Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Buffy Comic Project: "The Final Cut"

Buffy The Vampire Slayer # 8

(Dark Horse) (Volume 1, 1998-2003)

Creators: Andi Watson (writer), Jason Pearson & Cliff Richards (pencillers); Joe Pimentel (inker)

Setting: Season Two

T.V. Character Appearances: Buffy, Willow, Xander, Cordelia, Oz
Major Original Characters: Marty Glass (aspiring filmmaker), Fair Quinn (B-movie star)

Summary: Sunndale High geek and aspiring filmmaker Marty Glass stumbles upon a film canister containing an old black-and-white vampire movie. When he watches the film, Glass learns it contains the soul of a B-movie actor named Fair Quinn who made a deal with demonic powers that didn't quite work out. However, Quinn promises Glass that if the wannabe-director can sacrifice five souls for him, Quinn will ensure he gets to be a feature-film maker. To that end, Glass convinces Willow to "write the script", Cordelia to "star", Xander to be her "agent", Oz to do "music", and Buffy to do "fight choreography" for the amateur film. When they all get sucked "inside" the world of the film, however, Quinn kills Glass and starts to attack the Scoobies--only Buffy beats the holy bejesus out of him, making several movie-related puns along the way.

Review: Actors stepping outside of old films to lure in unwilling viewers is a plot I've seen before in genre fiction, including (most memorably to my mind, for some unknown reason) two episodes of Big Wolf on Campus. The Scoobies also agree to work on the film a little too easily and conveniently, but comics don't have a lot of room to waste on build-up. Still, the idea works well as a Buffy story and continues this series' penchant for light-hearted stories. For those fans out there who felt the series became too dark in later seasons, these comics very much recreate the feel of Season One (even if they're officially set in Season Two).


* A little bit of a twist here, as it's Buffy who does the research to figure out what Marty Glass is up to, instead of Giles (who doesn't appear).

* The art cover is probably my favorite of the early issues, even if it always makes me think Dracula is going to appear.

* The Scoobies are extra silly this time around, with each of them making movie-related wisecracks. Xander gets a post-fight "I was glad to see the lights go down on that performance" (after Buffy uses stage-lights to hit her opponent), Oz goes with "it was almost the last act for us" and even Willow gets in on the fun with "there goes my screen credit." Buffy, as you can see, goes with the classic "OW!" inducing "Take Two."

* A pattern with the Buffy merchandise advertisements has appeared, with two competing companies dueling: "Creation Entertainment" and "Power Star Collectibles." This time around, Creation Entertainment tries to corner the market on "Glassware" by featuring three different Buffy shot classes and four different coffee mugs. I bet beverages would taste better in Buffy-themed glassware.

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