Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Review of Buffy The Vampire Slayer's 8x32: "Twilight Part 1"

Written by Brad Meltzer
Artwork by Georges Jeanty

Xander (re bullet): “You beat it.”
Buffy: “Neat, huh?”

Yes, very neat, Buffy. Beating a speeding bullet. Up until now, only Superman and a few speedy superheroes could master that feat but as demonstrations go for showing us that Buffy is packing a lot more power nowadays, it served it’s purpose. Buffy’s got superpowers and there’s cause for celebration and concern with it.

Xander himself was pretty happy to try and explore the upside to Buffy’s newfound powers. I loved their little training session together whether it was him getting her to chase a speeding bullet or testing her strength with carrying a few broken down trains, there was some geeky fun to be had with things.

Xander even went to great lengths to try and find out exactly how powerful Buffy had become in such a short space of time. Speed, strength, flight and apparently the ability to see an older couple at it were seemingly more than enough to prove that Buffy wasn’t her regular self. So, that led to the bad side of the equation.

Buffy herself seemed to have some niggling little thoughts in regards to her friends asking how she was feeling about her new powers but it was Dawn who actually articulated concerns in a better manner. She was worried about Buffy’s newfound and damn it, you can’t begrudge her for it.

I know it did look like she was a little threatened with the amount of time that Xander and Buffy were spending together but Dawn raised the obvious pointer about nothing coming for free. All her abilities/transformations earlier on in the season came as a direct result of being cursed. What was to say that Buffy’s powers weren’t a curse either?

The annoying part was that I could almost understand Xander not really paying attention to Dawn’s concerns but Willow had no excuse. The woman might be happy that she’s got her magic back but it was very reckless of her to dismiss Dawn’s fears for Buffy as casually as she did in this issue.

Fortunately though, this comic did win out in actually showing that was just concern with Buffy’s powers from Dawn’s perspective. When Willow actually did do some investigating, she came across the horrid realisation that a lot of slayers died while Buffy was experiencing her enhancement.

Actually the main revelation was that Buffy was getting more and more powered up from each slayer who died. Needless to say, it made Dawn’s earlier statement about never getting anything without consequence true and also the horrified look on Buffy’s face after Willow told her confirmed a lot of angst material for the next issue.

Of course, Buffy doesn’t just have that to contend with as well. For some reason, we’re supposed to believe that Amy, Warren and some random general have been kicked out of Twilight’s little play house and are now happy to help the Scoobies out. I really hope to God that it’s actually a trick because the one thing I actually do want to happen by the end of this season is Warren to be properly dead. Not too sure about Amy.

And besides, why would the Scoobies trust them so easily? I know they don’t but it sort of looks like they might for the sake of moving the plot along. That’s been the problem with the villains this season – they haven’t featured enough in the issues to really move things along and now we’re on the cusp of learning Twilight’s master plan/

Having Twilight interact with Giles, Faith and Andrew had a better punch to it, even if he did appear just in the last panel. I already know who the bloke and even you’re one of the lucky few who missed that spoiled, it’d be obvious in this issue alone that the character was someone that the Scoobies were already familiar with. As for his ‘master’ plan, don’t let it be six billion versions of himself because a certain series has already done that one in recent times.

The gang at least seem to have a realisation that Giles, Faith and Andrew are missing and this issue just had them snooping around Twilight. Every time I groan about Andrew making a geek reference, I should be rewarded with Faith smacking him one. That is why this issue is a lot of fun – Faith hitting Andrew.

Still with a machine as beastly looking as that Death Trap one that Andrew gushed about, I can’t imagine that Twilight has a more benevolent use for it. Also, wasn’t it stupid of Twilight to leave Andrew, Giles and Faith around that thing?

Also in “Twilight Part 1”

The cover for this issue has Buffy flying in the air. It’s not the best cover but it’s nice enough.

Buffy: “Whose gun is that?”
Xander: “You keep forgetting I carry a gun.”
Buffy: “I don’t like them. They keep killing my friends.”
Xander: “You ready for this or not?”

Buffy’s dressed rather GI Jane in this issue. Maybe she stole the clothing of one of Twilight’s soldiers. Probably not.

Dawn: “Where’d you get a train?”
Xander: “From the castle. In the garden.”
Dawn: “Put it back!”
Xander: “Don’t worry ... that’s exactly where we’re heading.”

Dawn (re Buffy’s powers): “Even Andrew would take it more serious than that.”
Willow: “Andrew’s not with them? Huh. Odd.”
Dawn: “No, what’s odd is when you ignore the fact that you don’t get power for free. Mine was a curse from a thricewise! With this ... who knows what they’ve unleashed.”

No Kennedy, Oz or Bayaarma appearances in this issue. How much longer are the Scoobies going to be in Tibet as well?

Xander: “Try reading my mind.”
Buffy: “I can. It says ... so much ... masturbation.”
Xander: “Sweet mother of Shirley Hemphill, is that the best you can do? Really?”

Warren (re Buffy): “She’s got powers?”
Amy: “Warren, are you blind? She’s faster than a speeding – oh. I just realised what they were doing. Nerd-a-trons.”

Xander asked Buffy if she could teleport, had super breath, shoot arrows, solve a mystery, spin webs or build a suit of armour. I’m surprised he didn’t ask her if she could regenerate while he was at.

Faith: “A, you got three seconds to stop speaking nerd, and I’m starting at two ...”
Andrew: “The psycho wave! 1982! X-Men/Teen Titans crossover!”
Faith (punches him): “You were warned.”

Buffy: “I can see ... it’s hard to turn off. In Greece ... in Mykonos ... there’s an older couple who – ew! Ew, like internet ew!”
Xander: “That’ll learn you. You can’t unsee what you see.”

Willow found all the dead slayers in Louisiana, which might be the closest to a True Blood reference these comics will dare to do.

Twilight (to Andrew/Giles/Faith): “You can call me Twilight. Now who wants to hear a really cool master plan?”

“Twilight Part 2” came out on March 3rd. I’ll get round to reviewing it.

“Twilight Part 1” is an enjoyable enough issue, fun in places but the ante doesn’t feel as upped as it should by now in the series. Hopefully with the reveal in the next issue and actually know what Twilight wants, things will improve.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

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