Review by Shaun Daniels and Edited by Sharon Wong

Buffy Season 9: Apart (of Me) – Part One Issue 8

Written by Andrew Chambliss & Scott Allie, Penciled by Cliff Richards, Inked by Andy Owens, Colored by Michelle Madsen, Covers by Phil Noto & Georges Jeanty and Published by Dark Horse Comics. Retail Price $2.99

(SORT OF A) WARNING: This review of issue 8 is void of all but one spoiler so if you haven’t read issue 6, stop here and do just that.  When we last saw Buffy, she was having a bit of an identity crisis.  Issue 8 clears this up and sheds light on her bun in the oven.  The issue also features yet another art team for the series as well as a co-writer to boot.

Part one of the three-issue arc, Apart (of Me), opens with Buffy and Spike paying a visit to an old friend who may have info on Buffy.  Meanwhile, Detective Dowling must face the consequences of the raid on the Zompire nest of the previous issue in the form of his partner (we advise you to read this part of the story carefully as it sets up some very bad things to come for the detective).  Also, the cause of Buffy’s current state is revealed, which honestly falls a little short.  It was obvious that the change in her status was temporary but this type of troupe is overused.  There are, however, two parts of the troupe that at least sell it as a story device with the first being the character that is responsible for the change in Buffy’s life.  It fits perfectly that the character (who shall remain nameless here as it would spoil the story) would go to that extreme to, as he puts it, “protect” Buffy.  The second is that the reason for Buffy going through the change does make sense but in a very warped sense of duty way.  With Buffy and Spike figuring out the skinny on her new state of being, they’re off to fix the situation.  The one thing that stands in their way is the return of an old slayer friend, who inadvertently turns the situation from very bad to Whedonverse bad.

Andrew Chambliss continues to capture the rapid fire, witty banter that the TV series was known for.  Co-writing the script is longtime Dark Horse editor extraordinaire, Scott Allie, who blends well with Chambliss to form a writing team.  One of the big writing standouts of the issue is the line of dialogue where Buffy discusses her “pregnancy” with Spike.  Buffy says, “I thought for once I was facing something normal, something a person deals with.”  This sums up where Buffy is as a person in Season 9; she would rather be handling this situation instead of gallivanting around in a steampunk airship piloted by alien bugs and fighting Zompires.  The art duo of penciler Cliff Richards and inker Andy Owens are a great fit for the book, matching the art styles of Georges Jeanty, Karl Moline and others from the series.  Phil Noto turns in another amazing cover that will undoubtly make Whedonverse fans drool.

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