Script: Christos Gage
Art: Phil Noto
Published by Dark Horse
I wasn’t sure you could actually review just one issue midstream in this series or “Season 9” but this seems to be a self contained issue where you don’t have to know the backstory of either the television shows featuring “Buffy” and “Angel” or the various extra seasons that have been added in comic form.
I will now recount the changes that have happened since Whedon took these series to comics form. Buffy swings both ways, which means a more intimate entanglement with Willow may be imminent. Both of the main Watchers that we had been watching on television, seem to be dead. Giles was killed in Season 8 of Buffy and Wesley seems to have finally died but he had been walking around as a ghost in the last season of Angel. Buffy has cleared the world of magic and relocated to San Francisco. Angel and Faith have relocated to London and are trying to retool their images. Or you can read these Wikipedia histories of Buffy and Angel and work yourself up to speed.
I am making a presumption that you know who Angel and Faith are. If not, then read the Wikipedia entries or go unemployed for long periods of time and watch reruns of the show on the cable. Worked for me.
As complicated as the Buffyverse has gotten this is a nice stand alone issue that features Harmony, kind of a lightweight cheerleader type who was turned into a vampire in the Buffy television series and was a secretary or executive assistant in the last season of Angel.
I’ve found that Joss Whedon doesn’t borrow ideas but just flat out steals them. It defines his greatness. This issue is used to explain how Harmony has taken on a kind of True Blood like public relations role. Harmony is the friendly television face of vampires who won’t murder you in cold blood. I think the ground rules involve vampires not sucking you to death and the promise that they won’t sire more blood sucking ghouls.
Here she is explaining how public relations could work for Angel.
Superbia is the public relations consultant on the right. The plot seems to revolve around someone blackmailing Harmony with a vampire sex tape. The bad stuff has nothing to do with the sex, featuring a great line suggesting other places where Vampires bite you in order to get blood, but the fact that Harmony sired someone. And off we go. This also features Clem, an old character out of Buffy, that seemed almost like a slacker demon. He was actually fairly harmless in the television series but shows off some demonic powers in this issue.
It’s really a fun self contained little read, but the backstory that Joss Whedon has created is so complicated that I found myself reading the Wikipedia online outline of past plot developments just so I could navigate better. I owned some of the Buffy and Angel comics but not all of them. Four out of Five stars if you’re a big fan of the Joss Whedon helmed look at Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Would have made a good episode on television as well…