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on 11 May 2009
Obviously, you will enjoy this book more if you have already read (and if you haven't, I highly suggest you do!) the awesome graphic novel Fray (also by Whedon), but if you haven't, this volume will still make sense. I love the artwork in this volume, its so crisp looking and the dialogue, as always is fresh and lively. This is possibly, so far--my favorite of the Season 8 graphic novel runs, as it brings a shocking delevopment to the plot all wrapped up in several (including one massive) beautiful little sniplits that will delight and disturb Buffy fans.

Reading Fray first is a MUST DO before reading this book, as all the little refrences and the beauty of the Fray characters will capture will your heart and make this book extra special for you.
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The story running through Dark Horse Comics' Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 issues #16-20 is collected as Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 8 Volume 4: Time Of Your Life (Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Dark Horse)). The title story - taking up issues #16-19 - involves Buffy being sucked into the future of Fray - the Slayer from the spin-off series of the same name - during a trip with Willow to New York. Meanwhile, Warren and Amy launch (literally) an attack on Slayer-central, leading to a team-up between the Slayer Squad and the mystical forces inhabiting the Scottish countryside around the HQ to battle the evil unleashed by the Twilight Team. The future-set story has a bit of a twist, as the villain of the piece turns out to be a figure from the present, and another figure from the past joins the Twilight conspiracy in the present.

This is another excellent episode in the ongoing Season Eight series, with excellent scripting and artwork. Issue #20 is a `flashback' story as Buffy dreams that she is back in Season One (but a One with Dawn in it), told in a TV cartoon art-style (was there a cartoon Buffy series?), as Buffy tries to escape from the pressure of modern life, and the decision whether to reveal what she saw in the future or not...
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on 20 September 2013
The last gn was not so great, still enjoyable. This issue was a joy throughout, though one issue is that the front cover kinda spoils a plot twist. Think you would need to read Fray first though as pretty much continues that story and would spoil a few things if you wanted to after reading this. Half way through season8, am looking forward to seeing where Twilight story goes.
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on 13 July 2009
Season 8 has been better than any of the TV seasons because Whedon's stories are no longer limited by filming budget. After Buffy's trip to Japan in "Wolves at the Gate", the next trip that would have been impossible on TV was to take Buffy to the future. The story has been criticized (not here) for being nothing more than a needless excuse for Buffy to meet (and fight) Fray. Is it really? The first 3½ pages disorient in a good way by throwing readers straight into the action before Whedon moves to a flashback sequence where we see how Buffy got onto that rooftop. Plus, he gives us a mystery of Dawn's transformation and the sudden switch of places in time between Buffy and the monster from the future, before ending the first episode in one of those wonderful Whedon cliffhangers. Then, the second episode starts, logically, by showing us how Fray got onto that rooftop. Whedon throws us a red herring when Buffy and Fray's antagonist in the future is described as "the dark-haired one" who has "lived for centuries, speaks in riddles and strange voices." This brings to mind a certain Vampire lady... Taking advantage of the fact that comics don't (usually) have sound, Whedon can even allow the "dark-haired one" to speak without the readers not being able to identify her by recognizing her voice. Clever. Whedon juggles the future storyline with the present day storyline, in which the assault on the Slayers' castle base drives Buffy's forces on the run, once again in a situation where the bad guys seem to be winning. This recalls the most dire situations our heroes have found themselves in the previous seasons while also being completely different. Then he ends the second episode with yet one Whedon-class revelation of the antagonists identity. And then the plot starts to unfold... By the time the fantastically cinematic double-climax (of present and future storylines) comes, Whedon still manages to find the time for yet another revelation and ends the story by having Buffy make a heart-breaking decision without really knowing why she has to do it. In the end, the readers also don't know why, which leaves us wanting more. Whedon has done this before and the mysteries have always been eventually solved satisfactorily. Just because Whedon does not yet tell us why all this happened does not mean it's not good storytelling. We are not seeing the big picture yet. That said, Whedon's dialogue is of the usual excellent quality and Moline's art *really* has evolved since Fray first came out. This is as worthy a mini-arc as any previous ones in Season Eight.
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on 18 May 2009
i am still amazed at how diverse, complex and epic each volume of season 8 has been, it is (like the show) a movie every volume, and this one in particular is more different than anything else the writers have done on the show.
it shows a different cross-over altogether and also sees the return of, not only, a major villain(as shown on the beautifully illustrated front cover) but also the return of a major character not seen since season 6(not not Warren and Amy who also have a scheme up their sleeves).
this is what i shall call the major character development episode of the season, sort of like Get It Done but with a grander budget.
some illustrations even reminded me of the cult film The Fifth Element, and the plotline here has so mny twists within it you have to really pay attention.
Dawn's subplot gets a revamp here as she makes another major transformation, into a Centaur (half human half horse greek myhological creature), speaking of the creatures, the ones in the future are pretty artistic and authentic looking that only the comic series can take full advantage of.
Time Of Your Life is a really spectacle story and a mjor character development episode full of intense fight sequences and snappy dialogue that makes this (as with previous volumes) an excellent 8th season of the show.
remember to purshase-The Long Way Home, No Future For You and Wolves At The Gate to get the full spectacle of the season thus far.

