Amph Buffy The Vampire Slayer & Angel book/comic book discussion

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by darth-sinister, Jan 3, 2006.

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  1. Son of the Suns Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 6, 1999
    star 6
    Not sure if this is the right thread to bring this up, but there's a fantastic interview over at Wizard's website where Brian Michael Bendis talks to Joss Whedon. Joss talks a little bit about the upcoming "Season 8" Buffy comics, among many other things. Here's the link:

    http://www.wizarduniverse.com/magazine/wizard/000495675.cfm
  2. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    This is the right thread for it.
  3. Hananiah Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2003
    star 4
    I don't ordinarly buy Angel comics but I liked the spotlights and the Spike spin offs as well. The only spotlights I have is of Wes and it's really good.
  4. Son of the Suns Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 6, 1999
    star 6
    I didn't get the Wesley spotlight. My comic budget is stretched too thin as is and I didn't recognize the writer. The next one I'm getting is the Connor spotlight, because like the Illyria spotlight I enjoyed so much, it's written by Peter David.
  5. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    I apologize for going so long without giving another Buffy book review. Gotten too distracted, but I will make a better effort to keep up interest.

    [image=http://www.geocities.com/TelevisionCity/Studio/2267/pics/bufb3.jpg]

    Next is "Coyote Moon" by John Vornholt. The story is set early in season two and finds a new carnival has arrived in Sunnydale, late one August night. Buffy, Xander and Willow go to check it out. But things are not as they seem. Buffy is having a major wiggins, but Xander and Willow ignore her instincts. Instead, they wind up getting involved with two of the carnies who take an interest in them. While Buffy would be more than happy for them, she cannot shake the feeling of impending evil and it seems her feelings are not unfounded, as a rash of coyote attacks have begun about the same time the carnival arrived in town. When Buffy catches sight of one of the coyotes, her Slayer instincts brings her to Giles for help. Now they must figured out what, if any connection there is between the two.

    This story is pretty good, all things considering. It has the same atmosphere as the first couple of years of Buffy. You see Buffy still feeling her way around in a fight. You have Willow still feeling uncomfortable and Xander thinking that Buffy is jealous and paranoid. Cordelia only makes a brief appearence and Angel isn't seen at all. The story was written before season two had started, so many elements from "When She Was Bad" are not mentioned. However, you can almost say that it takes place after said episode and right before the following episode. I recommend this book.

    [image=http://www.diesel-ebooks.com/mas_assets/full/parent-0671017152.jpg]

    "Night Of The Living Rerun" by Arthur Byron Cover. The story is set in the first season and the last original novel to do so. The story finds Buffy haunted by vision nightmares that date back to the Salem Witch Trials. During this era, the Slayer Samantha Kane was in pursuit of the Despised One. In the end, she defeated the demon and was killed as a result. Now, Kane and certain people from this time period have begun to inhabit the bodies of Xander, Giles and Buffy. Worse, the Despised One may be reborn and if he is, the Master escapes from the Hellmouth.

    This story is okay, but not a great one. The Master seems to be rather pathetic here. There's no mention of Darla or Colin, the Annoited One. So this is obviously before "Never Kill A Boy On The First Date". The story is fine, but it seemed rather weak and a bit boring.

  6. Son of the Suns Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 6, 1999
    star 6
    Entertainment Weekly has a preview of the upcoming Buffy "Season 8" comic series, with cover art and some mild spoilers for the plot.
  7. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Thanks for the link. Everyone, click on the link. I'll get a review on Fray soon, so you can understand what they're talking about.


    [image=http://www.temp.sfbok.se/kat/img/54842.jpg]

    After Image by Pierce Askegren.

    Set during season two, the story opens with the Sunnydale drive-in reopening its doors. Xander is thrilled at the prospect as he's a fan of older, cheesy films as seen in "The Replacement". However, no one is interested in going. Especially not Cordellia who still wants to hide her makeout sessions with Xander. Forced to take someone, Xander decides to ask Jonathan to accompany him to a triple feature. Hours later, bad things start happening. Jonathan and a number of others at the drive-in are all in a coma, and Xander feels responsible. Worse, a new round of supernatural weirdness hits Sunnydale, which causes Buffy and Angel to investigate and discover that it might be tied to the drive-in.

    This story is pretty good. It is one of at least three stories that feature the drive-in prominately as a plot point. Everyone is in character here, with Giles giving us his "early" look at his more Ripper like persona that debuted in season three. Jonathan is featured here, which is a nice treat for fans of the character. A benefit of being published after "Earshot", "Superstar" and all of the last two seasons. Not a whole lot to add here, but it's pretty good overall. I recommend it.
  8. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    And now, the first of the Buffy/Angel comic reviews.

