There are two things that are a part of almost every great Buffy story: humor and character development. Buffy S9V3 brings them both. The story follows Buffy as she starts her new job as a security guard. Surprising no one, Buffy is talented at the butt-kicking, but needs work on the following orders. Before long, Buffy, Kennedy, and their newest demon buddy find themselves facing off against everybody’s favorite law firm. We also get to see the newest Scooby, Billy the Vampire Slayer, in a fantastic mini-mini-series.
One thing that the Buffy comics have relied on is the gorgeous art of Georges Jeanty, and he delivers here. Jeanty’s character work is flawless, evoking the actors without slavishly tracing their images from his TV. His action is of the best I’ve seen in any comic. In short, Georges Jeanty is awesome. Also awesome are Karl Malone and Ben Dewey, who did the art on the Billy the Vampire Slayer story. Their style is a little looser but still brings the action and character we all expect from Buffy.
The stories in this trade are spectacular. They do exactly what you want a great Buffy episode, or a great comic, to do. They move the broad plot along some, while telling a complete and entertaining story on their own. Andrew Chambliss’ Guarded is a great exploration of the kinds of jobs that a group of super-strong women that (mostly) didn’t finish high school can do well. Private security is the most lucrative (legal) job that makes sense for these girls. The adventure is marvelous and very adventure-y, with demon fights, betrayals, and mints.
The Billy story, by Drew Z. Greenberg and the esteemed Jane Espenson, is almost perfect. This is a spectacular origin story for a cool, new character. High school students Cute Devon and Billy face a growing infestation of the dreaded zompire and form a watcher/slayer team. While both of them have heard of Buffy and Giles, the two boys are undeniably amateurs. Think Xander around Season Two or Three. Billy isn’t a pro yet, and one zompire is killable, but scary, three are terrifying, and a nest is a suicide mission. The thing about Billy is that he is the guy you root for. I can’t wait to see where he goes, and that Jane Espenson is a real talented up-and-comer.
This is an easy recommendation. Buffy good. Beer bad.
Four and Three Quarters Minty Fresh Demons out of Five