Review: “Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Bad Blood” by Andi Watson & Joe Bennett

Title: Bad Blood
Writer: Andi Watson
Artist: Joe Bennet
Series: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Buffy The Vampire Slayer #9-11)
Rating: ***
Publisher/Copyright: Dark Horse Comics, 2000

It’s been a while since I read any of these Buffy comics, hasn’t it? Got a bit sidetracked. Anyway, the Bad Blood collection contains a mere three issues (#9-11), the first part of a larger long-running arc. Andi Watson is still going strong as the writer, and Joe Bennett subs back in as the artist for this arc. These three issues are available either here or in Buffy The Vampire Slayer Omnibus Volume IV.

Life goes on apace for the Scoobies in these three issues. Nothing too life-changing happens in the parts of the story focused on our favorite slayer and her friends, as these issues blend a fairly episodic approach to the Scoobies with a long-game story featuring Selke, the vengeful vampire who got torched back in Cold Turkey. Hey Good Lookin’ (issues #9-10) sees Selke recruits an amoral plastic surgeon to try and fix her “cosmetic issues” while Buffy tries to balance tracking a band of ghouls who have been using the local cemetery as a diner with her surprising new gig: modelling! Then in A Boy Named Sue (issue #11) Buffy and the gang have to deal with an arrogant and duplicitous something-or-other, frontman for a band that rivals Oz and the Dingoes while being utter tools. Todd Dahl has decided that it’s time to add another “S” to his little black book of conquests, and he’s settled on our favorite Ms. Summers despite the fact that she’s not interested. Amy is, though, and she can be quite vengeful when spurned….

My reactions this time are…mixed. The art is definitely improving, even Xander is mostly recognizable. Probably a mix of the artist improving and me getting over my grumpiness with his appearance in these books. Everyone else is pretty well done though. Kudos to Mr. Bennett, he’s put my complaints to rest. The writing is where I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, it’s perfectly spot-on when it comes to dialogue and characters sounding like themselves. On the other hand, there are deep flaws in this story arc. I don’t buy that Joyce Summers would be considering plastic surgery–it just doesn’t seem consistent with her character. The plastic surgeon suddenly becoming adept at magic? Maybe, I can buy that, especially if he’s a quick study. He seems to accumulate enough arcane books quickly enough, probably from Selke. But being able to pull off a tricky translation from an ancient language? Not exactly something they teach at medical school. This is of course somewhat balanced by the sheer hilarity of his attempt to buy time by passing off a jar of mayo as some mystery salve. Why did he have a random jar of mayo sitting in his operating room? I have no idea, and for once I don’t care. The writing was occasionally quite abrupt, switching scenes without warning, and I think each of these issues could have benefited from another couple pages, but that’s not always an option. Timeline-wise, these still have to happen before Buffy S03E11: Gingerbread since Amy makes an appearance. Xander and Cordelia seem to be together, but that’s never explicitly said so I guess we just ignore that.

CONTENT: No profanity that I can recall. Vampire violence consistent with the Buffy television show. Some mild sexual innuendo, from tight clothes consistent with a comic book to a character attempting to seduce a girl (and then lying about his failure the next day), plus the requisite jokes when a male character gets magicked into a female. Buffyverse vampires could be considered occultic due to their demonic nature, but it didn’t bug me.

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6 Comments

Filed under Books, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Comics/Graphic Novels, Reviews

6 responses to “Review: “Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Bad Blood” by Andi Watson & Joe Bennett

  1. Ana

    I love your reviews on the Buffy Comics! Are you going to review the Angel Omnibus (Dark Horse and IDW Publishing) and Spike Omnibus? Are you going to read Season 8, 9 and 10 of Buffy and Angel & Faith?

    Keep up the good work!

    • Glad you like them! I’ll definitely keep them coming then. The plan is definitely to get around to those eventually, though I’m trying to stick to more-or-less chronological order. As you can see, I’m still in Season 3 of Buffy. After the next four or five collections, Angel spins off into his own show, and I assume his comics follow suit. The intention was always to get around to Seasons 8-10 and the related material, I just happen to be really OCD about chronological order…. 😛

      • Ana

        I understand 🙂 I did the exact thing! I’ve started reading the comics last August and I’ve decided to read all the comics (canonical and non canonical) because I miss the show so much! So, I’ve re-watched the show and read the comics while watching (big nerd, right? :P)

        Oh, and yes, the Dark Horse Angel comics follows the spin off, and the first scripts are actually kinda good. Different from the Buffy comics, but similar to the Tv show. Unfortunately, they only did 17 issues.

        If you need any help with the comics I have a publication order list (not chronological), but it helps to keep on track on everything that was published!

        Thanks for answering! 😀

  2. That was the original plan for my first time through the show, but then my wife got hooked too and….let’s just say she’s impatient 😛 We did manage to keep the Buffy/Angel episodes running more or less in the proper order after the split though….

    I’m mainly using the Wiki page collating all the comics to keep myself on track. It’s a little nonspecific when it comes to the Season 8+ stuff (For example, I’m not sure how Season 8 and After The Fall work together, which comes first, etc.) but otherwise it’s been helpful. And since I’m working from individual issues, it’s also helped keep me on track as far as what was reprinted where.

    No problem! I don’t get many comments, so I try and respond to the ones I do get…. 😀

    • Ana

      They were published at the same time, but I think the best way to read them is: After the Fall, Spike the Series, Buffy Season 8. After the Fall follows the end of Angel’s Season 5 and Buffy Season 8 jumps a year or so from the end of Season 7, so chronologically, you should start with After the Fall. And before reading Season 8, you should read Fray and Tales (Tales of the Slayers, and Tales of the Vampires).

      Thanks again 😀 and sorry for any grammar mistake (i’m portuguese and my english is a little rusty :P)

      • Gotcha. I figured that was probably the case….

        I’ve already read the Tales collections. Reviewed them too….they were awesome. I love a good anthology, seeing the different takes on a subject or theme….

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