Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus Vol. 1 by Joss Whedon

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Omnibus, Vol. 1Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Omnibus, Vol. 1 by Joss Whedon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Buffy


Introduction:

Now, I have to tell everyone who reads this review something…I am a HUGE FAN OF “BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER!!!” I have always loved that show and when I heard that they were making comic books out of this series, of course I had to check them out! So, when I picked up the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus Volume One,” I was wondering what this volume was going to be all about and to my excitement and delight, this volume detailed the early years of Buffy Summers when she first moved to Sunnydale and how she became a vampire slayer and I was quite impressed with the whole experience!


What is this story about?

This volume contains five stories that details Buffy’s first year as a vampire slayer and also features other characters during their early years such as Angel, Spike and Drusilla. These are the five stories featured in this omnibus:


All’s Fair:

Written by: Christopher Golden
Artwork by: Eric Powell

In this story, Spike and Drusilla (Dru) go off to the World’s Fair in 1933, causing mayhem as they suck out the blood from various unfortunate human beings while discovering a demon who wants to be freed from its prison at the same time!


Buffy: The Origin

Written by: Dan Brereton and Christopher Golden
Artwork by: Joe Bennett

Based off of Joss Whedon’s original script for the origin story of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” this story details how Buffy Summers first became the vampire slayer we all know and love and the character development that she goes through to realize her true destiny.


Viva Las Buffy!

Written by: Scott Lobdell and Fabian Nicieza
Artwork by: Cliff Richards

After Buffy gets expelled for burning down her old school, she and Pike run away from home and ended up in Las Vegas to start a new life. But, Buffy will soon learn that she cannot run away from her problems when she encounters a sinister ring going on inside the casino.


Dawn and Hoopy the Bear

Written and artwork by: Paul Lee

Dawn Summers, Buffy’s younger sister, ends up getting a cute little teddy bear named Hoopy the Bear from a total stranger and while she loves her teddy bear unconditionally, she will soon realize that Hoopy the Bear is not what he seems at all…


Slayer, Interrupted

Written by: Scott Lobdell and Fabian Nicieza
Artwork by: Cliff Richards

Inspired by the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” TV episode “Normal Again,” Buffy’s parents ended up admitting Buffy to a rehab center since they believed that Buffy has gone insane when she started talking about her vampire slaying business. Has Buffy really gone insane and her vampire slaying business is really all in her head or is Buffy’s destiny truly real?


What I loved about this story:

The writing: Oh my goodness! Who would have thought that several separate stories about Buffy’s early years as a vampire slayer would be mind-blowing good? I have to tell you that I enjoyed each story in this volume (although the only story that I thought was half-way decent was “Dawn and Hoopy the Bear”) and I think that each writer had done this series a true justice! I was always curious about the origin story of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” since I was only familiar with the TV series created by Joss Whedon and I have never seen the original 1992 movie that detailed the origin story of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” although I did see bits and pieces of the movie when I was younger. When I first found out that the original 1992 movie was not what Joss Whedon originally intended when he scripted out the origin story for “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” I was a bit surprised (and yet not really, since this is Hollywood we are talking about) and I was glad that we got a closer interpretation of Joss Whedon’s vision of the origin story of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in this omnibus since I wanted to see how Joss Whedon really wanted Buffy’s origin story to go. I also enjoyed the fact that we get to see not only Buffy’s early years, but other characters too like Spike, Drusilla and Angel. I really loved Spike and Drusilla’s story since they are truly funny together and I always wanted to know what Spike was like before he met Buffy. I was also really excited to see Angel in this omnibus since I love Angel as a character, even though I wished that Angel had his own story in this volume so we get to learn more about his character during his early years.

The artwork: The artwork in each story is truly beautiful and effective to look at, especially with how each artist manage to capture the actor and actresses’ true facial expressions. I think the artists that really captured Sarah Michelle Gellar’s facial expressions the best were Joe Bennet and Cliff Richards as they truly draw the characters realistically and it felt like I was really watching a TV episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” since each character look like their live action counterparts from the TV series!

