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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Long Way Home - Joss Whedon

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Genre: Graphic Novels / Comics / Author: Joss Whedon / Edition: illustrated edition / Paperback / Reading Level: Young Adult / 136 Pages / Book is published 2007-11-21 by Dark Horse Comics,U.S.

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    8 Reviews
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      24.06.2012 16:41
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      buffy continued....

      I have always been a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, it is one of my all time favourite tv shows - Joss Whedon is simply a genius. I was very sad when the series ended and was deeply sad that I wouldn't get to find out what happened to the slayer and the scoobies after Sunnydale was destroyed and all the potential slayers awakened. Then a few weeks ago I discovered these comic books...and I couldnt believe I'd gone all these years without knowing about them! I normally dont bother with books tied in with the series, but Joss Whedon himself has had a hand in writing these stories so I was quick to order this graphic novel and couldnt wait for it to arrive.

      The story itself follows on from the final series of the tv show, so is effectively season 8. All the potential slayers have been awakened and it is up to the scoobies to round them up. Despite the destruction of the first evil, there are still demons and monsters in the world. Things have become alot more organised and global, the scoobies have set up headquarters in scotland in an old castle. Now set in a graphic novel, the story is able to expand and be alot bigger, no longer restrained by the budget of a television show. I would say however that these are very different from the TV series, although it involves the same characters and concepts - it is now set on a global scale. Some people have criticised it for this, saying it lacks the warmth and familiarity of the series, but in the very last episode everything changed - so it is silly to expect things to be the same!

      The Long Way Home comprises of the first five comics released in the series and you can get in on amazon at the moment for around £8 which I think is quite cheap! If you are a Buffy fan then I would definitely recommend buying these just to read how the story develops. Im not usually a fan of comics or graphic novels as I think there too many pictures and not enough words (I usually get funny looks when I voice this opinion) but I was a fan of these. The artwork is beautiful and I am thoroughly glad to be able to see how the story develops even after the tv show has finished.

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      18.07.2011 23:22
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      The next stage in the Buffyverse

      First of all, let me just say that I am a serious die-hard Buffy fan, I watched it from Season 1 and have them all on dvd, as well as Angel - I'm sad I know! To start with, when I heard about the graphic novel series starting I wasn't sure, I'd never read any graphic novels before but I knew this would be an exception to the rule and I was right! The illustrations are fabulous, I felt that they really gave the characters depth and gave the original series the credit it deserves. One of the things I've really come to appreciate about this format is that there is much more scope for the really big story lines that weren't possible in the tv series. The series leaves of after the tv show ended but Buffy and the gang are now in Scotland (I live in Scotland so I was pleased!) with there army of slayers waiting to fight the next big bad... You'll love it!

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        21.03.2010 18:54
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        Want to know what happens next? You won't be dissapointed.

        I suffered a great bereavement when Buffy came to an end- what the heck was I going to do on a Thursday night now? I had followed the series from half interestedly watching it over my younger brother's shoulder in the first series till the bitter, totally obsessed end.

        There were a lot of Buffy tie ins, and I'm ashamed to admit that my fascination with comics began with Buffy (well, apart from Calvin and Hobbes as a kid. I no longer own the copy I spat chocolate all over when laughing out loud at Calvin's snowpeople car crash. Anyhoo...) so when I discovered that Season 8 would be released in comic form, my tiny little graphic novel-loving heart skipped a beat.

        This book takes off from where the series ended with all the Slayers being imbibed with their potential powers. Buffy is leading them from a base in Scotland, with 2 decoy slayers based downstairs in the dark and in Rome (leading to a great tie in with the Angel series for you geeky fans out there, where Angel bemoans seeing Buffy partying with The Immortal). All the remaining Scooby Gang are in force, with an interesting side story involving the loss of Dawn's virginity.

        The Big Bad in this story is Twighlight, a shady enemy whose influence continues over the next few comics released. Firstly, they have to contend with the US military though, who don't like the idea of the Scoobs taking matters into their own hands. Other baddies include Amy the witch (remember her?) and super robo-babe building nerd, now flayed alive, Warren.

