Are you an ardent Buffy fan? If you raised your hand, great! If not, I’m glad that you decided to read this article. I just have a little, light summer homework for you to get caught up to speed. You’ll need to watch the 1992 movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer (what ever happened to Kristy Swanson?), all 7 seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and 5 seasons of Angel, read the Buffy spin-off comic, Fray, and Volume 1 of Buffy the Vampire Season 8. I would also recommend buying a pop culture reference lexicon as a study guide. All done? Now, on with the show!
As you may remember from your previous studies, students, Buffy ended after 7 seasons on television. It concluded with a very open, yet optimistic, ending. After a few months of therapy and grief counseling, the loss of the Buffy series started to wane. I still got teary every time the siren song of joy that Nerfherder penned would waft through the air. I would usually give a huge *SPOILER ALERT* after that, but come on, why would you not want a little insight, or in this case more of a reminder for you kids to get the cobwebs dusted off and remember where we left Ms. Summers. If you are caught up on the ending of the show, but haven’t read Season 8 Volume 1, then you need to check your priorities. Nobody goes directly from chapter 1 to chapter 42. You don’t go from opening the Ikea DIY bookshelf instructions to having a book hanging out with its friends. I wish you could, because I don’t read Swedish stick figures well. Back to the insight . . . Granting the power of the Slayer to those that may become the next Chosen One after the demise of Buffy imbues the world with many more powerful adversaries, tipping the scales in favor of the good guys. Go, feminism! Bras burned and stakes sharpened, Slayer Training Camp is open for business.
As we unpack our bags and make up our bunks, some old characters from the Buffyverse resurface while new ones are introduced. By new ones I mean to say a few thousand new Slayers and a villain called Twilight. Huh, a character in a vampire story called Twilight who happens to be bad. Coincidence? Doubtful. We get an insight (pun somewhat intended) into how a one-eyed Xander is dealing with post-Sunnydale events. It’s a bit depressing that a pseudo Nick Fury is still having a hard time getting laid among thousands of young women and is the only straight man they come into regular contact with. I just cried in my pants a little bit. So sad. Willow is continuing to master her magical powers. Not just the power to make strong-minded lesbians weak in the knees, but overall abracadabra-type magical powers, as well. “Lil’ Bit” Dawn is up to the usual teenage angst and hormonal rage. She’s also up to about 80-feet tall. They grow up so fast, which, besides a few jerka– baddies from the show, leaves us with Buffy Summers. General in an army of young Slayers, up to her neck in new responsibilities, and still a master of the beauty product arts, Buffy is trying to take her new role with the dignity it deserves while trying to remain true to herself and not be defined by the job. From being a good friend and big sister, a funny and charismatic charmer, and a woman who is surrounded by many giving her awe and admiration and also giving her the eye . . . Rowr! Buffy is a girl who usually knows what she wants, even when she may not realize it consciously and gets it *bi any means necessary. *Spoiler Alert?
This edition in the Buffyverse comes complete with its usual arsenal of action, humor, ennui, and pop culture references. Enough of the last that those in the know will get an out-loud giggle, while the rest overlook it like seeing an Asian man painted to camouflage himself into his background like a chameleon. See what I did there? You either do or you don’t. From website characters on t-shirts and statues subtly holding up the shocker, past comic writing legends and even getting to go self referential by working in the never-produced Buffy cartoon as a dream sequence, it really runs the gamut of pop culture and brings it to its frakking knees. See what I did that time? Yeah, you see what I did there. Semicolon parentheses. See, I can do this all day.
In closing, I’ll say this: read it or you’ll make Mr. Pointy angry, and you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry. So says the class of BtVS 2012. So say we all.