"Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Volume 2 - No Future For You" Trade Paperback Review
Written by James "Spez" Ferguson
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Originally published as Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 8) #6 - #10
Written by Brian K. Vaughn and Joss Whedon
Illustrated by Georges Jeanty and Cliff Richards with covers by Jo Chen
2007, 120 Pages
Trade Paperback released on June 11th, 2008
Despite the title being named after her, this comic is not all about Buffy. Her supporting cast plays a huge part throughout each issue. This volume though shifts the focus entirely to another slayer: Everyone's secret — or not so secret — favorite, Faith. When Buffy awakened all the sleeper slayers, not all of them signed up for her new covert team of demon butt-kickers. Some had their own agendas. Such is the case with Lady Genevieve Savidge. She's being influenced by an evil warlock (you can tell he's really evil because he's a ginger) to kill Buffy. Giles realizes that this is going to lead to some bad mojo and enlists Faith to take out Genevieve, recognizing that Buffy and her team isn't up for this kind of dirty work. Faith has to get close to this rogue slayer in order to do the deed, but along the way she questions if having Buffy eliminated is really such a bad thing given their checkered past.
This setup is great. The dynamic between Giles and Faith works really well because at this point in the game they're both outcasts. Giles is the lone watcher for hundreds of slayers that don't need him while Faith is out on her own in Cleveland. Ugh...Cleveland. The two form a strong bond that's unlike what Giles once shared with Buffy. It's a partnership that begins out of necessity but one that grows to something much more.
There are five issues collected in this volume, No Future For You. Brian K. Vaughn (Y The Last Man, Ex Machina) pens the four issue Faith-centric story arc. Vaughn is a very talented writer and his style fits perfectly into the Buffyverse. He captures the voice of the characters extremely well and works in many bits of Whedon-esque dialogue.
Click image to enlarge.
The fifth issue included is written by Whedon himself. The story, titled Anywhere but Here, follows Buffy and Willow as they seek out an ancient demon for help and guidance. They are struggling with the identity of Twilight, the mysterious Big Bad that's been orchestrating recent events (not to be confused with the sparkly vampires). They pass through visions of the past, present, and future and are not happy with what they see. The truth about Buffy's mysterious benefactors come to light and we see that Willow is still mourning for Tara. They also encounter a Minder named Robin whose job it is to...well...mind the demon. Robin is based on a real person of the same name who won a contest that Dark Horse put together. The winner was originally supposed to get a cameo but after hearing Robin's touching story about her battle with schizophrenia, Whedon expanded the role.
As with the previous volume, the art by Georges Jeanty is subpar. His work looks rushed and unfinished with many faces only partially filled in. What little details there are throughout appear sketchy. If it wasn't for Vaughn's great writing, I'd have a lower overall grade for this book. The last issue is actually drawn by Cliff Richards, but the style mimics that of Jeanty so it's not much of an improvement. It really is a shame that Jo Chen only did the beautiful covers for the series and not any interiors. It would have made a world of difference to the art.
No Future For You ties up a few loose ends left from the TV series such as the Hellmouth in Cleveland and the whereabouts of Giles and Robin Wood. It's a good breather from the breakout first volume, but Buffy still plays a big role. The mysterious villain Twilight is still in the shadows, but he's moving the characters around like pawns on a giant chessboard. Whedon's executive producing of this book continues and he's steering it in the right direction.
Want to comment on this review? You can leave one below or head over to the HorrorTalk Review Forum.