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October 05 2010

Which ten comics would you save? This ComicsAlliance writer includes Buffy #5 amongst their picks, saying "it's probably one of the best issues of comics of all time".

I'd have to agree with that statement about Buffy #5. It was a very well-written story.
Hmmm. I'm actually not a huge fan of The Chain. The story, sure, but I hate the way that story is structured.
I often ask Buffy fans what their favorite issue of Season 8 has been and it is almost without exception this one. I tend to agree. Despite lacking any actual characters from the show, it cuts to the heart of Buffy's character and what it means to be a slayer.
I liked it, but there are a lot of comics I would save before that one.

I do like that the writer singled out Blue Beetle, which like a lot of Whedon shows was beloved by a small but devoted group of fans and canceled far before its time. More comics need the wit, warmth, and sense of fun that series had, and there has never been a cooler family portrayed in a comic book than the Reyes clan.
Wow, I'm shocked. I thought it was one of the worst issues of Season Eight. One of the few times I didn't connect with a Joss written issue. It really felt like pretentious artsiness for the sake of pretentious artsiness. Just not an effective way to tell a pretty decent story.
#5 had its moments, but it was difficult to follow the structure and at times it seemed more like a message than a story. I don't think it was pretentious, just somewhat heavy-handed. I like it less on reread then I did at the time. It is probably my least favorite issue of Season 8. #10 on the other hand had some messages and a story that I thought tied it all together pretty nicely.
Me, I would save Brave and Bold 28. :-)
"You don't have to remember me. You don't even know who I am. But I do."

Really brilliant issue. I'm not particularly interested in comics and have found what I've read of season 8 to be a little hit and miss, but I enjoyed this one so much. It is a great little story that comes with a powerful message. It may not be exactly subtle in its telling of this message, but who cares when it is delivered in such a moving way.

Having said that, my favourite continuation of the Buffy story in the comics is probably the Faith arc.
Not a massive expert on comics in general, but I adored 'The Chain' as much as the very best of Buffy the TV show. The final internal monologue leading up to the heartbreaking image on the last page: pure Joss.
Not a big comicsgal myself, but I loved "The Chain". I thought it was beautifully structured, written and drawn, with a plethora of varied emotional moments - and lottsa humor.

I am also a HUGE fan of the ear--->egg laying fairy.

She's got plenty of fairy-moxie and baditude.
Speaking as someone who's read well over 50,000 comics, my head hurts so much after reading that link. SO much. :(
"The Chain" is easily the best issue of Season 8, in my opinion. Fantastic issue.
The Chain is like many other memorable episodes (I know it's not technically an episode, but whatever) where the POV entirely changes.

In Buffy, I liked Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered better than I did The Zeppo, but they're both very interesting Xander-centric episodes. Buffy gets big props for the shows that mess with the format (Hush, The Body, OMWF), but I really like the oddball episodes that focus on minor characters.

It's not a phenomenon that's limited to Buffy, of course. Babylon 5 did 1-2 a season, although "The Corps is Mother, The Corps is Father" is probably my favorite. House did "Wilson" last season, as well, that I can think of off the top of my head. Too bad Dollhouse and Firefly never got that far developed...
"one of the best issues of comics of all time"? Really? Listen, I really enjoyed The Chain (I also had problems with the structure and the less than subtle nature of it, like a lot of you here), but that statement is grossly hyperbolic. It makes me not want to click on the link and read the rest, to be honest.

@jclemens - I agree with you. The format-changers are solid, but I also really enjoy the character-specific episodes. I feel the same way about Bottle episodes. I think "Belonging" from season 2 of Dollhouse is an excellent, character-centric episode. One could also argue that "Stop-loss" qualifies, at least for a large part of it.
It's my favourite Buffy issue, but not my favourite comic.

Sandman, Watchmen, Arkham Asylum, Even an Android can cry (Avengers #58), John Byrne's Superman revamp...
The Chain is an amazing work. To be moved to tears by a one-shot story in comic book form for a girl who had never read comics is pretty amazing. Definitely deserves recognition.
As a person with zero emotional reactions to most things, that issue brought a tear to the desert land that is my duct. For me it was possibly one of the best moments i've had reading a comic, thus the best comic i've read. I reread it more than anything else, including my Fray TPB!!
FRAY ON SCREEN PLEASE!!
Huh. It was definitely a good issue, but a little hard to follow the artwork and general structure as others have mentioned. I guess it was a nice sentiment but not an uncommon one really.
imma let you finish...
10 comics I would save...