    [image=http://www.pulpanddagger.com/pulpmag/fray.jpg]

    "Into every generation, one is chosen. She alone will face the Vampires, the demons and the other forces of darkness. She is the Slayer."

    At least, that's how its always been. But, for two hundred years, things have been really different. Sometime in the 21st century, a Slayer with the help of some allies, fought a hoarde of demons and Vampires. At the end of the battle, everything changed. All the demons on Earth had been banished into another dimension. Magick disappeared. And the Slayer was lost, most likely killed as she was sucked into the hell dimension where the demons went. But worst of all, there was no replacement Slayer. No one was called. On that day, the world changed. Time passed. Now, the world is much different. Trees are all but gone. Wood is a rare item. New York has become a place where skyscrapers are built on top of the old ones, like Coruscant.

    However, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Vampires were the only ones to survive. Hiding in the lower levels, they're considered freaks of a different sort. Mutants as the world is filled with them. The police as in Sunnydale, turn a blind eye. Angel and Spike are long gone, as far as we know. The Vampires are slowly, but surely on the rise. Becoming bold. They are lead by a new Vampire King, who has plans of his own for taking control. Not since the Master, has any Vampire been so ambitious.

    Enter, Melanka Fray. A teenage girl who has been through a lot in her life. Mel has lost her twin brother, to a Vampire attack. Her older sister, Erin is a member of the NYPD. And has little use for her sister, in part because of what happened to Harth. But largely because of her criminal activities. Mel is a theif and a damn good one. Lately, she's found that she's a lot stronger than before. Faster. More agile. Then, one night Mel recieves a visitor. Urkonn, a demon who has been summoned by other demons trapped in a hell dimension. The Vampire King has goals that conflict with the demons and thus, Urkonn has been sent to find the Slayer and train her. Urkonn tries to tell Fray who she is, but Mel doesn't believe him. Especially when she adamantly denies ever having dreams about past Slayers. Something that has never happened before. No sooner has Mel met with Urkonn than her Watcher shows up, only to catch himself on fire. We learn that the Watchers have fallen apart without a Slayer. Becoming fantical and insane, believing that even the arrival of a new Chosen One is not enough to stem the tide of evil that is about to come. Much as she doesn't want to, Melanka Fray must embrace her destiny if she is to survive. Not because she is reluctant to take on the burden, but because she doesn't care as much as she should.

    Fray is Joss Whedon's first foray into comics writing and he does pretty damn well. The concept originated as a Buffy story, but Whedon had so much going for Buffy, that he couldn't fit a story in. He then thought of Faith, but she was otherwise occupied. So that left him to come up with someone who is an amaglam of the two. And the story was set 200 years later, for two reasons. First, to avoid tripping all over the show. And second because he wanted to have flying cars. Gotta have them. Fray is definately an original character who is worthy of standing along side Buffy and Faith. Very little in the way of references to Buffy's world is mentioned, save a couple of vauge references. Whedon has confirmed that this is the future of the Slayerverse and is something that he would like to build towards. As seen on the cover of the TPB, Fray is forced to use the Scythe from season seven. It was originally concieved for Fray, but he liked it so much, that he brought it to the show.

    According to David Fury, when Whedon was developing season seven, one of the plans was something similar to what's in Fray. Namely that Buffy would die in the Hellmouth. But after Firefly was cancelled, Joss came in to overhaul the master p
  9. Son of the Suns Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 6, 1999
    star 6
    I loved Fray. I started reading the series (in single issues, since the TPB had not come out yet) at the same time I was watching Season 7 of Buffy unfold. I was so excited to see the Scythe on the TV screen after seeing it in the comics. I wonder if the Season 8 comics will attempt to bridge the gap between the two series.

    BTW, Fray makes an appearance in the last story of the wonderful Tales of the Slayers TPB.
  10. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Yes, indeed. I had not read that, but if you wish to, feel free to contribute your own review. :) As I noted, Whedon had/has plans to try and bridge the gap between the two stories. So if he has time, he could follow it up.
  11. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    [image=http://www.temp.sfbok.se/kat/img/54843.jpg]

    Carnival Of Souls by Nancy Holder. This book is set during season two. In this tale, Professor Caligari's Traveling Carnival has set up shop in Sunnydale, just as Giles alerts Buffy about the Rising. A mysterious, little known supernatural event that is supposed to occur at this time. Buffy chases some vampires who are chasing two students into the carnival's "Hall of Mirrors" where Buffy manages to dust the last of the vamps, only to find the students transfixed by the mirrors. Professor Caligari finds them and orders them out, but not before giving them passes to come back. The next day, the students start thinking they're more attractive than they really are. Fearing something is up, the group and Angel head into the carnival to investigate. Unfortunately, they fall prey to the strange power of the carnival as the worst in everyone comes out. Angel is all lusty. Cordelia is greedier than before. Giles is very angry. Xander has a strong appeitite and Willow seems to be envy of everyone. Buffy must figure out how to solve the riddle of the carnival before it's too late.