Predators & Prey looks as though everything is going to be turned upon its head and things are gonna take a darker turn as hailed writers from the show write five stories in one volume(!!)and more is to be revealed on the villain Twilight(!!!)Pre-order a copy,i am.
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on 7 July 2009
This volume contains the 4 parter story 'Time of Your Life' and the one-shot spin-off 'After These Messages...We'll Be Right Back!'

'Time of Your Life' sees Buffy and Willow heading to New York as our witchy friend has been receiving messages of a 'time ripple' nearby and suggest they check it out. As a result, Buffy is sent to the future with a demon taking her place in the present day. In the future, Buffy witnesses a world where vampires (or 'Lurks' they're now called) are running wild and only 1 slayer now lives by the name of Fray. But Buffy's sudden appearance in the future is not accident, the 'Mad Woman', working with a vampire named Harth, has brought her here for a reason - can Buffy stop this big bad and get back to her time?
This arc crosses over with Joss Whedon's other comic book series; Fray, a series about a lone-slayer set in the far future. I personally haven't read it but I managed to follow on and into her world in this book easily, but obviously those who have read it would get more out of this cross over than I did.
Whilst the crossover was a nice idea and the 'big bad' was one I've been looking forward to for a long time (fans of season 6 would feel the same); I feel the arc was slightly lacking. Mostly due to unexplained details; such as the motives of the big bad, why Buffy was brought back and why her going back to the present will be a bad thing for Fray. I could go on, but I just feel that with such a great story, Joss would've given more time for dialogue and development, instead I felt that every time I turned the page I've skipped one as everything was moving quite fast. I think this is where a TV series/movie is a stronger medium in some ways compared to a comic; yes Joss would not have had the budget to create the futuristic world as effectively but it would've given the arc more time for story development and to become more emotionally involved with the characters.

'After These Messages...We'll Be Right Back!' is a throwback to the 'never left the pilot' Buffy Animated Series and to the old faces of the cast we know and love. Buffy has a dream where she is sent back to her first year at Sunnydale High, she takes the opportunity to hang with the old 'scooby gang' before she wakes up in reality.
The art takes a totally new style to showcase the 'animated' side and it works with the kooky story. It was nice to see how much our favourite characters have grown over the years. From Xander's skateboard riding to Principle Snyder's stern attitude - it makes you yearn for the animated series and early BtVS episodes all over again. Again, no reason is given to this spin off, but for a one-shot quirky comic I don't think it needs it.

Overall the volume had a lot of promise but due to some unexplained details, fast pace and failure to reach potential make this a weaker volume. I hope that details are given in future volumes as I would like gaps to be filled. Recommended if you plan to continue the season 8 comic series, if you've never touched a season 8 Buffy comic - start at `Long Way Home'.
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on 14 August 2009
Whats Fray for the uninitiated? A buffy spin off comic from a few years back, which I understand never got its story finished. So Joss has decedied to combine it with a buffy story to finish it.
So we have a back history a number of fans may be unaware of and time travel etc thrown in? sounds like an awful idea but it works excellently.
The art is by Korl Moline who i believe did the original Fray comic, he is fairly similar in style to Georges Jeanty who usually does the book so its all pretty familiar.
The story is complicated and takes a little while to see where it is going but the end result and character writing are excellent. Not a good starting point for new readers but a great read none the less.
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on 1 January 2013
Nice continuation of the tv series, and great illustration, but I am a bit disappointed with the story. It's a bit difficult to read at times, but otherwise ok.
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on 6 September 2013
Bought this as a gift for my father, he was very pleased with the Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 8
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on 25 August 2015
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