Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Graphic Book Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus Volume 3 by Various Authors

Title: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Omnibus Volume 3 (graphic novel)
Author: Various.
Publisher: Dark House Books.
Publication Date: January 22nd, 2008
Genre: Horror, TV tie-in

Pages: 320 pages (softcover)
How I came upon this book: I bought this recently as I was actually downsizing my Buffy comics collection into the omnibus collections.  ♥

Summary: 'The third volume of Dark Horse's Buffy Omnibus series follows the gang through harrowing trials and tribulations - slaying vampires, going to high school, and young love.  Angel has lost his soul and found it again, Xander and Cordelia kiss and make up, and Willow and Oz confront his inner beast.' - Amazon summary

The Buffy gang is back again in the third volume of Dark Horses Omnibus collections.  This volume, while somewhat lacking in character development (even though Dark Horse explains the lack of Faith, it's very noticeable), it still has the heart and soul of season three of the show.

Wu-Tang Fang: The most Xander centric story of the volume, and possibly the comic series, is not as great as it deserves to be.  Written by Andi Watson, this story places Xander Harris at the scene.  While Buffy and the rest of the gang are busy trying to figure out how to stop a evil demon who is killing the black belts of Sunnydale, Xander realises that he needs to spruce up his martial arts.  There, he encounters the demon, and all hell breaks loose.  This story was the first of the series, and it does show.  The plot is weak, and it could have been much longer than the 22 pages that it is.  The art by Joe Bennett is pretty good, and one of the high points of the story.

Halloween: This is the start of the continuity problems for me, and probably others that have read this series.  'Halloween'.  This is part one of a two part series, which ends with the next story.  It revolves around the Scooby gang having to once again chaperone a bunch of children for trick or treating.  With Willow missing, Buffy ends up on a mission to rescue her friend from a bunch of vampires.  Written by Andi Watson, the story is great for a two parter, unfortunately for the art, which again is by Joe Bennett, Willow and Buffy switch from being busty, to not busty page by page.  Plus this is the start of trying to identify Willow from Cordelia, as they have both long brown hair in this volume, which bugs me since Willow clearly has short red hair during the third season.

Cold Turkey: Part two of the previous story, finds Buffy and the gang celebrating Thanksgiving, but not all is calm in the town of Sunnydale.  One vampire got away after the fight between Buffy, and the vampires to save Willow, and this vampire is out for revenge.  Written by Andi Watson, art by Joe Bennett, the story is a great follow up to the first part of the story.  The only problem I had was again how Willow was drawn.  Besides that, this two parter is the highlight of this volume.

Dance With Me: Written by Christopher Golden, this very short story shows us what Buffy's story is all about.  Seeing people you know/love turn to the dark side.  Buffy ends up having to fight a kid from school, who liked her, sadly though, Buffy didn't return the favour, and because of this consequences happened.

White Christmas: Since when did Sunnydale become Sunnyvale?  The annoying misspelling of the shows own town is very obvious.  Written by Andi Watson, and art by Hector Gomez, this story takes place in the  Sunnyvaledale mall, where Buffy takes a job to pay for a new dress for the school dance.  For Buffy though, this isn't your typical job.  Besides  the annoying mispelling, the art is fantastic, and does the plot justice.  All in all, this story is a nice quick read, with wonderful art.

Happy New Year: Written by Andi Watson, art by Hector Gomez, this story again, like 'White Christmas', is a fantastic read.  Hector Gomez has a way with drawing action scenes so phenomenal, it's breathtaking.  The plot centers on Buffy and friends about to ring in the new year, but a curse gets in their way, and Buffy and friends take matters into their own hands.

New Kid on the Block Part One/Part Two: Buffy, Willow, and Cordelia have a sleep over for the new girl Cynthia, but what was supposed to be a fun night, turns into a night of horror for Buffy and her friends.  Written by Andi Watson, and art by Hector Gomez, this series another one of the highlights of the volume.  A very nice plot, with again, very great art.

The Food Chain Part One/Part Two: I'm going to be completely honest with you.  The Food Chain is a hit and miss with me.  Part one is really good, but part two is not that great.  Written by Christopher Golden, in this two parter, we see Buffy try to befriend a girl named Sandy, who seems to be hanging out with the wrong crowd.  Buffy ends up being worried when she overhears Sandy and her friend Brad talk about a spell that they are going to try.  Buffy ends up trying to find out exactly what Sandy is up to, and what she sees is a shocker.  Part two takes place about a month later, I believe, when the survivors of the previous disaster are being killed off one by one.  The art is by Christian Zanier, who does a wonderful job at actually making the characters that you see on the page look almost exactly like the actors themselves.  I'm starting to really love Zanier, and Gomez in these volumes, as they seem to really have a sense at how to draw the action, and the way the actors bodies are.  Golden packs a punch with the first part, but the second part falls short, with an uneven plot, and a very short ending.  I would still recommend this story to anyone that wants to read it, if not for the art alone.

Play With Fire: Written by Christopher Golden, with art by Hector Gomez, this story is a cute short comic, which centers majority on Willow, Buffy and Giles.  They end up encountering a "haunted house", which ends up being not so haunted.  Cute, short, and fantastically charged!

The Final Cut: Written by Andi Watson, with art by Cliff Richards, this story was never released in a graphic novel, and now for the first time you can read it in this collection!  One of my favourites, this story centers on Buffy and her friends, who end up being sucked into the cinema, literally!  It's a fun plot, maybe a little short, but it's a must read!

The Latest Craze: Finally, to end the volume, you have one of the most interesting stories in all of Buffy comic history.  Like 'MacGuffins' from volume 2, this story is another one of my must read all the time favourites.  Written by Christopher Golden and Tom Sniegoski, with art by Cliff Richards, 'The Latest Craze' introduces us to a new enemy, and an old enemy.  If I would tell you anymore, I'd give away the whole plot!  Just read it for yourself to find out how hilarious, and fun this story is.

Rating: ♥♥♥

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