Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Guarded, Season 9 #3 ~ Andrew Chambliss, Jane Espenson & Drew Z. Greenberg

  • Title: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Guarded, Season 9 #3
  • Author: Andrew Chambliss, Jane Espenson, & Drew Z. Greenberg
  • Artists:  Georges Jeanty & Karl Moline
  • Series: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #3
  • Genre: Graphic Novel, UF, Fantasy
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: NetGalley
  • Reviewed by: Valerie
  • Rating: 5 out of 5

Description:  In a bold move to give disenfranchised Slayers a meaningful societal role (with pay), Kennedy recruits Buffy to act as bodyguard for high-profile clientele. But unlike the other recruits, Buffy struggles to abandon her Slaying instincts and looks for demony threats where none lie (much to Kennedy’s dismay). So it’s only natural that her first job is to protect a tech mogul who just so happens to be running from demon assassins! Collects Buffy Season 9 #11–#15.

Review:  I came late to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series starting mid-series in syndication, which explains why I am all about Team Spike. I was instantly hooked. Thanks to Netflix I was finally able to watch the entire series in order on DVD, and then almost immediately after I finished they made it available via streaming. Sigh. Lesson learned? Umm, maybe not because I am following the same model to catch up on True Blood.

My point here is that it makes sense that I will jump into the graphic novels series starting with Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 Volume 3. Just as it was with the television series, consider me instantly hooked.

The artwork is simply fantastic, especially the cover images. I am so glad that that Jeanty did not try to create new interpretations of the characters. It would just be weird for the characters to look way different from the television counter-parts. Besides, this way it kind of feels like visiting with old friends.

The script also does a very good job of capturing the tone of the characters and the show in general. I could just hear Sarah Michelle Geller’s voice in my head as I was reading Buffy’s dialog. The storyline had the same great combination of action and humor that I so loved about the TV show.

I loved the plot line of using Slayers as body guards now that evil has mostly been eradicated from our realm. This setting allows for new challenges as Buffy struggles to blend in. This is a key element to Buffy’s character, she IS different. This both gives her strength and causes her to make mistakes. And, the demonic social networking? Hilarious!

My favorite lines:

  • “Who’s taking a slaycation.” ~ Buffy
  • “We’re in the same boat. The S.S. I-Could-Really-Use-Your-Help.” ~ Buffy

Favorite panels:

  • P. 18 I love how the shadows and light play upon the the close-up of Eldre Koh’s face. His eyes seems to burn with intensity.
  • P. 34 The close-up on Buffy’s eyes reveals the intensity of her expression
  • P. 45 Buffy hanging in mid air as she leaps to attack the Teuth demon brandishing a battle axe. Killer. Figuratively and literally.
  • P. 74 The simplicity of the night sky is the perfect backdrop to capture their sillouettes as they watch the building burn. Again, the lighting effects are great. I also like the evidience of their recent battle, especially the bedraggled and blood spattered Buffy.

This volume also had a nice little bonus story to introduce Billy the Vampire Slayer. I loved Billy’s story and I hope this means that we will be seeing more of him in the future. All along BtVS has been about strength and empowerment. He turns his need to defend himself from bullying into something more, becoming a Slayer.

Favorite Lines:

  • “Oh, I heard your moxie loud and clear right before you slammed the door.” ~ Devon
  • “Okay, I’m actually going to need that.” ~ Billy
  • “…you belong.” ~ Buffy

Favorite Panels:

  • P. 88 The close-up of Billy’s face captures the bemusement that we’ve all felt as a teen when a crush unexpectedly noticed us.
  • P. 89 Chaos reigns supreme in this awesome depiction of the zompire horde taking over Cubemasher video. There is just so much going on in this image. 
  • P. 124 This is just a big ole bag of awesome. This frame captures a bit of each character’s personality from facial expressions to posture. It is well-balanced and the perspective of the bright moon above the city makes a great visual impact. The very best thing about this cell is the social statement being made in Buffy’s facial expression, as well as her words, “…you belong.”

The good thing about coming late to this party, I have plenty to keep me occupied until the next edition comes out.

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