Daddytank’s unquenchable thirst for more Buffy returns in this, the second of his series of graphic novel reviews:
The second instalment of Season 8 (in comic form) finds us re-acquainting ourselves with some of the characters who didn’t make much of an appearance in “The Long Way Home” ie: Giles, Faith and Robin “Principal” Wood. We discover that they have not moved far from their former lives, and all are still struggling in a world where they find themselves in the outer circle of Buffy’s trust. The issues that placed them at odds with the Slayer (to greater and lesser degrees) remain largely unsolved but they are still “fighting the good fight”.
In terms of the TV show, I guess this episode would rank as a “the plot thickens” kind of thing. The threat established in “The Long Way Home” does not surface but is alluded to, and lines are drawn to extend the story arc to the point where one can have some tantalising guesses at where this is all going. One of the high points of this volume is the increasingly warm relationship between Giles and Faith. Now some may argue that as their relationship not so long ago was that of torturer and tortured, that they seem a little chummy, but they began working through some of these issues before the end of Season 7. There is also the unspecified (but obviously relatively lengthy) time period that has elapsed since Sunnydale imploded, during which bygones have obviously become bygones. Anyway, I can tell you now that if I was going to be tortured by anyone I would want it to be Faith, who has been superbly rendered in terms of both dialogue and art in “No Future For You”. It’s great to have her back. Faith is like a Terminator on a tea break, companionable and witty but still ready and willing to kill literally anyone and everyone that she has to.
My only complaints about “No Future For You” are very slight and very specific and while I have managed to avoid spoilers in these reviews so far, I will have to reveal the two small details that made me upset. Firstly, Joss Whedon has always been pretty keen with his pop culture references, but when I found myself listening to Faith discussing Amy Winehouse in a positive fashion (albeit briefly in an otherwise fascinating piece of story) my bile duct instantly exploded and showered my heart with acid.
How can I put this in a genteel fashion? Amy Winehouse is a twat. I don’t want her to exist in the Buffyverse. I don’t want her to exist in the Me-verse. I also didn’t take particularly kindly to a throwaway remark about the Stone Roses; but that’s just because I hate them. What I will say in Joss Whedon’s defense though, is that music was never well represented in the world of Buffy; with the Bronze regularly hosting some of the lamest bands in all available dimensions. You can’t be good at everything I suppose.
One final criticism would be that Genevieve (the “baddy” in this episode) is a little unconvincing, and is also the most ludicrously stereotypical “English” person to appear in Buffy since the “Cor Blimey” Slayerette who turned up at Buffy’s house in Season 7. Thankfully it never quite hits the same level of farce that arose with the utterly ludicrous Kendra (the Jamaican Slayer).