Plain Simple wrote:
As for the first library edition of BtVS season 8, it actually has an extra story in it that the TBP don't have (I think), and which was only (?) published online before. Do you know if the future library editions will have these extras as well, or will they contain the same material as the corresponding TPBs?
The extra story is "Always Darkest", the 3 pages web comic written by Joss Whedon? I love that one, it's one of my favorite issues of season 8.
I don't have the library editions, but according to Wikipedia, the other 3 library editions don't have any of the other web comics. Which is fine, since the rest of them aren't really particularly interesting or good and you don't really need them to understand anything. All the web comics can be found on Dark Horse's Myspace page under "Dark Horse presents"
, but you have to search a little. Most of them aren't about the known characters, except a couple that feature Harmony.
However, it seems that the library editions don't have the Willow one-shot and the Riley one-shot? Neither of those is crucial for understanding the story, but the Riley one-shot (written by Jane Espenson) does include more info on the main arc and a surprising (?) appearance by one character who is important to the mythology, which gets followed upon in season 9 (Angel & Faith)
. The Willow one-shot (written by Joss Whedon) is well written and focused on her character, so while it's not essential to the story, I recommend it if you want more insight into the character in season 8, and it explains some things about her relationships in season 8
The trade paper backs seem to include more material than the library editions: the Willow one-shot ("Goddesses and Monsters") and the Riley one-shot ("Commitment through Distance, Virtue through Sin") and, besides "Always Darkest", it also includes 3 other short web comics).
There was one other one-shot in season 8, but it's not really connected to the season 8 characters or arcs except very tangentially, it's "Tales of the Vampires: The Thrill", and it's just OK, nothing that special, has no known characters, and the art is rather poor.
The only things you really need for season 8 are the issues 1-40, plus the Willow and Riley one-shot and "Always Darkest", which give some more insight into the characters.
It's better to only talk about season 9 once you finish season 8, to avoid spoilers. Season 9 is ongoing and contains not just the Buffy title but also Angel & Faith
and two other spinoff miniseries featuring
Plus there are two little mini-stories. I believe the first one, set before the beginning of season 9, is included in the first season 9 trade paperback.
Plain Simple wrote:
Thanks Ethros! I appreciate you going into all this detail.
What do you think of the quality of the stories? I thought Tales of the Slayers and Tales of the Vampires were okay. Not great, and varying quality between the different stories, but fun overall. Perhaps I just missed the familiar characters. What I've read so far of BtVS s8 and Spike has impressed me quite a bit. It really feels like continuations of the characters I've come to know and love through the tv series. Is the quality of ATF and BtVS s8 and s9 stories fairly constant and on par with what I've read so far (in your opinion, of course)?
Which issues have you read so far?
I would say that the first half of season 8 is of consistently high quality. Then it sags a bit, since the standalone issues from 21 to 25 differ in quality. And then... well, the climax of the season is very divisive and controversial, and many people thing that it ruined the season, but there are people who like it... I like some parts of it and I can appreciate the story as a whole, but it does some very problematic things and some issues are awful. The last issue, 8.40, however, is one of the best comic issues of Buffyverse, it managed to salvage the season as far as I'm concerned.
However, I have been less than thrilled by season 9 so far. I think the writing is rather flat and the characterizations poor (Andrew Chambliss and Scott Allie have been writing the Buffy
title since Joss is too busy and has only written 9.01 and given them storylines and guidelines) and, while many people love Angel & Faith
, I think it's failed to follow up on season 8 properly and that the characterization of Angel is very cardboard.