    This story is pretty straight forward, but it's fairly decent. Everyone is consistant and the Big Bad has some interesting aspects, but the story focuses more on how the group dynamic is altered by the carnival. Jenny Calendar, Principal Snyder, Harmony and Joyce are in this tale. The story manages to stay on track, though this is one of the things that Nancy Holder tends to have trouble with in her stories. On her own, she occassionally will get lost in the story. Building up the suspense only to turn around and fizzle. Or forget that she has a limited time to tell the story. Despite this, she can turn in a pretty good story. Though with a writing partner such as Christopher Golden or Jeff Marriote, she avoids a lot of those problems as they balance things out. But for Holder on her own, this book does well.
  12. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    The first Buffy comic arc will be six issues. Whedon has twenty issues mapped out. Keith R.A. Candino will write the upcoming novel, "The Darkness".
  13. Sniper_Wolf Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2002
    star 4
    How would you say the Buffyverse novels are in general writing wise? Same with the comics. I've noticed I tend to find comic media tie-ins to be superior to their prose counterparts, and if the novels are the same quality as the current EU novel put out I'll probably pass. However the comics written by Whedon himself really interest me(I really enjoyed the first Astonishing X-Men arc).
  14. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    The early Buffy comics were modest at best. Christopher Golden wrote many of the stories, though unlike his prose work, the comics during his tenure weren't to the same quality. The comics during his time contradicted the show a lot. Once he finished and we got more involvement from Whedon and other writers, the stories were better paced. They started coming with story arcs that took place between seasons or between certain episodes, where there was enough of a gap. Scott Lobdell, Fabian Niceza and Jeph Loeb did a better job of keeping it close to both shows. Thomas E. Signoseki (sp) did a number of Angel comics, which allowed him to keep consistant with the prose versions. Jeff Mariotte did a couple of arcs for the current Angel series, keeping to the style he used in the novels. Small, personal character bits. Peter Allen David has a sharp tongue, which is perfect for Whedon's creations. In fact, many pointed out how his run on Supergirl is a lot like Buffy and he predated that by one year. When the Mutant Enemy writers did their stories, they were very much like an episode of the series. Often they would do stories that build off of unanswered things. In "Haunted", we get our first glimpse of the Initiative, the origin of Adam, how Cordelia left Sunnydale and what all happened to everyone during those first few days after "Graduation Day".

    The books tend to vary from writer to writer. Those who have written the most are the ones whose stories are 90% of the time well done. Occassionally you'll find a novel that's as bad as some of the worst Star Wars eu. The fourth season of Angel for the most part, save for a few weren't as good. "Blood & Fog" is not one of the better Buffy novels out there. I put that one on par with "The Crystal Star". If you want, I'll give a list of highly recommended novels from both series to start you out on.
  15. Ghost_of_Sniper_Wolf Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2004
    I'd like that. I read the one short story collection you reviewed earlier in the thread, and I also have Fray coming in on inter-library lone.
  16. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Now it's time for all four books in the "Stake Your Destiny" series. Don't let the covers by Jeff Matusda fool you. These are stories that are on the same adult level as the other Buffy books, but using the classic "Choose Your Adventure" format.


    [image=http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/buffy/buffystuff/images/large/suicideking.jpg]

    "The Suicide King" by Robert Joseph Levy.

    Set during the second season, Buffy and her crew discover a series of suicides occuring at Sunnydale High. None of these students appear to be the type to just off themselves, which is rather curious. But after Snyder brings in a new Guidence Counciler to help the kids cope and to avoid any more tragic deaths, the man himself is found dead in the office provided by the school. Buffy finds the body and realizes that its time to go to work. She and the gang discover that there is a demon who takes possession of humans, filling their minds with thoughts of suicide and then flees before the deed is done. Now, the group must find him before he claims another victim and one of the potential targets may be someone the group knows.

