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Saturday, August 22, 2009

cover of  Buffy Omnibus Vol. 1

For some reason, I was unaware of the fact that there were so many Buffy comic books before the new Season 8 run. This is the first book in an omnibus series that collects them all in chronological order. This one starts with "All's Fair", a story about Dru and Spike on a rampage at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair, which I didn't particularly enjoy, but then it gets more Buffy-centric. "The Origin" is a comic-book adaptation of Joss Whedon's original screenplay for the Buffy movie; the stories after that cover the time between the movie and the TV series, while Buffy was on her own without a Watcher. She and Pike take a trip to Las Vegas to hunt down vampires in "Viva Las Buffy!". In "Dawn & Hoopy the Bear" we get a story of Dawn's experience while Buffy has run off and their parents are on their way to divorce; a teddy bear ensorceled with a djinn meant for the slayer is mistakenly delivered to Dawn, but her distracted mother just thinks Dawn has a wild imagination when she takes about the bear coming alive. Then, in "Slayer, Interrrupted" we get the story of Buffy's stay in the mental hospital, which is referred to in the TV series. Interspersed with these, we also get some interesting parts of Giles' path to becoming Buffy's Watcher.

I had a little bit of trouble getting into this book because I didn't enjoy the first story; I know some people really love Spike and Dru, but a whole story with them killing and destroying just isn't my thing. In this story and in some of the others, I felt like there might be references to characters or events in the TV series, but I'm not familiar enough with them to catch it-- and not sure I care enough to go to the trouble of looking it up. Angel shows up in the Las Vegas story, and I wondered about the time lines of that, but again, I guess I'm not familiar enough with all the details of his back story to know how this fits in.

As Scott Allie points out in his brief introduction, these stories include Dawn-- which is an interesting choice. Like him, I'm glad that we got the story of "Dawn and Hoopy the Bear"; but other things make me wonder a bit about how things would have worked without Dawn being there. For instance, Dawn is the one who reads Buffy's diary (because she misses her), and that is how Buffy ends up getting sent to a mental institute.

Artwork for comic books based on TV shows and movies can be a little strained sometimes-- either they are too creepily like the actors or they aren't quite recognizable. In this case, I found the artwork to be quite good, and it certainly never distracted me from the story being told.

I enjoyed this enough that I'd be interested to read the other Buffy Omnibus collections, although I'm a bit intimidated by the fact that there are 7 volumes.

Title:Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus, Volume 1
Date published:2007
Genre:Young Adult, Graphic Novel, Horror
Series:Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Number of pages: 296


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