For those reading along in the 15/15/15 project, the 8th book means we’re more than halfway there! My 8th book was a huge disappointment. It’s the 6th graphic novel collection, Retreat, of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic book series, which has been written sometimes, and overseen always, by Joss Whedon, who referred to it as season 8.
I’ve tried hard to like it, and to find the good things about this series, because I have a huge affection for the Buffy television series, even if I thought seasons 6 and 7 were poorly executed (barring “Once More with Feeling”, the notable exception).
The comic-book series posits that there is now an army of slayers, spread around the world, training in unison against the forces of darkness. There’s also a big bad, named Twilight, who’s gunning for Buffy and her army of slayers. In “Retreat” the Twilight army keeps getting closer because they can track magic and power. Buffy and the Scooby gang head to Tibet to look up an old friend who might have something to say about using less magic and less power.
Penned by Jane Espenson, a Buffy scribe from the later seasons, this story was a mess. The humor was infrequent and unfunny. The art was hard to read; I often couldn’t tell which character was which, and if it wasn’t a close-up, the details were, literally, sketchy. The threats weren’t threatening, the relationships didn’t have depth, and while it ended on a mysterious cliff hanger, the bottom of the page had the audacity to read “The End”. I don’t care to find out what happens next. I’ll leave the character of Buffy in mid air (really) and be done with this series.