    This story has several different paths to its conclusion. Like with all others, there's the proper ending and then there's the not-so-happy ending, as well as the wrong choice endings. Spike & Dru appear in this, as does the majority of the Scooby Gang. Jenny Calendar and the Mayor make a cameo. Overall the story isn't too bad and fitting of the series. Just remember that the point of view is from Buffy's and we only see one other, which is at the start. Also, a reference to Angel's own show is made in that he started humming an old Irish tune and then started doing "Mandy".

    [image=http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n24/n123837.jpg]

    "Keep Me In Mind" by Nancy Holder.

    Set just after the events of "Bad Eggs", which is mentioned in the book, the story picks up with Buffy arriving at the school. Things seem to be fine as Buffy is looking forward to spending some time with Joyce, but things take a strange turn. All of Buffy's 'Greatest Hits' show up unexpectedly. Some of them are dead. The Master, Luke, Marcy, the Gortch Brothers, Spike, Drusilla, Ted and countless others. Worse, Buffy is becoming afflicted with an illness of some sort that seems to be making her light headed and feel as if she is losing track of time. Buffy and the group must figure it out, before her worst enemies finish what they started.

    This book is interesting in its premise and keeps you guessing. Unlike the other books in the series, this one plays with the page suggestions to it's fullest. Interestingly enough, correcting the right paths isn't that difficult in this one. In fact, it's almost downright easy. Holder here keeps the story going on her own and does not suffer from over reaching like she does with her previous solo work. Many fan favorites are seen and there is a dedication to the late John Ritter at the start, since his character is seen in the book. Oz makes an appearence, as does Jenny Calendar. Angel fans will be pleased to see a reference to his sister Catherine is found in the book.

    [image=http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n28/n143617.jpg]

    "Colony" by Laura J. Burns & Melissa Metz.

    Buffy has been finding herself face to face with a demon that resembles Leprechan and can come & go by a slide. He's out to stake his claim on Buffy's head and is one tough opponet. And if that isn't enough for her, there's a new guidence counciler, Ms. Belkadane, who has arrived and she has with her an exam called "Be The Ultimate You" for everyone. A personality test. Buffy tries to take it, but finds that she is unable to finish. This turns out to be a good thing as everyone starts to act strangely. Xander is eatting non stop, Cordellia is protective of the counciler and Willow seems to act like a puppy dog around her. But when Angel figures out who she is, Buffy realizes that not only will she have to save her friends, but also Giles as well.

    An unusual tale that seems to be inspired by "Teacher's Pet", only going
  17. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Sorry for the long gap.

    [image=http://www.palmdigitalmedia.com/files/products/000/00/67/49/cover/large.jpg]

    "Blooded" by Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder.

    Set in season 3, the story finds the gang heading to the museum where Willow and eventually Xander are possessed by the spirits of Chirayoju and Sanno, two anicent foes from China and Japan respectively. Chirayoju is a vampire sorcerer who killed the mountain king's bride, forcing Sanno to battle him. Their battle ended with the duo made incorporeal and trapped within a sword. Now free, they seek to end their long standing fued and it will take both Buffy and Angel to stop them. This is the first book by Golden and Holder in what will become it's own season three. This is due to the fact that the book was written after "Passion", but before the rest of season two had played out. So there is a few continuity issues here. Namely the lack of Faith, everyone being at ease with Angel and Buffy having no problem kissing Angel. But don't let these elements put you off this book, it is not that bad despite it. Golden and Holder begin making their own little plotline in this book, which will carry over into their next several books. Both together and apart. A minor plot point about Willow wanting to learn to defend herself, will be referenced again in "Child Of The Hunt" and the character Kobo will return in The Gatekeeper Trilogy.

    Overall, I recommend this book.
  18. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    [image=http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n2/n12364.jpg]
    [image=http://www.bookmice.net/darkchilde/yadult/buffy/hunt.jpg]

    "Child Of The Hunt" by Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder. Both covers are to the same book, but are different. The story begins with the gang and Angel going to the Renaissance Faire together. But while there, Buffy comes across a young boy named Roland and discovers that he is being abused by those who run the Faire. In fact, he is a slave and whipping boy. This angers Buffy especially when she learns that they're all demonic. Buffy manages to free Roland, but then things go from bad to worse when Angel comes into her room one night. This is only to save her from an even bigger threat, the Wild Hunt. A group of demons lead by the Erl King which every number of years, go on a hunt for people who they will kill or force to ride with them, by taking their souls. They can take the souls of those who look at them, except for Angel and this is due to his vampiric nature. Buffy soon learns of a connection between Roland and the Erl King. Now she must fight the Hunt, but learns that the last Slayer to do so, wound up paying a price. Her soul.

