Another story arc begins in the eighth issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 9. Check out our review of part one of “Apart (of Me)”. Season 9 spoilers ahead!
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 9 #8
Writer: Andrew Chambliss
Penciller: Cliff Richards
Inker: Andy Owens
Colorist: Michelle Madsen
Cover Artist: Georges Jeanty
Previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I was… confused. I wasn’t crazy about the way the last issue ended, for a couple of reasons: it seemed like a cop-out to the unintended pregnancy storyline, and it kind of came out of nowhere. Now that the issue has been out for a few weeks, I can safely discuss the fact that Buffy is, apparently, a robot. And therefore not pregnant. Also, missing an arm. Yeah, issue #7 was a bit befuddling.
The mystery of robot Buffy is cleared up pretty quickly in this issue, though that by no means solves the problem. I’m glad that the story has once again taken a turn for the interesting by veering through totally unexpected territory, despite my complaints in my last review. Fan favorite Andrew makes a return in this issue, which shouldn’t be much of a surprise–where there are Buffybots, there’s Andrew.
I’m glad Season 9‘s plot is back on track, but I’m a little unsatisfied by the elimination of the pregnancy storyline. Sure, I’ve never seen another storyline get rid of an unexpected pregnancy with a surprise robot, but it’s not that much better than the old “has a miscarriage right before the abortion” or “pregnancy test turned out to be wrong” trope (indeed, the pregnancy test was wrong, though I suppose that was a programming error, not a biological indicator).
I’m also missing the rest of the Scooby gang, though we do get a quick look at Dawn and Xander in this issue. Something has been brewing with those lovebirds for several issues; though it’s presented subtly, there’s some tension in that relationship, and I have a feeling it’s going to explode at some point. Dawn’s more independent now than ever before, but she’s gone from being Buffy’s kid sister to Xander’s college-aged girlfriend. Maybe if she spent some time on her own it would really allow the character to grow.
Penciller Cliff Richards does a great job of conveying a lot of emotion without the need for many words in this issue, which is a sign of a great partnership with writer Andrew Chambliss. However, we’re once again left with a cliffhanger at the end of this issue. I understand the need to leave readers wanting more (and I always do!), but I’d like see the resolution of one or two of these open threads.
In just a few weeks Buffy’s focus has gone from getting an abortion to not being a robot, which I guess isn’t even that unusual in the life of a Slayer. I know she’s the star of the show, but I hope we get more time with what’s left of the gang next month.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 9 #8 will be in comic shops on Wednesday, April 11.