        So how about Buffy in comic form? Those of us who've followed the Dark Horse side stories are used to the high quality of writing and the great inking and colouring shown in force here. The panel where Buffy admits to missing her mother is a powerful example of how precise, moody and real comic art can be today, and it's a high benchmark for those of us who like to graphic novel doodle. You know it's a great comic when you feel your ink finger twitching after being inspired by brilliant artwork.

        The arc lends itself well to comic book form, there are none of the constraints of budget or graphics. You want a 50 foot high Dawn or army of kilted Zombies? You got it.

        All in all, it's a great way to continue the Buffy legend and a brilliant introduction into the seductive graphic novel world for the uninitiated. Beware, because the writing and inking within might just lead you into a whole world of comic book craziness you might never escape from!

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        10.01.2010 16:05
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        If you love Buffy you'll love this

        Buffy Season 8 comics take up where Buffy the Vampire Slayer tv series leaves off.
        With Sunnydale being destroyed, the big bad defeated and there now being thousands of Slayers activated instead of only two (Buffy and Faith), the world is surely going to be different.
        Thankfully Josh Whedon is at the helm here writing a tight script that lets you practically here the voices of the characters. The artwork by George Jeanty, Andy Owens and Dave Stewart is very nicely done, you can see exactly who everyone is at first glance. The panels are beautiful and the story rattles along nicely
        Originally intended to be around 12 parts, there is now talk of it being 40 even up to 50 parts. As Josh himself says, there is far more scope in comics to let his imagination go wild, with no constraints of special effects or budget.
        I was thrilled to hear that, not only would we get the Scooby Gang back, but it would be a genuine Josh Whedon story.
        This first arc "The Long Way Home", covers the first six issues, with other exciting arcs, such as the second "No Future For You", which stars everyone's favourite crazy Slayer, Faith.
        The series is created and published by Dark Horse Comics and available each month. We are currently awaiting the release of issue 35. This edition brings together the six episodes of the first arc. Having all six together like this is good as it saves the horrible feeling of having to wait a month for the nest issue
        The cover price per individual issue is $2.99 though of course prices vary greatly depending on where you buy your comics. There are copies of practically all issues available separately on eBay, usually at very reasonable prices (a couple of pounds each), though the price of this collection, coming in at generally less than £10, is good value for money.
        I love this series and recommend it to any Buffy fan who misses the Slayers adventures.

        (review taken in part from my review of the series posted elsewhere)

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          02.08.2009 12:42
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          A promising start to the successful TV series' comic book revamp.

          Buffy The Vampire Slayer was a very successful TV show that aired between 1997 - 2003, spawning seven seasons and making household names of its cast in particular Sarah Michelle Gellar who played the title role. However, when the series finally ended the show's massive and dedicated fan base were eager for a spin off like the equally successful 'Angel'. Sadly despite talks and various ideas forming about the characters of Faith, Spike or even Giles getting their own spin offs, none of the ideas ever came into being.

          In 2006 Buffy creator Joss Whedon announced that he would be reviving his fashion concious vampire slayer in comic book form and that the series would continue as Season 8 in this format. The first comic book was released in 2007 and the first arc is titled 'The Long Way Home'. The product I am reviewing combines the first four issues into one large book.


          Season 8 picks up where the TV show left off. After making all the potential slayers, actual slayers in order to defeat the First Evil, Buffy now finds herself in charge of a massive army of slayers operating all over the world. Of course she has her friends on hand to help her out. Buffy herself is based in Scotland with Xander, Willow, Dawn and a whole bunch of new slayers. Giles, Faith, Andrew and other characters from the TV series are scattered across the globe with similar organisations.

          However, things are far from peaceful as well as dealing with inner conflict, Buffy is worried about the arrival of 'Twilight'. A new foe whose identity remains concealed even now! Working with Twilight are members of the US government who think Buffy and her friends are terrorists after what they supposedly did to Sunnydale at the end of the TV series. The military are aided by deranged witch Amy Madison and shockingly Warren Mears, the guy Willow flayed alive during her spell as Dark Willow, who has grotesquely been reanimated by Amy and still skinless. Twilight wants to end all magic as he/she sees it and what Buffy has done as a huge threat to the world.

