Review: Anywhere But Here

The latest Buffy comic has a backstory. Last year Darkhorse ran a competition inviting 100 word essays on ‘How Buffy Changed My Life’ – Joss would chose the winner who would then appear in one of the comics. The winner was Jarrod’s essay, he wrote about his wife’s schizophrenia, and how they’d watched Buffy as she was getting sicker and sicker. Robin appears in this story, she is a minder who has to guard unstable reality fields (or possibly demons). It’s well done, and the more I thought about it the more sense it made. Although I don’t know that much about schizophrenia, so I don’t know how well the storyline reflects reality.

Overall I liked this comic, although I remain unsure about the genre. I’m going to like any comic which has Buffy and Willow talk about their relationship. Of course, the bitter part in me, that does believe in showing not telling, would have rather that they’d had Buffy and Willow have a relationship in season 6 an 7, than explain to us with small words what’s going on.

I loved the little details of this story, the ever developing ‘Anywhere but Here’ was really fun (and a nice little bit of continuity). I loved that we found out where the money was coming from, because it really annoys me when fiction ignores economics. I love even more that Buffy is stealing from Swiss banks, not being particularly fond of banks and all.

I wasn’t so happy about the Dawn revelation, if this is the final twist (and it may not be) it does bear a striking resemblance to her being punished for having sex. I love giant dawn; I love her giant suitcase of clothes. I don’t love punishing female characters for having sex.

The comic ends with Buffy and Willow walking off separately. It’s clear that this season is going to be about stripping Buffy of her allies. I can’t help but feel that we’ve seen that before and, like I said in my last review, these plotlines would be anchored better if we had more idea what normal was for the relationships between these characters.

On the art front, this is the first story arc in a Buffy comic which hasn’t involved a female character taking a bath. It was almost comical how hard the artists appeared to work to draw Robin so that she didn’t look like a comic book girl.

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2 Responses to Review: Anywhere But Here

  1. 1
    r@d@r says:

    i have nothing constructive or edifying to add here, only that i wanted to thank you for posting these reviews, as they provide a sort of safe vicarious pleasure for me – ever since the beloved show ended on television, which had been a centerpiece in our household, i have been afraid to even look at the comics on the shelves much less open one, and have never done so. it’s neurotic of course, but i was afraid of sullying my special memories of the feeling the television characters gave me. so keep up the good work, and i may even be tempted to get my feet wet as it were.

  2. 2
    batgirl says:

    I didn’t get the sense that Dawn was being punished for having sex. It seemed that the boy she slept with was set up as being a jerk, and Dawn felt guilty for having slept with a jerk (which is a pretty normal teenager reaction). As readers, we’re sympathetic to Dawn because almost everyone has done something they regret. But I didn’t get the sense at all that Dawn was “punished” for having sex. Sometimes you have sex and there are negative consequences, but the framing didn’t seem to suggest that Dawn was blamed for having sex.

    Also, Xander quite clearly does not blame Dawn and points out that lots of people, including Buffy, have ended up sleeping with people who turn out to be not so great. Even Xander goes off with a woman who turns out to be a demon (in 7th season) and ends up hanging from the ceiling over the Hellmouth. In Buffy, relationships, sexual and otherwise, end badly or have complications all the time, but that’s the Jossverse for you. Happy characters are usually not as interesting to watch.