So, here’s the deal: I’ve been buying my comics faithfully pretty much every single week, but I haven’t been reading them. There’s a whole list of factors, whatever, I’m done looking at the stack of comics and I’m working my way through them.
Last night I blew through 18 issues of Buffy Season 8.
There will be spoilers, so if you’re even farther behind than I am, turn back now! Muahahaa. Haa. Ahem.
I can quite clearly see why fandom’s got their knickers straight up in a twist. However, Twisted Knickers is not only the name of my punk Spice Girls cover band, it’s also the natural state of fandom’s undergarments.
If we’re not cranky about something, we’re not fen.
SO! 18 issues is a year and a half of storyline. What a pile of plot twists, I tell you what.
Actually, I characterized it thusly: they didn’t just jump the shark, nope, it jumped the shark that Batman was fighting with a lightsaber. See cover image to the right, there, as exhibit A.
Yes, that is Buffy flying. Yes, she suddenly gets even-more-super-powers.
Yes, there’s a whole sequence where they are testing what she’s actually got, and they run through Superman’s powers, Spiderman’s powers, the X Men powers, and even (bless!) The Tick.
That, by the way, is what elevates it from a jumped shark to a jumped shark-that-Batman-is-fighting-with-a-lightsaber, in my opinion. A jumped shark is having the characters play it straight and expecting the audience to swallow it whole. A jumped-shark-that-Batman-is-fighting-with-a-lightsaber is the characters saying, “This is utterly ridiculous, and we know it is, and we’re as surprised and gobsmacked by disbelief at the current train of events as you are. But by gosh and golly gumption, this is our lives and we’re the ones who have to deal with it. No matter how much it makes us just want to sit here and sporfle.”
Now that I think about it, this is also why I like the TV show Chuck.
The series is still playing with those same themes it’s been mucking around with since S1 Ep1: growing up, redemption, family, et cetera, et cetera. It’s added on a whole new dimension of responsibility, however, as Buffy et. al. are now turning into mentors and de-facto loco parentis to all the wee Slayers. It’s a situation that’s been mirrored in my own life, and I do like how it’s being shown in the comic books.
Basically, Buffy is still Buffy, in an all-out, no-holds-barred, we’re facing real life and it looks kind of like giant Tibetan gods and demons kind of way. Totally enjoyable in a completely cracktastic way. I suggest you let the story sweep yourself along and not mire yourself in the pit of overanalysis.
I could have done without Issue #34, the Very Special Nekkid Issue, but that’s just me and my Puritan streak. See above re: twisted knickers and fandom.