left TV sets. The newest nemesis Simone annoys rather than intrigues many fans but I cannot say I mind her and look forward to hearing more about her backstory/why we should ultimately care about her as a character. Also, Spike and I both “love her look” as preppy people are not that intimidating aside from Patrick Bateman.
Spike and I however differ on the necessity of a “bug army.” I realize that this makes me an 8-year-old, but simply put: bugs are gross. Even as a long-time vegetarian I cannot find any inherent sympathy within myself for insects. No one looks appealing standing next to one, and realistically if one started talking to a human being, said human being would start crying. Whenever I see them it makes me want to go to a happy place in my mind where Willow is still hanging around, vampires were still cute-ish, and Giles was still alive. OK, fine, I’m probably still just livid at Whedon for killing off Giles whether it made literary sense or not, but it’s still a good issue regardless despite my angst.