Buffy Season Eight left us in a magic-less and Giles-less world after Buffy’s destruction of the seed. It was a less than perfect ride through season eight, but I had faith that season nine would redeem the characters and their fans. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine opens bringing us right into that world: Buffy has new roommates and works in a coffee shop, Willow has moved on from Kennedy and works as a computer programmer, Dawn and Xander live together while Dawn finishes up college, and Spike still lives on his bug spacecraft.
“Freefall,” the first story arch of Buffy Season Nine (issues 1-5), begins with Buffy throwing herself a housewarming party and slowly beginning to realize that the world is not so great without magic, the loss of which having affected many people. Mysterious deaths begin occurring all over the city (San Francisco) and the local PD quickly determine the victims are vampires. We, and Buffy, are baffled as to why they aren’t going POOF! when they die. The mystery is solved when Buffy meets a guy who claims to be a slayer, Severin, who tricks Buffy into believing he wants to help her. The Scoobies unite to discuss the mystery, and realize that with the destruction of the seed, newly Sired vampires are not connecting to any demons from another realm, thus they are mindless and zombie-like. Zompires.
Spike and an ancient demon-type quickly realize he is actually a villain out to get her, the Siphon. He can literally suck the power and life out of all mystical beings, and has been the one killing the vampires. In a mini-battle, he is disabled and hospitalized by the SFPD. We learn he was actually hired by Simone, who still is out to get Buffy.
In “Slayer, Interrupted” (issue 5), Buffy experiences ominous dreams leading to Willow disappearing and the belief that, with the scythe, she may be able to bring magic back into the world. Buffy also begins feeling nauseous frequently, and finds out she is pregnant. This elicited a very loud “What?!” from me.
Overwhelmed, Buffy contemplates her pregnancy at the start of the second story arch, “On Your Own” (issues 6-7). She seeks guidance and help from Principle Woods about what it was like having a Slayer as a mother. She decides to get an abortion and seeks help from Spike, who confesses he still loves her (which we all knew all along). They end up at a Zompire nest and in the midst of fighting, Buffy’s arm is ripped off revealing she is a robot. This elicited yet another “What?!”
It is quickly obvious that Cyborg-Buffy is somehow due to Andrew. In “Apart (Of Me),” the third story arch which brings us to the current issue (8-10), Andrew confesses to switching Buffy’s brain into Buffybot’s body and vice versa, to try to protect her by placing the real Buffy body in hiding. This ends up being the cause of Buffy’s “pregnancy;” it was something wrong with the robot body chemistry. Andrews plan of protection backfires, however, when Simone finds Buffybot (in Buffy body) and brainwashes her into joining her side. Fortunately Buffy, Spike, and Andrew find Simone and Buffybot, scare Simone away after some fighting, and bring Buffybot back to her senses. Andrew restores Buffy and Buffybot’s brains back to their normal bodies, and with a renewed sense of purpose Buffy quits her job at the coffee shop.
These first few ten issues were awesome and it breaks my heart that they are in comic form rather than episodes. However, I am so grateful the series has continued at all, and I cannot wait to see this season continue to unfold. Simone is the perfect villain, and I truly hate her. I hope Buffy or one of The Scoobies rips her pink mohawk right off of her head! I doubt that will actually happen, but I am positive this season will be full of suspense; I for one am already on the edge of my seat!
Stay tuned for reviews of each issue from here on out!