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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 Volume 5:…
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 Volume 5: The Core

by Andrew Chambliss

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From Goodreads:
When Dawn falls ill, it’s up to best friends Buffy, Xander, and Willow to join forces and find a supernatural cure in a world sorely lacking magic. The trio must fight their way into the Deeper Well, the former home of Illyria and other ancient gods known as the Old Ones, where they hope to jump-start magic back into existence.

Collects Buffy Season 9 #21–#25 and “Love vs. Life” from Dark Horse Presents #25–#27

Because the Seed was destroyed and Dawn was made from magic, it’s not good for her. She’s fading and fast. Spike shows up to sit with Dawn in her time of need and Buffy, Willow and Xander go to the Deeper Well to see if they can muster up some magic mojo for Willow to cure Dawn and they get a little bit of a surprise. Ok, that’s a lie. It’s a massive surprise. It’s a surprise with a twist and one of those cute umbrellas. There may also be a cherry and an orange slice on a plastic sword. The end of that fight? Not happy. No, I’m not. Because someone dies. Or, I’m pretty sure someone dies. With the Buffyverse who can tell?

There’s a lot of fighty going on in this one and a laugh out loud moment when I realized Spike’s cell phone caller id says Wanker for Xander. Hehehehe Besides the fact it’s so Spike, I’ve never really been a fan of Xander. So, yeah, I LOL’d. Otherwise I was underwhelmed with this installment. The last story with Billy and Devon is just ok. As always, I love the artwork. ( )
  AVoraciousReader | May 17, 2016 |
Summary: In Volume 5, "The Core", Dawn is in mortal peril - since the Seed was destroyed, Dawn's history as The Key means she is slowly fading from the world as well. There is a storehouse of magical energy that Willow might be able to access enough magic to save Dawn, but it is not unguarded, since it holds the crypts of the Old Ones. But there's no way Buffy's going to let her sister die without a fight… and a fight is exactly what they'll get, since they're not the only ones who want to access all that power.

Review: I think Season 9 was a lot stronger than Season 8. Not every single thing Buffy does has to be preventing a world-ending apocalypse (although it usually works out that way) and I think that by keeping her storyline a little smaller and her motivations more focused (figure out life, navigate relationships, deal with a changed world, kill vampires, protect the people you love), the writers managed to keep the series reigned in to a more manageable scope, and kept it feeling more like the TV show and less like a trip to crazy-town. One of the key differences, I thought, was that S8 had a lot of stuff that felt like the writers were doing it because they didn't have to worry about special effects budgets anymore, so they could have all the special effects they wanted. On the other hand, there was very little in S9 that felt like it was something that couldn't have been filmed, which is I think how comics should be: a little something extra that we can't get from TV, but not so much that it loses touch with the spirit of the original series. And the Buffy comics, particularly S9, are good about keeping the flavor of the original. The characters all sound like themselves, even as they grow and change in response to what's happened in their lives. The patter of the dialogue still flows the same. The characters… don't quite look the same (in the panels, at least; the cover paintings are quite realistic), but that's not new to this season, and at least they're all consistently identifiable (except for Andrew, who in my opinion is probably the character that looks the farthest from the actor). So overall, I really enjoyed these; they've got the signature Buffy mix of humor and heart and supernatural ass-kicking, all while sticking a little closer to the types of stories that made the series so great. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: I can't imagine these comics making a lot of sense to someone who hasn't seen the whole series and read season 8 (and maybe some other stuff as well; this season involved some Angel references, and probably some things from the other Buffyverse comics that I don't read that went right over my head.) But for fans of the show, this season is a lot more satisfying than S8. ( )
1 vote fyrefly98 | Jun 2, 2014 |
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Sometimes the best way to help someone is to step aside...and trust somebody else to do the helping for you.
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"When Dawn falls ill, it's up to best friends Buffy, Xander, and Willow to join forces and find a supernatural cure in a world sorely lacking magic. The trio must fight their way into the Deeper Well, the former home of Illyria and other ancient gods known as the Old Ones, where they hope to jump-start magic back into existence" --

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