"And what am I going to do now?"

Comics The cover to this final Dark Horse "seasons" issue of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer neatly references their first edition back in 2007, as the slayer drops her scythe and walks away. The story isn't quite that simple. As is the case with any ongoing franchise, the demon horde are simply dormant at the close, ready to wake up and threaten the world, bringing Buffy back to the fight, weapon in hand, if required.  There'll be spoilers ahead.  If you ever were a fan of the tv series, please do go pick up the trades and graphic novels.  It's quite the ride.

After reviewing that first issue, I feel like offering a few comments on this last installment.  This is the longest sustained period of by a comic book I've had.  I can remember nervously visiting Forbidden Planet on Bold Street asking if I could order it and that's where I've bought every issue since, along with the various spin-offs and parallel Angel series.  I can't claim to remember everything that happened and still don't really understand what the whole Twilight business was (although I am still amused by how it put IDW in a spot) but I've enjoyed almost all of it.

The best issues and stories have focused on character over spectacle.  There's been more of that in recent years, especially after the excesses of Season Eight proved unpopular.  Although there was nothing wrong with flirting with massive Peter Jackson style fantasy battles, the character work did suffer and the death of Giles especially was poorly handled.  Thank goodness that was reversed and in an imaginative way.  By season nine there was an evident realisation that just because you can draw something doesn't mean that you should.

This final four issue arc is a proper summation, self reflexively tying up loose ends and pieces of character business which have been knocking around since the television series.  The future as mapped on the previous occasion when Buffy visited the future and met Frey never did quite sit right and so its gratifying that all of that has changed and since this is a reality in which magic trumps science, we're able to forgive the obvious paradoxes which occur.  Time can be rewritten if a spell exists to help sustain it.

Will a continuation ever exist?  Apparently the new television series is set within the mythology of  the tv series so we'll see if that also includes the comics although that's unlikely.  New licensees BOOM! Studios have taken the bizarre/interesting step of rebooting the original Buffy series but set in the new century, accounting for the smart phone on the artwork which, even if Joss is involved, seems like its going to be as divisive as DC's New 52 not least because cans of worms will be opened.  Does Dawn exist?  Is Willow gay?  It feels rather in-essential.

But I do love were these characters are left at the end and wished that a Season Thirteen was going to happen.  Buffy and Faith as a supernatural Cagney and Lacey.  Andrew as the next generation of the Watcher's Council.  Xander and Dawn making a home together.  Angel and Spike finally getting along, the former already plotting on how to save Illyria and Fred from hell.  It's to the script's credit that it at least references Gunn and Connor and so offer something for Angel fans even if it can't find room to offer more than grace nots to the sister series.  But it's also noticable that it doesn't attempt to shoehorn in the likes of Cordelia or Anya.  They're finally letting the dead rest.

Bye bye for now, Buffy.

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