          That's the basic outline but does Buffy work as well without its small screen environment? The answer is yes and no. The artwork is done by a guy called Georges Jeanty and from the front cover he has managed to capture the characters perfectly. The picture of Buffy, Willow and Xander is very realistic and looks exactly like the actors themselves. However, inside I noticed at times that Buffy looked a little odd and her features became more and more unfamiliar whilst the rest of the characters that appeared were easy to identify even if they weren't formally introduced.

          The story follows a typical comic book format with the various boxes showing one piece of action and then moving on to the next. The story does flow very well though the battle scenes are very difficult to grasp as there are a lot of limitations on the drawing space and you really have to look hard to decipher what is actually happening in each picture. Lots of new characters are introduced whilst Whedon takes full advantage of the fact he no longer has to rely on a small screen budget or actors showing up and throws in a lot of slayers and a lot of characters make appearances from the show such as Amy's mother, Ethan Rayne and of course Warren and Amy herself. This is good as we get to say our favourite characters again but it also seems a very forced way of throwing in old faces. The manner in which Ethan Rayne appears is very ridiculous, though the picture of Warren skinless is probably more creepy than any of the demons that appear in the issue.

          Whedon's writing skills are obviously at work. The comic book is exactly like watching Buffy on television. The language is the same and you can really imagine any of the actors saying some of the lines in real life and his flare for writing a good story is obviously still strong as he sets up a lot of interesting mini arcs as well as working on the larger Twilight story. [Sadly it has nothing to do with novels by Meyer so sorry to disappoint]. Pictures of Giles cleaning his glasses or toying with Andrew's sexuality again only reinforce that Whedon is still alive and active and knows the voices of his characters.

          Whilst the series has drawn a lot of criticism for the rather controversial and unconventional twists the story has taken along the way, I feel that 'The Long Way Home' is a decent start to the Buffy comic collection. It will feed your need for the TV show by bringing your favourite characters back to life once more in a very slick and wonderful animated fashion. At times I do think the story jumps from one scene to another extremely quickly and whilst this works on TV or in a movie, it can leave very big holes in a comic book format as so much goes into actual body language and such. It seems that Whedon has yet to find his feet in the land of comic books and make that transition though he seems to have figured out that the sky's the limit and wastes no time in pulling out even bigger magic fights between Willow and Amy and of course turning Dawn into a giant...

          This is a very enjoyable romp that kept me entertained for a good hour or so with its unique and fresh look and very strange and rather revealing drawings, it was the first time I'd ever gotten into a comic book. The only problem is they are very hard to find in the shops, so you'll probably have to order issues from Amazon. I got this one from the local library. Buffy's back from the dead again so if you're a fan grab a copy to see exactly what does happen next.

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            30.11.2008 11:43
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            A excellent comeback for Buffy and her vampire slaying friends

            As a huge fan of Buffy when Seasonn 7 finished I was left wanting more! And now this want has been satisifed as Season 8 has arrived in the form of comics!

            Written by Joss Whedon himself means the storyline still has the same charm and quality as the TV series and fans will not be disappointed.

            The story doesn't start off exactly where Season 7 ended. At the moment you don't find out what happened in between the end season 7 and the start of season 8. I won't tell you what happens at the start so as not to spoil it but you'll see what I mean when you read it.

            All I'll say is that you'll see a return off alll your favourite Buffy characters and the humour that's often present in the Buffy series. The illustrations are also amazing and with this new comic format it means Whedon has had the opportunity to use stunning special effects that he wouldn't have been able to use on a TV budget.

            So, overall I recommend this to any Buffy fan who wants to know what happened after the hellmouth was destroyed.

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              09.08.2008 13:24
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              Awesome!

              Fans of the series may have been slighty dissapointed when Buffy the TV series ended, not due to the ending being bad, but because there was now nothing to look forward to! Here however Joss Whedon has released a graphic novel deatiling events that occur after the final series of Buffy.

