Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 9 #1
Written by Joss Whedon
Pencils by Georges Jeanty
Inks by Dexter Vines
Colors by Michelle Madsen
Letters by Richard Starkings, Jimmy Betancourt
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: September 14, 2011
Cover Price: $2.99
When I was given the chance to review Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #1 a week or so ago, I was so excited. I am a huge fan of the Buffy-verse and am always excited when a new issue of this comic drops. Then I realized I needed a refresher on the last season, so the reading began… I’m happy to say that I finally finished rereading it and it helped put this first issue of Season 9 in perspective.
Immediately, the reader is thrown into the story and like many issues of the last series, this one really reads like a television program, with lots of flashbacks and memories, switching of scenes, and so on. The premise of this issue is to reunite the characters after the end of last season. Just like the show, it starts off with sort of a shaky start on what’s going on and proceeds to fill in some of the blanks, so to speak.
The title of this one is “Freefall” and it takes place around a party at Buffy’s new pad. She has new roommates and invites her old friends and her sister to the shindig. There is a lot of subtext in the conversations that take place during the party, not the least of which is a warning from Spike.
I saw this first issue as sort of an introduction for newbies and a catch-up for anyone that missed part of the last season (Season 8 was a comic book series as well). There are some obvious new faces and we get bits and pieces of personality from them, helping to build our perception of the characters. There is also a deeper plotline that doesn’t start to emerge until the last page, but I won’t spoil that for anyone.
Overall, this is a transition issue, one where we get to see what happens after Buffy destroyed the Seed and banished all magic from Earth…or more pointedly, how everyone is dealing with the aftermath. Hint: Buffy isn’t coping well. There are obviously still vampires and demons on our world, but they are not a focal point at this particular time. I feel like they will be back in the limelight in the near future, but I think Joss Whedon wanted to bridge the two seasons properly and wrote a very Buffy-like introduction, as usual.
The only possible issue I have is that the art is good, but not great in this. I can tell that Georges Jeanty is great at drawing action and motion, I just felt that it was all a little flat in this one where the vast majority of the time everyone is standing or sitting while conversing. Not that it detracted from the comic, I just didn’t feel like I gained anything from it.
All said, this was an inspiring comic read. I really like the fact that Buffy is back with her pals in California and I’m sure she will be back to slaying the denizens of the dark before we know it. Pick this comic up, it’s Buffy. More to the point, it’s Buffy written by Joss Whedon. What more needs to be said?