It’s nice to take things slow but it’s also awesome to gun it. Season 9 takes off with the new arc, “Apart (Of Me).” It seems like each page is full of plot development, and in a good way. There is even some sly reference made to Season 8. So much is going on. As you will recall from last ish, Buffy is having quite the identity crisis. Caught in the crossfire of the vampire wars, Buffy lost a limb! And sparks began to fly, as in robotic limb and, well, robotic being. This leaves Spike, her lover and her protector, with much to explain and so the two are off to find answers. They begin by blasting into the bedroom of a perfect Whedonesque man-child genius, Andrew. With all his action figures scattered about, his room more of a mess than usual, it is this bewildered dude who holds the key to Buffy’s future.
First thing’s first, Andrew offers Buffy a new arm, that is if she doesn’t mind another left arm since that’s all he’s got in stock at the moment. On to more tangibles, Andrew lets Buffy know why she’s not exactly Buffy. It was all an elaborate plan to help her! It’s complicated and well worth letting you find out the particulars. Let it be said that the script is crisp and sizzles with Andrew Chambliss and editor Scott Allie. And the art finds its feet with Cliff Richards (pencils), Andy Owens (inks) and Michelle Madsen (colors). We’re seeing here a more determined, energetic and downright righteous Buffy.
We appear to have more interesting give and take between the characters. And that has to do, to some degree, with the hightened action and he addition of Andrew. The tension between Buffy and Spike takes a new turn as Buffy becomes more vulnerable and more appreciative of Spike. Or is that the bot part of Buffy that is confusing things? Andrew appears regularly as spot on comedy relief. He tries to befriend, outwit, and even command Spike’s own coachroach A-Team. They aren’t having any of that. For the most part, they don’t even understand what he’s babbling about. It’s all nervy prattle to them but, to us Whedon fans, it’s all snarkalicious good fun.
What’s not so much fun, is back on the beat with Detective Dowling and his fight against the zompires. He’s dealing with one slain detective, Miranda Cheung, and its aftermath. And, suffice it to say, Buffy is going to go through quite a lot of changes in the next couple of issues. Everything is set in place. Get Issue 8 on April 11. And visit Dark Horse Comics for more info.