Buffy


What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

For anyone who does not like language and gory violence in a graphic novel, this omnibus does have some language and gory violence (mostly revolving around Buffy staking vampires in gory ways). Also, I have mentioned that the short story “Dawn and Hoopy the Bear” was a story line that I could have done without since I felt that this story did not really bring anything to the main stories and was just there to tell a story about Dawn.


Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus Volume 1” is a truly fantastic volume for anyone who is a huge fan of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in general and who wants to learn more about the origin stories of our favorite vampire slayer!

Rating?

5 pows

Review: Astonishing X-Men: Unstoppable Vol. 4 by Joss Whedon

Astonishing X-Men, Vol. 4: UnstoppableAstonishing X-Men, Vol. 4: Unstoppable by Joss Whedon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Flashback:

Astonishing X-Men
After reading the first three volumes of “Astonishing X-Men” by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday, I was waiting with anticipation in reading the final volume of this fantastic series, “Astonishing X-Men: Unstoppable” and I was perfectly astonished and not disappointed! This volume will definitely not disappoint X-Men fans and will stand the test of time as one of the best endings to a comic book series!


What is the story?

After the events of the third volume “Astonishing X-Men: Torn,” the X-Men are transported into outer space and meet up with Agent Abigail Brand who informs the X-Men that recently the resurrected X-Men member, Colossus is the one who is destined to destroy the Breakworld, the planet that the alien invader Ord came from. What is worse is that since the inhabitants of the Breakworld has learned about Colossus’ destiny; they plan on destroying the Earth by firing a giant bullet towards the Earth! Can the X-Men stop the bullet from hitting Earth and will all of the X-Men members make it back alive? Read this volume to find out!


What I loved about this comic:

Joss Whedon’s writing: As always, Joss Whedon really knows how to weave a brilliant story with even more memorable characters to match! I loved the way that Joss Whedon truly makes this volume dramatically climatic as the story got more interesting and intense as it went on and I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out how the X-Men would be able to stop the bullet from hitting the Earth. I also loved seeing the relationship between Kitty and Colossus become more serious and intimate in this volume as they truly care about each other and there is a really hot scene between the two lovebirds in this volume! I also loved the relationship between Emma and Scott and even they had their moments of doubt in their relationship and I thought that Joss Whedon had written that strain in their relationship extremely well. I also loved the fact that in the “Giant Size Astonishing X-Men One” which continues after the “Unstoppable” volume, we are introduced to other Marvel super heroes such as Spiderman, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Doctor Strange and many others and it was interesting to see them try to help out the X-Men in saving the world and I loved the jokes that Joss Whedon provided for Spiderman since it really fit his character. I also loved the humor that Joss Whedon incorporated into this volume as it made this final volume not only intense to read, but light-hearted in a way that will make you laugh so much at how the characters in this book took this worldwide threat in a more hilarious light. I especially loved the little quote that Colossus has when he attempted at making a joke at a serious situation:


Abigail Brand: “I’m assuming you’re as mystified by this as the rest of us, Rasputin.”

Colossus: “No. I’m not. I have been planning to destroy the Breakworld since I was a child.”

(silence)

Colossus: “This is why I don’t make so many jokes. I never know when is good.”

John Cassaday’s illustrations: John Cassaday’s illustrations are just are brilliant and gorgeous in this volume as it was in the first three volumes! I loved how all the characters have looks of shock and anger on their expressions when they found out the true scope of the plans for the Breakworld, especially Colossus’ shocked expressions when he realizes that he is the one destined to destroy the Breakworld. I also loved how John Cassaday did an excellent job at illustrating all of the other popular Marvel characters such as Spiderman and Iron Man coming together and the image of all the Marvel super heroes coming together in a space ship reminded me of DC comics “Justice League.”

Colossus 9

Shadowcat (once again!): Joss Whedon has truly done an excellent job at portraying Kitty in this volume. I loved how she would try anything to save the world and how she was so brave and heroic throughout this volume because it really made her character truly stand out even more in this volume. I also loved her relationship with Peter as she truly cares about him and I loved the moments between them.


What made me feel uncomfortable about this book:

The only problem I had with this volume was how one of my favorite characters died. I will not tell you who die because that will spoil everything, but it is a character that I have grew fond of since I read this series and that character will be sorely missed.


Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Astonishing X-Men: Unstoppable” is a brilliant conclusion to this fantastic run by Joss Whedon and X-Men fans will definitely savor this series for all time!

My Rating?
5 pows

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Review: Astonishing X-Men: Torn Vol. 3 by Joss Whedon

Astonishing X-Men, Vol. 3: TornAstonishing X-Men, Vol. 3: Torn by Joss Whedon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Flashback:

After finishing the second volume of the awesome “Astonishing X-Men” series “Dangerous,” I was definitely looking forward to reading the third volume of this series “Torn.” Imagine my pure delight after I had finished reading this volume since I was totally blown away by the twists and turns in this volume and I am sure that X-Men fans will enjoy this volume as much as I did!


What is the story?

Emma Frost has been acting strange ever since the incident with Danger in the last volume and now she is literally playing mind games with Cyclops which might cause harm to our beloved leader! Meanwhile, the new Hellfire Club starts making its move on the X-Men by playing vicious mind games with them that will help them get to their ultimate goal of releasing Cassandra Nova from her prison! Also, the identity of the mutant who is destined to destroy the Breakworld is finally revealed! There is a lot going on in this volume that determines the fate of the X-Men, so stay tuned!


What I loved about this comic:

Joss Whedon’s writing: Once again, Joss Whedon has woven a story that is full of humor and suspense that will keep anyone’s attention at bay! This story was fantastic as it was full of mystery and drama and I was shocked at how ruthless the new Hellfire Club is when they were manipulating each X-Men team member mentally. Probably the most traumatic scene in this entire book was of Kitty’s nightmare sequence involving her, Peter and their son that the White Queen put on her. I will not reveal what happened during this sequence, but you might want to pray for Peter and Kitty’s relationship to work after this volume. Joss Whedon also had a great knack for humor and I loved the scenes where the Hellfire Club messes with Wolverine’s mind and makes him into a wimpy man who constantly spews random things whenever he is scared. This is such a rare moment for me to see all serious and bad-tempered Wolverine become a scared wimp in a matter of seconds and it really provided so much humor for a serious storyline.

John Cassaday’s illustrations: John Cassaday’s illustrations are just as memorable here as they were in the previous two volumes. I loved the way that he makes the characters look so realistic and one of my favorite images was of Wolverine looking so scared throughout his episode of his mind being altered because they were extremely hilarious and it was rare seeing Wolverine in this state. But, my all-time favorite image in this volume was of Kitty running through the sewers that was reminiscent of the earlier comics where Wolverine was also in the sewers after being defeated by the Hellfire Club at the time and John Cassaday made Kitty look so intense and brilliant in this scene that I think that this was one of the most memorable scenes in the “Astonishing X-Men” series since Colossus’ return!

Shadowcat: Wow! Kitty was just truly awesome in this volume that I just love her character even more than I did in the cartoon series! I loved the way that she was the only person who was not affected by the Hellfire Club’s attempts at messing with the X-Men’s mind, although briefly, and the way that she fought Emma was just spectacular! I truly think that Joss Whedon has done her character justice in this series and it makes me want to read more of this series!

Kitty

Peter and Kitty’s relationship (once again!): This time, Peter and Kitty’s relationship is up a notch and I really enjoyed seeing their relationship go even further! I especially loved the opening scene in this volume of Peter and Kitty having a picnic together and I really loved the little cute banter that Kitty and Peter have with each other before Peter (gasps) kisses Kitty!
Kitty and Colossus 5

What made me feel uncomfortable about this book:

The only problem I had with this book was that the plot tends to be a bit confusing and there were times where there were certain moments in the story where the conflict is not fully explained. For example, I am not sure about the Cassandra Nova arc and I was trying to figure out what was going on in that arc since I do not understand what Cassandra Nova was after at Xavier’s Institute. Well, I guess this might be made clearer in the next volume.


Final Thoughts:

Overall, even though “Astonishing X-Men: Torn” has some confusing moments, this was still a brilliant read for me and I cannot wait to read the final volume in Joss Whedon’s and John Cassaday’s run on this series, “Unstoppable!”

My Rating?

