The Whedon Three Way (yes that’s really its name, it is Whedon we’re talking about) is a set of three comics, Buffy: New Rules, Angel & Faith: Where the River Meets the Sea and Serenity: Leaves on the Wind. All three are issue #1 of their respective “seasons” and the start of new story lines. This issue is a great way to get your feet wet in the comic sector of the Whedonverse. However, fair warning, although each of these are “issue one” they are continuations of previous plots. This may lead to slight confusion at first (they’re fighting a what?) and a loss of some back story. Due to the nature of this little menage a trois, we’re going to do the format of this review a little differently than normal, giving each comic it’s own little mini-review. Let’s break it down!
Buffy 1: New Rules Part One (Season 10 episode 1)
The gang is now in Santa Rosita, where they are battling it out with the current “big bad” zompires, and dealing with a major shift in the nature of magic itself (Buffy basically royally screwed it up). Yes, you heard correct, the bad guys are, in fact, zombie vampires (because being one type of undead wasn’t good enough, apparently). If you have never read the comics but were a fan of the show, the comic will make you feel all warm and fuzzy with nostalgia. Buffy monologues, Xander is quirky and fun, the Scoobies are pretty much the Scoobies.
The script is done by Christos Gage and is as witty and fun as you would expect from Buffy.
“Really, your name is Vicki the vampire?”
One of the best things about the comic is that it is cannon to the series, so you get all kinds of fun references and plot pulls from the show. The art by Rebekah Issacs is colorful and vibrant. Truth be told, I’m not so sure about the whole “zompires” thing, but all in all, it was fun, playful and zany.
Meanwhile in soulful brooding vampire land, (aka London) Angel is taking on a new threat to the city, pixies. Don’t underestimate them, they may be tiny but they are also surprisingly muscular and remarkably well organized (with crazy big pointy teeth, creepy). Meanwhile the Faith part of the duo is busy in a crossover with the Buffy title, helping take out those pesky zompires. The art for the pixies is creepy as all get out, and the whole issue has a very dark vibe to it. Again, I find myself impressed with how well these writers take on these established characters. The voices you hear as you read the comic are undoubtedly the voices of Faith and Angel.
Serenity: Leaves on the Wind
Serenity and her crew find themselves exactly where they don’t want to be, right in the spotlight with two riled up political forces on the the hunt for them (each with their own motivations, of course) Mal and his crew are laying low in an unnamed corner of the ‘Verse, when an emergency on board strikes. It may force them straight into the arms of the people they are trying to avoid. Who will find them first, and what do they want?
This first issue is a basic introduction to the new plot and the status of the various characters. There are pros and cons to this. On the pro side, the comic was much easier to jump into than Buffy or Angel & Faith. There is no real need to know the previous story arc, though knowing does give you some bonus flavor. On the con side, this does mean you don’t quite jump into the action as quickly as you did with the first two comics.
All three were quite enjoyable. Each comic deals with well established and well loved characters, and it is a credit to the whole staff that they are written and drawn so well and close to cannon. Ponder, for a moment, the art. Each comic has it’s own artist. This artist has to draw the image of actors from the original series into a comic book form, and on top of that be consistent enough with the other artists to be able to do cross-overs as well.
All in all the Whedon Three Way (giggle) is a fun way to introduce new readers to the comics, as well as pull back old fans. The Three way gives you just a taste of each title, which is the point, of course. They are hoping to get you addicted (very crafty Whedon…very crafty). The issues do a great job of bringing fans what they want, fun, zany well written adventures. We all feel a little homesick for the Whedonverse now and then, and this was a lovely visit home.
The Whedon Three Way is now available from Dark Horse