Season 9 Volume 1: Freefall Part One

Sep 14, 2011 16:42

"Buffy, you can stop convincing yourself things are better now."

"Buffy, you can stop convincing yourself things are better now."

Freefall Part One opens with Buffy waking up, hungover, trying to remember what she did the previous night. The scene cuts to the night before, with a downright gleeful (in the worst sense of the word) Buffy welcoming Dawn and Xander to her apartment for a party. We meet Buffy's roommates, Anaheed and Tumble, and Willow arrives with someone new. What then proceeds is back-and-forth storytelling between the party and the next day, as Buffy tries to remember everything she did. What did she do? Made a pass at everyone, apparently, juggled, played a game of Chicken with Andrew wrestling on her shoulders, and managed to get two of San Francisco's finest in on the action. All of which we could have predicted from the teaser pages.

The most telling line, quoted above, came from a pitying Riley who was trying to convince Buffy she did the right thing in destroying the seed. Apparently this is what Buffy's all about these days: convincing herself everything's okay, but she doesn't do much of a good job of it. Her frenzy to make sure everyone knows she's okay is obvious; this is a Buffy on the edge and trying to hide it. And this is the point of the issue: showing the state of mind Buffy is in. The game of "who did Buffy sleep with" may have a payoff later in the season, or it may be a bunch of dudes having a joke at the expense of shippers who are looking for any smidgeon of a sign that their ship is alive. All the same, it isn't a major plot point: it's there to show how far Buffy will go to convince herself and the world that she's doing all right and she did the right thing by destroying the seed.

We get introductions to a couple plot points for the early season, at least: the anatomically correct (according to a giggly Jeanty and Chambliss) El Draco is released from his prison, and it's the same guy we see on Spike's cover for issue #4. His last words for the issue are "kill all," so an ominous tone is set in spite of Buffy's party girl memories. We also see Simone jaunting down what I think is Highway 1 in a VW van loaded with weapons, mumbling about "showing them we're still here/ That we're better than them/ And that not all of us have lost our way." Another ominous foreshadowing while Buffy's busy table dancing. A third plot point comes with a dead girl in an alleyway, with no determinable cause of death. A fourth plot point pays off on the very last page: a demon has been hired to get Buffy to pay back her student loans. Haha.

Overall, it was a weaker issue than Angel and Faith: while Angel may still be chronically stupid, he's at least given the chance to act mature. Maybe it's because Jeanty seems to draw everyone as if they're in desperate need of a nose job, maybe it's because it's not Sarah up there doing her drunk!face, but the issue seemed to hit a flat note with me. After the maturity shown in Season 8 #40, I was looking forwards to a more introspective Buffy, a Buffy who could look at her mistakes and see where she went wrong (SPACE FRAK! SPACE FRAK! SPACE FRAK!). This is Buffy regressing to age 18, back to her uncertainty about college life, back to "Beer Bad" and "The Freshman." Maybe we'll see a more mature Buffy in the next issue, but as for this one, it seemed too jokey and not with the gravity a post-Season 8 issue should have. Maybe Joss will actually let Buffy learn her lessons and mature, instead of making her a party girl.

Now, back to copying and pasting email addresses for me!

coalitiongirl has already written fill-in-the-blanks fic that makes it all shippier better! I think she spoiled me with the mature Buffy of Embers. So my disappointment is all her fault!

season 9 the wank strikes back, buffy comics

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