Writers and artists – various
This was everything volume 3 wasn’t. :-)
Lots of different artists, but all good. All caught at least some of the nuances of the actors, and the characters were recognisable 90-95% of the time.
This volume is set in season 5/6 after Joyce has died. The first story is titled Night of a Thousand Vampires – you can guess the gist of it, but the interesting part if the familial relationship aspects of it. We also have stories about jealousy, with Tara being rather demanding, for once, not sure I like that aspect of her, but there we go. There’s some really great examples of comic layout in this story – I can’t provide a scan or I’ll spoil it. Spike is very human in this story.
Then we have a time travel story, with the redneck cowboys, vampire scoobys and the creepy puppet. They’re always fun. The whole redneck family is along for the ride this time.
The original slayer turns up a couple of times, her art is wonderful. Her first appearance opens a Dawn story occurring shortly after Buffy’s death. It looks at how she feels about her sister and the rest of the gang and highlights the crap method of dealing with Buffy’s death, that the others employ. Dawn recognises that Spike is the only one who’s pain is close to hers. There’s also a demon that looks peculiarly like the silver banshee from DC.
Let’s see what else – a Spike short dealing with his punk days, Willow and Tara take Dawn on trip to see the magical sites of the USA and while doing so meet some angry forest spirits, the group get inspired to fix up the Buffybot and Willow decides to bring Buffy back. Buffy heads off to see Angel and Xander, Anya and Dawn speculate on what they got to up to (not in a filthy way). Then we move on to the Buffy and Spike boinking/Xander and Anya planning a wedding stage. There are some beautiful bubble butterflys involved. Last story is with Pike, Faith, Angel, Cordy and an old villain.
The characterisation and dialogue is spot on. A lot of it was very touching. Some particular favourites relates to the stuff dealing with how the gang decided to bring Buffy back, how Spike is treated by the others, and how Buffy and Dawn interact with Spike. The stories compliment the TV shows and add something extra to the mythos, without detracting. What else could you ask for in a spin-off such as this?
There was nothing to fault with this volume, except maybe the price (£18/£19 – ouch), but I think I shall be purchasing it anyway. Definitely recommended.