For those getting into the “Buffy” Season 8 game a little late, let’s bring you up to speed:
-The slayers have organized following Buffy & Willow’s activation of all of them in “Chosen”.
-The government is opposed to the organized slayers, classifying them as a terrorist group.
-There’s some mystical group out there that is also trying to wipe out the slayers, but we don’t know much about them yet
That pretty much covers the first 4 issues. The 5th issue was a stand-alone (or one-off) and the current issue arc is Faith-focused.
This issue ties up the Faith arc (FYI, Faith wasn’t seen at all in Issues 1-5) while also tying it into the story from the first 4 issues.
I honestly couldn’t have been happier with the storytelling in this issue. It provided a satisfying conclusion to the Faith vs Genevieve story, while also getting Giles into some action. It also tied Roden into the main story (which is turning into a little bit of a Season 5-esque deal in which there’s a larger arc driving everything, even in stories that don’t seem like it).
Brian K. Vaughan deserves a lot of credit for his Joss-like writing. Faith’s reaction to Gigi asking if she had a New York accent was priceless.
Also, I know the “Faith tempted by evil” thing is kind of played out, but it only took two pages to cover, and Faith showed her true colors by just whacking the shit out of the bad guy (and I liked evil Faith, but good-on-the-edge Faith is much more fun).
One thing has to be said -- I love the drawing style of Georges Jeanty, but I’m not sure about his Faith. It’s not entirely fair to compare his art to the Jo Chen drawn covers, but it’s hard not to look at those and see how beautifully Faith is done. I’m not saying that Georges’ Faith is bad; it just doesn’t look like Faith.
Obviously the way the story wraps up, it sets the stage for the next set of issues. At this point, we’re 9 issues in and we’ve just gotten our first glimpse of the main villain (at least, I hope that’s the guy). Now it’s time for Joss to build the story on top of his solid foundation.