I liked "The Chain" but it wasn't one of my important ones. If I had to include a Buffyverse comic it would be "Spike: Asylum." But it wasn't world changing for me-- which is the criteria I used to try and whittle down my list. The following was the best I could do on short notice:


1. Heads above them all: "Acme Novelty Library no. 16"

2. "Uncanny X-Men #201"
3. The Elektra Assassin mini-series (I have to pick one? Let's pretend I own a TPB. :D)
4. "Planetary #10: Magic and Loss"
5. "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns" TPB
6. Some Sandman (Gee, I'll have to reread them all to get it down to just one or even two. Darn it. ^_^)

7-10. I figure I've cheated too much already, so I'll just stop there. Although... "Mouse Guard" has some damn fine art as does "The Losers"... And then there's my manga collection. But it doesn't tend to run to stand alone issues or even solitary stand out tankoubons. I have series. Long series. So, too hard. I'll just have to go with the above 1-6ish.
Hmm, trades as single issues is cheating big style IMO (genuine graphic novels as singles maybe but trades ?) but that's established by the article so (kind of in order, kind of not and with minor ***spoilers*** for some comics stories)...

1. 'Batman: Year One' (if I had to pick one it'd probably be part 4, Batman No. 407, for where old long ears - or old woolly hat as he is at that point ;) - saves Gordon's baby son. Forget windows, omens and cowardly superstitions, that's where Batman's born, when he leaps off the bridge to catch him. And if it's unrealistic because of the fall being unsurvivable - even with mud and really knowing how to land - well then, reality's broken ;).
2. 'The Dark Knight Returns' (if I had to pick a single issue it'd probably be part 3 - I think ? - where Gordon forms the bucket brigade. "A line forms" still, in context, actually makes me a bit misty eyed. That's us right there, human potential encapsulated. Far more satisfying than the cynical (albeit parodic) contempt for the common people on display in "... Strikes Again".
3. 'Alias' (single issue, whichever one was the "big reveal" because when you understand the full horror of what happened to Jessica Jones you understand what a hero is. Turns out it's the spitting image of Jessica Jones ;). And the hardback collects them all into one "comic", so there ;-p.
4. 'Queen and Country'. Issue wise, dunno, 'Operation: Saddlebags' part 3 maybe (i'd have to re-read) ? Because Tara Chace is the loose, figurative awesome anyway but a hurt, desperate, blown Tara Chace is more like the literal kind.
5. 'Whiteout: Melt'. Cos it conveys the bleak beauty of Antarctica and us at the same time and cos Carrie Stetko is kind of the Ur-Chace. Puts the character into Strong Female Character™.
6. 'Criminal: Coward'. Cos it's just an immaculate crime story told in the comics medium.
7. 'Y: The Last Man'. Single issue, there're a lot of candidates but probably the final issue, No. 60. Alas ;).
8. 'V for Vendetta'. Single issue, this is a bit complicated given its convoluted publication history but whichever one features 'Valerie' (it'd be wonderful if it was No. 5 of course but I doubt it ;).
9 & 10. Loads more ('For the Man Who Has Everything' maybe ? Something from 2000AD e.g. 'Button Man' ? 'Sin City' ? A story from 'Victor', 'Hotspur' or 'Eagle' to represent all the stories that initially got me hooked on comics ? and on and on) but yep, i've also cheated a lot so 9 & 10 I let burn as I depart my figuratively blazing house as an offering to the universe ;).

Much as i'm enjoying it for the most part, none of Buffy "season 8" would make my (effectively) top 10 comics of all time but my favourite from there would be either issue 5, 10 or 32 (just because Brad Meltzer and Georges Jeanty clearly have so much fun with the Superman cover/trope allusions and it's totally infectious). Of all Joss' comics stuff 'Sugarshock' would actually be near the top of my list partly because it's just so pure at what it is - crazy, hilarious fun.

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