Series: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #3
Genres: Graphic Novel, Urban Fantasy
Published by Dark Horse Comics on May 1, 2013
Reviewed by: Chris
The Chosen One has a new lease on life, courtesy of... Kennedy?! In a bold move to give disenfranchised Slayers a meaningful societal role (with pay), Kennedy recruits Buffy to act as bodyguard for high-profile clientele. But unlike the other recruits, Buffy struggles to abandon her Slaying instincts and looks for demony threats where none lie (much to Kennedy's dismay). So it's only natural that her first job is to protect a tech mogul who just so happens to be running from demon assassins! Then, guest writers Jane Espenson (Once Upon a Time) and Drew Greenberg (Warehouse 13) show a new kind of Slayer emerging in a small town about to be contaminated by the growing zompire epidemic!
On last week's episode of THE BIG BANG THEORY, Leonard decides Buffy is the perfect show for he and Penny to share. At the end of an episode Penny says it was "Cute". This really has nothing to do with the review, but the scene was serious deja vu for me. I can't count how many times I've tried to get my fiancé to watch Buffy. It's gotten to the point that I'm starting to take it personally.
It saddens me to report that GUARDED is one of the weaker story arcs so far for Season 9. Buffy finds herself working for Kennedy (I knew there was a reason I never liked her) as a Slayer bodyguard for the rich and famous. Buffy and Kennedy take a gig protecting the founder of a Facebook-like website called Tin Can. There's some mild amusement when it's discovered that Tin Can was partially funded by those demon-lovers at Wolfram & Hart. Needless to say hijinxs ensue. Kennedy and Buffy argue over how to handle things (and literally come to blows) and Buffy realizes she can never just look out for herself. She's a Slayer. She saves people.
This epiphany was long time coming (and I hope it leads to some better story lines), but the whole arc felt a little flat. GUARDED falls far short of the type of dialogue and plotting I've come to expect from Buffy (especially when compared to the stellar writing going on at ANGEL & FAITH). And the artwork. Oy vey. Half the time you can't tell who a character is supposed to be - and when the dialogue also isn't working it's often difficult to figure it out. This is a serious problem with the series and one I hope they rectify sooner rather than later.
All in all though, it's still Buffy. The television had low points as well and always managed to find its way again. I'm hoping the same is true for Season 9.