    This book continues the plot threads laid down in "Blooded" as Willow has learned some self defense from Buffy. But it starts several new ones, that will continue on. Namely a side plot between Xander, Cordelia, Willow, Oz and their family and friends. Xander's parents discuss their son, Cordelia wonders at her relationship with Xander, Willow has to deal with her mom not quite approving of Oz and Oz has to worry about Devon questioning where he goes three nights a month, when not playing with the Dingoes. Also there is a plot involving Joyce getting involved with a shelter for runaways, which strikes close to home as Buffy had ran off to L.A. after the ordeal with Angel and the revelation of Buffy's secret life. This story also first mentions the Slayer known as Lucy Hanover, who lived in the Civil War era. She was mentioned briefly in the preview for Buffy, that aired right before the series premire in 97. Lucy will become a factor in a number of stories by Golden and Holder.

    The story is pretty good and has plenty of what makes Buffy great. It does not have Faith, Mr. Trick and Mayor Wilkins at all. This is due to the books being published as the season was progressing. A note here is that the side issues involving the rest of the Scoobies is not resolved in this book. But will be during the Gatekeeper Trilogy.
  19. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    [image=http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n2/n12361.jpg]

    "Out Of The Madhouse"

    [image=http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n2/n12362.jpg]

    "Ghost Roads"

    [image=http://www.deboekenplank.nl/naslag/aut/g/img/golden_buffy_gategeepter_3.jpg]

    "Sons Of Entropy"

    The Gatekeeper Trilogy, by Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder. This is the biggest story published during the early days of the Buffy novels and the first trilogy. The story is about the Gatekeeper, a bloodline of sorcerers dating back to the 17th century. The Regnier family line has dedicated itself to closing interdimensional portals that open up randomly, as the barriers to another dimension begin to weaken. To contain the terrors that lie on the other side, the Gatekeeper has created as massive mansion in Boston, where the creatures can be contained and the portals are closed as they crop up. But the current Gatekeeper is dying and his son is missing, kidnapped by an old enemey Il Mastero. Without his heir, the Gatekeeper will die and the Gatehouse will open, flooding the world with monsters from other dimensions. Buffy and gang discovers this as some of the monsters arrive in Sunnydale via the Hellmouth, which acts as a secondary portal as the Gatekeeper is dying. In order to rescue the child from his kidnappers Spike and Drusilla; Buffy, Angel and Oz must travel the Ghost Roads to Paris. A passage into the world of the dead, where souls are lost until they are allowed to pass on. Meantime, the situation grows more dire as chaos is unleashed on Sunnydale and Ethan Rayne decides to get in on the madness. And when Buffy becomes too much of a threat, Il Maestro decides to strike at both Xander and Joyce.

    This story has it all. A big epic story, spanning the globe and history. It features the return of characters from the previous two Golden/Holder stories and continues the ongoing subplots of the Scooby Gang from "Child Of The Hunt". This story has all of the characters important to the series, though not everyone. As noted, certain characters were barred as the season was ongoing. And others such as Jonathan and Harmony, had yet to reach their level of importance in later seasons. Amy Madison makes an appearence and plays a role in the story. Also, this marks the debut of the Ghost Roads which will appear in several more stories by Golden and Holder, as well as Mel Odam. We also get to see the ghost of Lucy Hanover who is on the Ghost Roads and lends a hand. She too will become an important part of the books. The continuity with the books begins to resemble the series more, as it was written in time with the series' development in season three. Angel and Buffy questioning their relationship, and the unease with Angel from his Angelus days.
  20. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
    Does anyone know if there's anything on the horizon that bridges the world of Buffy/Angel with the world of Fray?
  21. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Nothing solid yet. We'll see if Joss Whedon's new Buffy series does that or not. He did say that he wanted to go there, but so far with the tv-movies out, those plans might have changed.
  22. Healer_Leona Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2000
    star 9
    Very much enjoying the reviews here. I've got a number of Buffy books I'm reading, though not in any particular order.
  23. rumsmuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2000
    star 7
    I thought the Fray comic was pretty cool. I only read the first bunch, before the series stalled. I never got around to reading the last bunch whenever they were released. I remember reading a basic summary of what ended up happening, but I don't remember it now.
  24. Healer_Leona Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2000
    star 9
    Just finished AfterImage. Feels nice to get back into reading Buffy. Nice story, but I felt a bit let down that it was resolved too easily.

    I've another one around her somewhere I need to read as they're due back at the library in a few days. :p

    I should print the first post out and mark off which I've read. I've been known to start one I'd already read and not realize it till a few chapters in. [face_blush]
  25. Healer_Leona Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2000
    star 9
    3/4's way through Monster Island and have really been enjoying this immensely.
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