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A Reader of Fictions: Dawn's Lament from Once More, with Feeling

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dawn's Lament from Once More, with Feeling

Buffy Season 8, Volume 5:
Predators and Prey

Authors: Jane Espenson, Steven S. DeKnight, Drew Z. Greenberg, Jim Krueger, Doug Petrie
Illustrators: Georges Jeanty, Cliff Richards
Acquired From: Dark Horse Books via NetGalley

Brief Summary:
Harmony (remember her?) gets her own reality television show. Twilight, the evil organization trying to stop the slayers, creates some seriously creepy vampire cat toys and uses Harmony's show to turn people against slayers and pro-vampire. Buffy and Andrew take on an evil sect of slayers. Giles and Faith are doing their thing, trying to help slayer outcasts. Dawn is now a doll and in the hands of some creepy guy. Volume 5 is like the middle of a season where there might be an episode here and there related to the big bad, but most of them are off the wall crazy things caused by other folks.

First of all, let's talk about Harmony. I never liked her, which I suppose is how you are supposed to feel. However, I would have been totally happy with her not coming back at all, as I am mostly just annoyed by her. If she had to come back, though, this was a good way to do it. She definitely is reality show material. I'm guessing Harmony Bites would air on MTV. No, I would not watch it.

These Twilight plot lines were pretty great, much better than the previous, to me anyway. The evil toys were just funny, in the same way that the giant Stay Puft marshmallow man at the end of Ghostbusters is. The other prong of their attack, making slayers into the bad guys in the eyes of the public, was pretty nifty as well. It definitely plays nicely off of the vampire craze, suggesting that humans are dumb enough to want to become vamps even in the Buffy-verse with the nasty forehead wrinkles and the gruesome shots of Harmony eating folks on television. Yeah, humanity!

The slayers that are out for their own profit and kicked folks off an island so they can live there do not interest me much. What saved this section was definitely Andrew. His speeches about nerdy things, while boring to Buffy and most everyone else in the comic, are almost all delightful to me. Plus, he did the classic Andrew thing where he tries to be helpful, but does so using his talent with demons, which...yeah, oops.

Giles and Faith's section was pretty boring. They didn't really accomplish anything and they don't quite seem to have a dynamic down. I am all for odd pairings, like when Buffy and Andrew went on a car drive and bonded over Daniel Craig as Bond, but Giles and Faith just are not working out.

Dawn's new incarnation is not nearly as awesome as her previous ones. A doll is just not as funny or intense as a giant or a centaur. She also does some more of the "I don't get enough attention from my sister, so I act out" stuff, which I can't stand. This ends (somewhat of a spoiler here) with her turned back to a human. Everyone knew it had to happen eventually. I'm not really sure how to feel about this, since her crazy forms were some of the best parts of this series for me. However, I am sure she can still get into ridiculous antics (and from some of the spoilers my dear friends have mentioned, she will) as a human.

Good volume overall. A couple of the sections dragged, but there were some hilarious moments and most of the plot lines were solid.

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