infinitejest: (buffy: the wind speaks)
[personal profile] infinitejest
Now that I've addressed my main concerns with the movie, let's move on to the comic. I bought the graphic novel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: the Origin, which is a collection of three issues of the Dark Horse comic. Its sole purpose seems to be integrating Buffy's origin story into the world of the series. Authors Christopher Golden and Daniel Brereton adapted the comic from Joss' original script. I was really excited about this, hoping for a well-rounded comic that restored Buffy's origin story back to its original dark, quirky, and gritty glory.

First, a note on the binding: when I first cracked open my copy, the pages started coming undone from the spine. I read it in a couple of hours, and the cover had completely come apart from the pages in that time. This makes me cranky.

Now, a note on the adaptation: this is a poor adaptation. My opinion on this is no doubt due, in part, to my recent reading of Alan Moore's Writing For Comics, Volume 1. Moore goes on a bit about how comics should be comics and not try to be films or books. I totally jived with this philosophy, which meant that this comic book was a definite disappointment to me in that regard. They just took the film-as-it-should-have-been and put it into panels... they didn't even try to give us more time with the characters or even fix up the transitions between scenes. This leaves us with a rather unsatisfying illustrated version of Joss' close-to-original script.

However, I must admit that the illustrations are gorgeous (apart from a few design choices regarding the vampires that annoy the shit out of me; however, I'll get to that in a minute). The artists on this project did an amazing job. I'm just happy that they made Buffy look like a 15-year-old...

Anyway, on to the story:

In this version, Merrick kills himself to prevent Lothos from extracting information about Buffy. I really like that detail, and it actually makes me respect the old man more. He was a true Watcher. Also, it helps put that dark feeling back into Joss' world of darkness that the movie tried to eradicate.

This comic introduces the fact that vampires dust, which is a major difference from Buffy the movie. As [ profile] worshipper tells me, this quirk of vampiric nature came to pass because Joss didn't want to leave a huge body trail on a prime time television show. Besides the real-world component of the concept quelling the delicate sensibilities of corporate execs and parents everywhere, I like the fact that a potentially centuries-old corpse explodes into dust when the demon's life is terminated. It makes sense (though not so much with the recently turned).

Also, we actually see Buffy burn down the gym in this comic. This is a pretty important detail, as it is often referred to during the first number of seasons of the show. It's also much more realistic than Pike and some others managing to kill all those vampires as they did in the movie.

Buffy's true character shines through much better in the comic... but it's still the same character as outlined in the movie and addressed in my previous post, so I won't repeat myself here.

Lothos is actually kinda scary in the comic, worthy of one of the Big Bads of the Jossverse.

I love the poignant moment Buffy spends meditating over Merrick's death:
"Umm... Our father, who art in heaven... ahh... hallowed be thy name, kingdom come...daily bread-- I don't know! I'm supposed to say something, but you're just dead. So totally dead. And I don't know what to do. You were the one who... I don't know if the training was over... I don't even know if I passed! How could you be so stupid? What am I going to do without you? Amen."

And, last but not least:

The vampire biology REALLY bothers me in this book. Some of the vampires bear the usual resemblance to humans the majority of the time, just like they do in the show. However, some of them are green. Yes, you read that correctly. Some of them are perpetually green and some of them are this weird bat/man hybrid. Also, even the human-like ones tend to go all green-skinned when they vamp out; besides that, their jaws seem to unhinge (like a snake's) and their teeth become hideously deformed and jagged fangs (which does happen on a smaller scale in the show). The last bit involves their eyes-- their eyes go completely red, in a glowing fashion. Yeah. I thought this book was supposed to be more in line with the show... not introducing even more oddities regarding vampire biology.

And that's all I've got to say about the comic right now. No doubt I'll be revisiting this as I get further into my anaylsis of the series and read more of the comic. But, for now, I think this'll do.

December 2010

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