Out with the old, in with the new

How Buffy the Vampire Slayer has continued past the show ending

Out with the old, in with the new

Cameron Bolton, Staff Reporter

February 4 marks the return of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., a show that marked Joss Whedon’s return to television since Dollhouse was cancelled in 2010. Although I found both of these past shows to be entertaining, I think we can all agree that they are not nearly as good as  the classic that is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. For those of you who have not heard of this show, it follows Buffy Summers as she learns that she is destined to fight the forces of darkness and repeatedly save the world while balancing what’s happening in her personal life. The show ran for seven highly successful seasons and effectively launched a cult phenomenon. But what you may or may not know is that several years after the finale, show creator Joss Whedon has become the “executive producer” and writer on this new comic book series that continues the show.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight, as it is appropriately called, continues on from the events of the seventh season where Buffy now has to face a whole new world of challenges. If you watched the show you may recall that in order to defeat the Big Bad of the final season, The First, Buffy’s friend Willow  performed a spell that created hundreds of new slayers. So now the “Scooby Gang” has become a worldwide organization and that’s what drives the plot of this season. Like the television series, there is a new Big Bad, the mysterious Twilight who has launched an organization of his or her own to combat the slayers, as they see them as a threat that needs to be stopped.

As a huge fan of the television show, I find the best way to describe Season Eight as follows. It’s very much like comparing Diet Coke and regular Coke: they’re both really good, but definitely not the same. The writers, taking advantage of how they’re no longer restrained by the budget of a television show, go crazy and make it an action packed epic which was definitely nice to see. On the other hand, the comic book’s lack of the brilliant performances by Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, Nicholas Brendon, Anthony Stewart Head, James Marsters, David Boreanaz, and Emma Caulfield  made me feel like something was missing. As Joss Whedon later reflected in an acknowledgement after the last issue, Buffy has always been more about the characters, not the scope of it’s storytelling.  That style is what they are going to go back to in Season Nine, which is apparently going to be more like the show.

Speaking of Season Nine, I’ve only read the very first story arc so I can’t really comment about it as a whole, but so far it’s really good. I honestly thought that it had a way better start than Season Eight, in which I was kind of okay. So, long story short, if you liked the television series then you’re probably going to like this.