              Script - Joss Whedon (the cretor of Buffy) handles the script himself. He does an amazing job as he keeps alive the chacters fans had grown to know. All of the originals are back and their personalities come through the writing. Buffy for example has been modeled on the personality seen in the series and you imagine Sarah Gellar saying some of the lines. The story in itself revolves around Buffy and her army of slayers. After the events of the series all potential slayers are now fully fledged superheroes! We see how they operate with Xander acting as a watcher to all of them. At first Willow is missing somwhere but she comes back soon enough. The gang are set up in a castle in Scotland aswel as some smaller baser around the world. There are two other fake Buffy's acting to confuse the vamps to her whereabouts. One is underground somewhere and one is in Italy. Fans of Angel the series will notice that the one in Italy was mentioned in an episode and Angel! The story continues to involve a witch called Amy who had survived the Sunnydale incident, for the majority of the Buffy series Amy was a rat after one of her spells went wrong. Shes evil now anyway and has seemingly teemed up with a mysterious organisation that are plotting against the slayers due to fear of their power! Also Amy has gotter herself a new boyfriend, I wont say who he is but he was heavily featured in the later seasons of Buffy. All in all I very much enjoyed the script and found it veery creative. It seems as though Whedon had always intended to carry on the story this was rather than creating it just to make money.

              The art - Pecicls by Georges Jeanty, Inks by Andy Owens and colours by Dave Stewart. There are also Guest artist for the cover art (Jo Chen) and some bonus drawings at the end! I found the art to be very familiar, it was like watching the series again. The style is quite realistic with a dash of the cartoon charm to it. The demons seem to be much more monsterous as such costmes would have been hard to create with restrictions in the series and it seems the artist have taken advantage of that!

              I am a big fan of this book. It ends with you wanting more and dont worry there is, infact there are many graphic novels of Buffy for you to sink your teeth into! I was pleased it retained the charm of the series and felt the story worked well in relation to how the series ended. Those of you who haven't seen the series however will not understand what is going on , so unfortunately this isn't for everyone!

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                10.01.2008 10:38
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                An essential, easy purchase for any Buffy fan. Bring on the next one!

                After a long wait, Buffy the Vampire Slayer continues in, perhaps, the only way it possibly could. No, not as a bigscreen movie, but as a comic book. The much talked about Buffy Season 8 comic series has Joss Whedon at the helm as executive producer, similarly to the TV series. he also writes the first five issues to make sure that things start with a bang.

                Boy, what a bang. Joss Whedon is a fantastic comic writer and here he's well aware of the challenges that faced him writing this comic - having to transfer a character successfulyl portrayed on Tv for seven years into a new medium and yet after only two pages I naturally felt right at home experiencing Buffy in this way. The fantastic dialogue is present and correct and a number of characters make a welcome return with a real shift of emphasis and focus. What impressed me the most though is Whedon's decision not to dumb this thing down; he effortless alludes to a long term story arc, sets up some mysterious possibilities, reverses genre expectations (his favourite trick, this time its fairy tales) and leaves little clues and puzzles scattered around for the observant reader to pick up on if s/he will.

                The first four issues deal with the story "A Long Way Home". The Buffy landscape has significantly changed yet again as Buffy is now in command of training an army of Slayers and Xander has grown up and become a sort of military ops guy. Ideal as this scenario sounds, the military have got wind of what Buffy is up to and want to put a stop to it, enlisting the help of a couple of old enemies.... If there is a criticism, at only four issues the narrative can feel a little rushed, but Whedon almost gets around this by pacing the story well, introducing key characters and developoment at the right moment to keep us on the edge of our seats.

                The fifth issue is a standalone story entitled The Chain -
                Quick aside to highlight Whedon's genius; he not only deftly dispenses with some really awkward continuity from the badly written Angel episode "The Girl in Question" in one caption, but he goes on to use this to greta emotional effect in this issue - about a girl who is hired as a Buffy lookalike to performa special quest. Buffy or the scoobies don't even appear in this story and it has to be read twice to be understood properly, but it manages to gain weight because of this.

                The only major gripe I have with the whole thing is the artwork. jeannty can draw the Buffy characters Ok and maybe this is why he was picked, but his style has nothing unnique or interesting about it and he doesn't highlight Whedon's text in any special or exciting way. There's the odd standout page, but the ethos here is clearly make it clear and readable for the non-comics fans who are hopping on board. I can't complain too much, but seeing Whedon's work with Cassaday on Astonishing X-Men does make you hope for a little more...

                All in all, this is a fantastic fix for us Buffy fans and its a true joy to see the story continued, even if its not as good as more live action Buffy.

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