Title: Slayer, Interrupted
Writers: Scott Lobdell & Fabian Nicieza
Artist: Cliff Richards
Series: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1998 Dark Horse Series, Issues #56-59)
Publisher/Copyright: Dark Horse, 2003
We’ve covered the fact that I’m on a Buffy binge, right? No need to repeat the same introduction over and over again….I’m finally watching the show, and since I’m a completist I’m going through the comics too. This particular volume picks up where Viva Las Buffy! left off, with Buffy finally returning home after her exploits in Las Vegas.
After they destroyed a particularly nasty nest of vampires in Vegas, Pike left Buffy because he was afraid he was going to get her killed if she kept having to look after him in a fight. Understandably crushed by this, Buffy returns home to a whole new set of problems: little sister Dawn has found her diary and been scared $#!^less by it, prompting an investigation by her parents. They conclude that she needs help, and Buffy goes to the asylum. In their defense, what would you conclude if your daughter started writing about slaying vampires in her diary? Anyway, Buffy’s problems don’t stop there, because there’s definitely something strange going on in that asylum….Meanwhile, Giles is forced to face the demons of his past if he is to be chosen as the next Watcher by the council, and is comedically horrified by the specifics of the posting.
So, you know how much griping I did about the art for the last set I reviewed? It’s all better here. I don’t know why, since Cliff Richards had been the lead artist since like issue #15, but I just wasn’t buying it in Viva Las Buffy! Whatever the reason, I have no real complaints on that score this time around. From a writing perspective, this was a great story to tell both because we’ve been told that she was briefly institutionalized (Buffy S06E17: Normal Again) and because it’s in this volume that we really see Buffy start to own her destiny, to understand that she needs to do this because she wants to, not because she has to, or she’s going to get herself killed real quick. It also sows the seeds of later events in how Buffy operates with regards to the Watchers’ Council. This one gets an A+ from me! My only minor complaint is that early in Buffy season 1 she is surprised to learn that she has to fight not only vampires but demons as well, but according to this she should already know that by the time she gets to Sunnydale.
As with the previous collection, you can read this either as it’s collected TPB I linked to, or it’s included in the first volume of Dark Horse’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer Omnibus series. EDIT: Apparently I was misinformed, and the Dawn And Hoopy The Bear issue I reviewed with Viva Las Buffy! is actually included in this TPB. I apologize for the confusion.
CONTENT: No profanity. A fair amount of violence; vampires and demons being slain, humans killed by said vampires and demons, a girl commits suicide as a result of said demons’ depredations. No explicit sexual content, but there is a demon recruiting “brides” from the asylum inmates. They dress skimpily, a couple panels avoid nudity only by conveniently-placed shadow, and the implications of the whole idea are creepily sexual. Occult content….I mentioned the demons, right? I’m not sure Whedon’s demons equate properly with the demons of Judeo-Christian mythology (that’s a discussion to be had, if anyone’s interested), but they are referred to as demons all the same.