Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Buffy Comic Project: "A Boy Named Sue"

Buffy the Vampire Slayer # 11

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

Creators: Andi Watson (writer), Joe Bennett (penciller), Rick Ketcham (inker)

Setting: Season Three

T.V. Character Appearances: Giles, Buffy, Oz, Willow, Xander, Cordelia, Amy Madison

Major Original Characters: Dr. Flitter, Selke, Todd Dahl (singer)

Summary: Sunnydale's town hall is pushing a blood donation drive, so Buffy and Giles decide they better "stake out" the place in case vampires attack. Which they (the vampires) do. Four dustings later, Sunnydale's blood supply is safe. Meanwhile, Todd Dahl, the lead singer of a hot new band, tries to put the moves on Buffy, but she totally shuts him down. Todd only has eyes for Buffy, however, and totally ignores soon-to-be rat Amy Madison who is head-over-heels in love with him. To get revenge on Todd, Amy casts a spell to turn him into a woman, and alleged hilarity ensues before Buffy convinces Amy to cancel the spell. And in the series' only long-running sub-plot, disfigured vampire Selke is finally returned to normal.

Review: The vampires-attacking-blood-donation scenes come off as bland and almost shoe-horned in, as if Buffy has a quota of dustings to make every issue. It is good to see Giles get some field-action, since he's been library-guy for the past several issues. The idea of a jilted Amy switching someone's gender is in character for everyone's favorite non-Willow/Tara witch, but the execution doesn't do anything new or clever with an idea that's been around for a while in genre fiction like this. I'm glad Selke finally got her groove back, because it's time for her to do something to justify her role as Buffy prime opponent in the comics.


* No letters page this issue, and next issue is billed as a "special fill-in issue."

* One of the vamps that Buffy stakes has huge, bat-like wings and can fly. I was going to snark on what is so obviously a departure from the show's depiction of vampires, but on second thought the show was pretty laid-back about suddenly introducing new types of demons that never appear again.

* I wasn't sure if Amy's appearance here fits into continuity because of her rat-ness, but research reveals that if the issue is set before Season Three's Gingerbread then it works out.

* I love this picture of Sunnydale high, with the "F" shaped windows. What a message to send students!
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