In the second part of “Apart of Me”, Buffy is forced to consider the life that could have been and gets a cool new robot arm. Check out our review of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 9 #9.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 9 #9
Written by Andrew Chambliss, Scott Allie
Art by Cliff Richards
What would life have been like for Buffy Summers if she wasn’t the chosen one? If she hadn’t spent her high school and college years patrolling graveyards and dusting vampires, what kind of career path would she have chosen? Would she have hobbies, friends, a good job, a serious relationship?
There’s no doubt that Buffy’s had these thoughts before, but in the second part of the story arc “Apart of Me”, she finds herself confronting them when she comes face-to-face with the life that she could have had–if she was normal. Because she’s a robot, and real Buffy has been hidden away in some kind of alternate life that Andrew created, with no memory of who she really is.
With every pained look, we can see how hard it is for Buffy to see the “Buffy dream house” that was made to protect Buffy–the real Buffy–by hiding her in a normal person’s life. Completely unremarkable. Ordinary to a boring degree. To most, nothing special. To Buffy, more reminders of the life she’ll never have.
Things are unnecessarily complicated for her, all the time. Like in this issue, where she’s still a robot. Yes, she’s got Buffy’s mind and memories and Slaying skills, but she’s still a robot, and one who’s missing an arm for the first part of the issue. And to make matters worse, the real Buffy is now missing, kidnapped by a rogue Slayer with a big ego and a thirst for vengeance.
Meanwhile, Xander and Dawn–yay, more Scoobies!–are helping Detective Dowling deal with the loss of his partner, who is now a zompire (Season 9‘s special blend of vampires and zombies). Downling is reluctant to slay her, as anyone would be, which leads to a touching moment in which Xander remembers slaying his best friend Jesse in the pilot of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television show. (And just as a side note, it always bothered me that they never mentioned him again, so it’s good to know that Xander hasn’t forgotten.) While I don’t want this comic series to spend its time dragging up the past, moments like that reassure me that these are still the same characters I have loved since middle school, and they haven’t forgotten where they came from. The tension between Xander and Dawn is still palpable, and I hope the next issue digs deeper into their relationship, which appears to be falling apart.
Even without a lot of action to move the plot forward, issue #9 still packs an emotional punch. With this story arc wrapping up next month, I can’t wait to find out what direction Season 9 will take our Scoobies next. As the season approaches its halfway point over the next few months, I have to assume we’re going to start seeing a lot more action, but smaller character moments like the ones in this issue are great, too. I do hope Buffy gets out of the robot and back to normal soon, though… well, as normal as life can ever be for Buffy Summers.