5 pows

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Review: Astonishing X-Men: Gifted Vol. 1 by Joss Whedon

Astonishing X-Men, Vol. 1: GiftedAstonishing X-Men, Vol. 1: Gifted by Joss Whedon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Brief History:

Alright, I have actually first heard of the “X-Men” series when I was little and it was through a 90s cartoon series entitled “X-Men: The Animated Series.” From that day on, I was so hooked onto the “X-Men” franchise that I practically watched every incarnation of “X-Men” throughout my life which included the animated series “X-Men: Evolution” and I even watched all three “X-Men” movies. Now the truth of the matter is that even though I have heard of the “X-Men” franchise ever since I was a child, I never read the comics at all, until now. I never read the comics before because there was just too many universes involving everyone’s favorite superhero mutants and I am one of those people who cannot keep up with too many different versions of certain characters’ lives because I will get confused easily. Well, I stumbled upon this unique comic book from the “X-Men” series entitled “Astonishing X-Men: Gifted” and when I found out that Joss Whedon (creator of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) was going to write an “X-Men” comic, I was shocked and excited at the same time! Joss Whedon is surely an accomplished writer and I have watched “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” before and I really enjoyed that show! And now, without further ado, I will now discuss about what this book is all about and my opinions on this comic.


What is the story?

Cyclops and Emma Frost, who are now in charge of the institute, started reforming the X-Men once again to prove to the world that even though they are mutants, they are the heroes and they want to “astonish” the world with their heroic deeds. However, when a mutant cure reaches all over the world and many mutants line up to get the cure, will the X-Men’s efforts to prove to the world that they are the good guys fall in vain? And to add to that, the X-Men will soon reunite with a fellow mutant who was presumed dead. Who is that mutant? Find out once you pick up “Astonishing X-Men: Gifted!”


What I loved about this comic:

Joss Whedon’s writing: Joss Whedon’s writing was so brilliant in this comic! He really knows how to bring excitement and suspense to the storyline regarding the X-Men trying to figure out the secrets of this “mutant cure” and who is behind all of this commotion. I also loved the way that Joss Whedon is able to shock the audience with various scenes that came so unexpected in the story, such as the scene where we find out about the mutant who was presumed dead and when I found out about that situation, I was totally shocked beyond all reason and yet I was extremely happy to see how the shock of this scene was written and shown. I also loved the way that Joss Whedon incorporated humor into the story at the right places, like Wolverine’s obsession with beer and that one popular line in the book where Wolverine is cursing like crazy and you just see a bunch of symbols indicating the strong language.

John Cassaday’s illustrations: John Cassaday’s illustrations were simply gorgeous and fitted this story perfectly. I loved how all the X-Men characters look so real and I especially loved seeing their expressions that ranged from anger to shock as it was amusing to look at. I also loved the lighting of certain scenes such as the X-Men going to the Benetech lab and everything inside the lab is shaded in green which fitted the brooding mood of the lab.

Scott and Emma 1

The characters: I have never seen such amazing characters from the “X-Men” universe in my entire life! All the characters were interesting without being boring at all and I loved seeing the actual conflicts they have with each other, especially between Emma Frost and Kitty Pryde as they clearly have contempt for each other due to Emma’s horrible past. Even though I will always be a Cyclops/Jean Grey fan, I thought that the relationship between Emma and Scott was pretty interesting and they seem to share some kind of bond that I never would have seen in any other comic. I also loved the fact that Kitty Pryde seems to be the star of this issue since the media rarely focuses on her character and what was so interesting about her character was that she resembled Buffy from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in being the heroic heroine who would do anything to save her friends from disaster.
Astonishing_1_Kitty_and_Emma

What made me feel uncomfortable about this book:

I do not really have much of a problem with this issue since I thought it was perfect, but for those of you who do not like gore and language, this volume contains plenty of gore and language, so I would probably not read this issue if language and violence is a bother to some people.


Final Thoughts:

Overall, I really enjoyed reading “Astonishing X-Men: Gifted” and I am looking forward to reading up on the next issue “Dangerous” from this fantastic series! If anyone has ever read the “X-Men” series before and you want to recommend me some titles, please recommend me some “X-Men” titles that were really great to read!

My Rating?

5 pows

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