Title: Buffy the Vapire Slayer Omnibus: Volume 1.
Authors: Joss Whedon, Christopher Golden, Dan Brereton, Scott Lobdell, Fabian Nicieza, and Paul Lee.
Artists: Eric Powell, Joe Bennett, Cliff Richards, and Paul Lee.
Genre: Fiction, short stories, adventure, romance, fantasy, vampire fiction.
Publication Date: 2000, 1999, 2002, 2003. (This compendium July 17th, 2007).
Summary: This compendium collects 5 graphic short stories that prequel and lead right into Season 1 continuity. In All's Fair (2000), Spike and Dru pay a visit to the 1933 Chicago World Fair to have the time of their lives, but their plans are interrupted by some very angry vampire hunters who want vengeance for Spike killing their relative, Slayer Xin Rong. Buffy: The Origin (1999) is a faithful adaptation of the screenplay that started it all, which tells of Buffy being called to be the next Slayer whilst a teenager in Los Angeles, meeting her first Watcher, and struggling to learn how to find her strength, meanwhile dealing with her parents' marriage falling apart, and the strain her Slayer duties put on her family. In Broken Parts (2002), Buffy and her new friend Pike travel to Las Vegas to uncover what they think is a vampire factory, while Angel helps from behind the scenes and accidentally gets stuck back in the 20s. Meanwhile, Giles, still in England, competes with one other for the spot of the next Watcher, and uncovers his competition to be deep into the dark arts. In Dawn & Hoopy the Bear (2003), a cursed teddy bear able to fulfill all the deepest heart's desires intended for Buffy ends up in Dawn's hands and, unbeknownst to her, wreaks havoc at her behest. Slayer, Interrupted (2003) is a story in four parts: In Chapter 1, Buffy comes back from Las Vegas and is confronted by her parents who, after reading Buffy's diary that Dawn had found, decide to commit her to a mental institution. In Chapter 2, Buffy finds life comforting and easy in the asylum, even beginning to question the realness of the Slayer story, when she is approached by a young woman who begs for help that only a Slayer can provide. Meanwhile, across the world, now in Northern Ireland, Giles enters a cave the Watcher's Council calls The Blackshead as a punishment and a test, where he has to face and defeat his own inner demon. In Chapter 3, Buffy has to come to terms with her fate when she stumbles upon an operation that has young female patients sacrificed to be the Brides of Rakagore, an ancient demon. Meanwhile, Giles comes to terms with his own inner demon, and realizes what "defeating" it actually means for him. In Chapter 4, Buffy confronts and kills Rakagore, and realizes she has had a friend guiding her all along. Meanwhile, Giles gets appointed as the next Watcher, though his singular success in The Blackshead fails to please his father.
My rating: 8.5/10.
My Review: I don't generally like to mix my mediums, and have found TV-show spin-offs, or books based off of or tying into TV-shows, on average, to be pretty bad, so I didn't have a very high expectation for this. I was pleasantly surprised. For one, these volumes seem to maintain what attracted me to the show in the first place - sharp, witty, genuinely good and very engaging writing. This volume also serves as a prequel to the show (even pretty literally incorporating the screenplay for the original movie that started the entire franchise, a fact that I found very cool), and fills in a lot of the backstory that is touched upon in the show, but only enough to wet the appetite.
♥ "Everything represents something. You just need to think about it. An example — the Cheshire Cat represents that which can never fully be known."
"Creepy, yes, but cute. The tea party?"
"The chaos inherent in mob rule. Portrayed here as relatively harmless. The caterpil—"
"Let me guess—let me guess! 'Just say no to drugs!'?"
"A bit oversimplistic, yes — but you get the idea, and finally — 'Question authority.'"
"Even when it means, um—losing your head?"
"Oh, especially then."
♥ "The entire nature of the Blackshed Test is to confront and exorcise one's own inner demons. In my case, that would be you. The Ripper. My rebellious phase. Black magic and bourbon. But the thing of it is, the test is flawed — I don't want to deny who I was — I only want to assure I have control, over my own baser... impulses. Just because I want to control what I was, doesn't mean I don't remember exactly what I would have done in this situation... All the more, then, to accept what I was—the anger, rebellion, and passion—and know they are as important as calm, patience, and reason. Because to serve my Slayer — to become the kind of man I need to be — I'll need to have a proper sense of balance. Which means I'll need to keep you inside me!"
~~Slayer, Interrupted: Chapter 3.