Set in season 4 and 5
Various writers and artists
Another mixed one. The volume starts with some short stories, which are generally enjoyable, even with the inclusion of Angel. Of note is the Jonathan story, set during that time period when he was uber cool leader of Sunnydale and possibly the world.
Punish me with Kisses is a Willow and Tara story with some adorable art - Willow becomes sort of pixie like. They have to banish an argumentative old ghost couple from a hotel. It’s sweet, and similar in feel to the story in volume 7 where they take Dawn on a tour of magic sites of America. Tara makes the most beautiful and suave butch!
Next story features the return of a typical comic book female villain. By typical I mean a horrifically, clichéd and sexist interpretation. She has pointy heeled stripper shoes*, pvc trousers with buckles on, lots of weapons (including mini arrows strapped to her legs), corset style lacing over her crotch**, bare shoulders but covered arms, and a cross shaped section missing from the front of her costume so we conveniently get a hint of boobs. I have no idea why her boobs aren’t making friends with gravity. Because usually bras are the only items of clothing that prevent that.
So, that ruins an otherwise good story. I mean, if I have to include a ‘misogyny’ tag to any posts concerning the Buffyverse the creators are doing something wrong.
Next up is a ghost/bugs/Giles on a date story which is pretty forgettable.
Then another Willow and Tara story, where the cover painting looks eerily like Willow and Amy. Another witch in the college coven wants to do real magic and inadvertently summons the Morrigan. I have some issues with how the Morrigan is portrayed, but other than that this story is good and the art is pleasing. Simple and uncomplicated, and the colours match the feel of the scenes really well.
Then there’s a 2 page story about evil video games. It’s not really worth mentioning. So, onto the Dawn story. This takes place shortly after Dawn has arrived and Buffy is agonising over what is real and what isn’t. We also see how Dawn fits into key events in Buffy’s past, like her first death. Dawn proves she’s got brains and identifies that there is a missing slayer from the Council’s archives. It turns out that the slayer was turned into a vampire. Since I’ve always wanted to know if this had ever occurred, and if not, why not, I was very pleased to see this development. And this slayer as vampire wants to resurrect the master. This is a brilliant thing to end the volume on.
Should you buy this omnibus? I’d say buy the last story in single issue format. It’s called False Memories. The rest isn’t too special.
*not a derogatory comment. I love stripper shoes but I don’t have any as I a) have nowhere to wear them, and b) probably wouldn’t be able to walk in them. More's the pity.
** which sometimes I like. Christina Aguilera had some trousers like that. But there's a world of difference between a rl woman picking out an outfit like that, and a comic character being deliberately given an outfit like that. Context, folks, context.