Buffy Season 9 Vol.3: Guarded Review
Buffy The Vampire Slayer has come a long way since the show finished its run. Throughout the Season 8 comics we’ve seen the characters grow more than they ever did in the show. Season 9 continues that trend. But now that there’s a world without magic, vampires becoming more feral, and everyone blaming Buffy for it all, what’s a Slayer to do?
Vol. 3 Guarded continues Buffy’s tale as she deals with a world without magic and the fact that being a Slayer doesn’t mean a whole lot anymore. Former Slayer, Kennedy offers Buffy a job in personal security, taking Slayers and using their skills to protect high profile clients.
I’m a huge Buffy fan, and even though Season 8 was too over the top and the ending was borderline confusing and ridiculous, I still enjoyed it. Season 9 keeps things more grounded and brings the series back to its roots, with Buffy having to deal with slaying and normal life. But seeing as the world knows about demons and vampires, being a Slayer isn’t all that important, especially now that police are training to take down vampires. This puts Buffy in a position of having to find a way to make it in the new world. In comes Kennedy who offers Buffy a job, which includes protecting high end clients from any threat.
Guarded contains issues #11-#15, but the Guarded arc only covers the first 3 issues. The arc is great, as it really forces Buffy to think about what it means to be a Slayer now, and if the world even needs a Slayer anymore. Of course she’s still dealing with the fact that she destroyed magic on Earth and people are quick to remind her of it, so it makes for great tension when Kennedy tries to include Buffy in her business. So we also get hilarious moment of Buffy trying to do a job that should be simple for someone with her skills, yet completely fumble at it because of the mindset she is stuck in that demons are bad, period.
On the tail end we have the introduction of Billy the vampire slayer. Billy is not an actual Slayer, but he is convinced by someone to be one anyway. As an introduction to a new character, the story is great, especially since it shows that being a Slayer no longer means having been called to be one. The only issue with this is that it is such a sudden shift from the previous arc that it feels out of place.
The artwork is great for the most part, though if you are not overly familiar with these characters and can get hard to tell who is who sometimes since many of the faces are drawn the same. It is however consistent so nothing feels out of place, which helps when it comes to the more action oriented panels. The original covers are included which are absolutely gorgeous and for comics enthusiasts the variant covers are also included in the back along with concept art of some of the new characters introduced in this volume.
Overall, if you are a huge Buffy fan and have yet to pick up any of the comics, then this is one for the collection. The characters you know and love are still as you remember and the story is a great extension of where the show left off. You won’t regret picking this up.