Comic Fodder

Dark Horse Wednesday: Buffy, Hellboy, and the prequel character everybody actually liked

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #3

The first issue of the new Buffy the Vampire Slayer series sold an astonishing 136,000 copies to break into the Top 10 for March, an exclusive club that is almost always the domain of heavy hitters from Marvel and DC. The fact that Joss Whedon himself is writing the relaunch is no doubt a significant factor in the robust sales, as is the novel premise: it is billed as "Season 8" of the television show, and fits in there continuity-wise. For the fans of the popular and critically-acclaimed series, this is the closest thing possible to the TV series being continued.

But there are differences inherent in the change of medium. The most obvious is the inner monologue, which is the lingua franca of today's comic book writers. There's little, if any, of that in television, and this should put a new spin on the characterizations of the main players.

I was only a casual fan of the show, but the circumstances of this series are a long way from how I remember it. The first issue opens with a splash page of Buffy and some similarly hot team members assaulting a castle from the air, Charlie's Angels-style. We then see Xander, who has traded in the goofy mid-90s attire that he could have borrowed out of Screech's closet for a Nick Furyesque look that works better when you're striding around a command center and barking out orders. They are definitely no longer high school kids solving mysteries between study hall and band practice.

In the rest of the opening issue, we get a few teases about the future direction of the series and see both direct and indirect references to other familiar characters. The only thing I did not like is that it looks like yet another story where rogue elements of the US government and military are out to deal with what they view as threats to their power. Barring some kind of twist, isn't this angle getting a little old by now?

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #16

John Jackson Miller and Brian Ching begin a new story arc--"Nights of Anger"--on this issue.

Hellboy: Darkness Calls #1 (of 6)

Mike Mignola checks in with another Hellboy miniseries, which is a follow-up to 2005's The Island. I'm looking forward to trying this out and will let be reviewing it in a few weeks. To this point, my only exposure to Hellboy has been the movie and animated series.

City of Others #2 (of 4)

Steve Niles and famed horror artist Bernie Wrightson continue this series about a hit man confronting a world of zombies and vampires.

Star Wars: 30th Anniversary Collection Volume 3--Darth Maul HC

This is the latest in the 30th Anniversary Collection series of reprints of landmark stories from the Dark Horse line of Star Wars comics. I will do be doing a feature on this series in the future. This volume collects a Darth Maul miniseries that was originally published in 2000. I had the issues, but I cannot find them now. I do remember enjoying the story, despite it being pretty simplistic. It's a lot of Darth Maul being an evil badass and killing people. If that sounds good to you (and really, if you're a Star Wars fan how can it not?) this is the best way to read it. The softcover collection is still available as well.

Star Wars Legacy Volume 1: Broken TPB

The first collection of the ongoing series Legacy, collecting issues #1-3 and #5-7.