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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are enjoying "Season 8" of "BtVs," maybe you would be interested in "Season 0", 2 Aug 2008
By 
Lawrance M. Bernabo (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus Volume 1 (Paperback)
I did not collect the first "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" comic book series mainly because I did not cotton to the artwork. I picked up the first issue but that was it, although I did pick up some of the associated minis-series. So I got "The Origin" when it first came out because I liked the idea of redoing the movie script to better incorporate it into the mythos created by the television series, as well as "Willow & Tara Wilderness," Joss Whedon's "Fray," and "Tales of the Vampires." More recently I bought the "False Memories" trade paperback collection because it sounded like it might be similar to a "BtVS" novel that I tried writing once upon a time. But with Joss Whedon writing and serving as "executive producer" for "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8" (and now gearing up for "Season 6" of "Angel"), Dark Horse decided to reprint a definitive collection of the first "BtVS" comic series and its assorted spin-offs.

Initially I was sitting on the fence with regards to even checking out the series, but then I discovered that this omnibus series is organized chronologically following the timeline of the television series. In other words, the stories in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus, Volume 1" take place before the show's first season. That, I decided, meant Volume 1 was at least worth a look and then I can see what I have missed:

"All's Fair" ("Spike & Dru" #3), script by Christopher Golden, pencils by Eric Powell, and inks by Drew Geraci & Keith Barnett. This is a Spike & Dru story where the love vamps are checking out the Chicago World's Fair of 1933, where a scientist has tapped into energy from a demon dimension. Meanwhile, there are people who want to make Spike pay for killing his first Slayer during the Boxer Rebellion. Those story lines are interesting on their own, but putting them together does not up the ante. There is a neat scene where Spike and Dru simultaneously put the bite on a pair of young lovers kissing, but sharing pages ends up hurting the two main plot lines (4 Stakes).

"Buffy: The Origin," adapted from Whedon's original screenplay by Dan Brereton & Golden, pencils by Joe Bennett, and inks by Rick Ketcham. What if the original movie version of "BtVS" had been filmed the way Joss wrote it and not turned into a camp comedy by the director? This three-part comic book story gives fans an idea of what might have been. Beyond making Buffy look like Sarah Michelle Gellar, it is cutting all that campiness that makes this worth reading and upgrading the supporting cast: for example, Merrick looks like a cross between Donald Sutherland and Richard Riehle, the actors who played the character in the movie and TV series respectively. Not great, but I like it way more than the movie (4.5 Stakes).

"Viva Las Buffy!" (#51-54), script by Scott Lobdell & Fabian Nicieza, pencils by Cliff Richards, and inks by Will Conrad. What I like about this one is that beyond the whole idea of a road trip to Las Vegas (the number of times Buffy got out of Sunnydale on the TV series can just about be counted on one hand), is that it explains what happened to Pike: they run away to live and work in Vegas, but he becomes convinced that having a Slayer for a girlfriend is way too dangerous. I also like that it deals with how Giles came to be Buffy's second Watcher, although having Angel be in the story bothered me a bit until I remembered that according to "Becoming" he was hanging around keeping an eye on Buffy back then. But it was the insistence on working Dawn into these early outings that became too much for me. The neat thing this time around are the special siblings where only one is a vampire, which makes for an unusual scene, but overall this one tries to do too much with limited success (4 Stakes).

"Dawn & Hoppy the Bear," everything by Paul Lee. A demon goes after Buffy by giving her a "make-a-wish teddy bear." The only problem is that Buffy is off in Las Vegas (see previous story), so the delivery goes to Dawn instead. On the one hand, since Dawn was not really there at this point in history I have no idea as to what "really" happened that would justify this revised memory. But on the other hand, this is a cute little story (3.5 Stakes).

"Slayer, Interrupted" (#55-59) script by Lodbell & Nicieza, pencils by Richards, and inks by Conrad. While Buffy was off in Las Vegas, Dawn finds her sister's diary. When her parents read about how he has been fighting vampires and demons, they have her committed to a mental institution. Buffy actually likes not having to be the Slayer, but of course those running the place have a different agenda, making their patients brides of the demon Rakagore. Meanwhile, Giles has to face the consequences of having used Black Magic. The attempt to have early Giles jive more with later Giles does not really work because early Giles is so not the Ripper we meet in these issues. At the end of this the Summers move to Sunnydale, Giles is officially installed as her Watcher (there is a formal ceremony apparently), and the rest is history (4.5 Stakes).

There is also a Cover Gallery, because for some reason a lot of these reprint magazines like to either ignore the covers that went with these stories or shove them in the back of the book. This book does both. In the end I round up on this collection because of the nice job they do with Take 2 of Buffy's "Origin," although the second time reading these stories I better appreciate the attempt to work out what they referred to at Dark Horse as "Buffy: Year One." I just think having Dawn around for these early stories was a mistake because her presence does not fit my understanding of how her retroactive existence works. But that might just be my hang-up and most "BtVS" fans will not mind such things. Now I will have to see if Volume 2 manages to maintain this initial level.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A slightly mixed bag, but more good than bad., 10 Aug 2008
This review is from: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus Volume 1 (Paperback)
This is a good value package of Buffy comics, all are competantly written at worst and excellent at best. The art is a mixed bag also but it is rarely bad.
All stories here are set before the first TV series, included an adaptation of the Buffy movie making it more in keeping with the TV show. The stories manage not to be too continuity breaking, and then very minor.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, great art styles, only downside was a slightly convoluted story, 13 May 2014
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This review is from: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus Volume 1 (Paperback)
The buffy books are great and follow the same story as the show but the problem is that sometimes the books seem to skip a bit but that said when this happens they adapt well in summing the missed events up and so turn a negative around slightly, I think four stars is the right rating for this. A must read for any Buffy, comic or vampire fan
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic addition to my growing kindle comic book library, 17 July 2013
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I have been a buffy fan since I started watching the show on BBC2, way back when. Going through a rewatch of the series on DVD again, as had decided wanted refresh before s8 (even after all these years show is still great). Have not finished research yet but came across these, which seemed a fitting companion piece. These stories serve as prequel to the series and fill in a lot of gaps in more detail. The first story was kinda disappointing (especially as Spike is fav. Character) but the other 3 stories are pure gold, 2nd covers Buffy first finding out she is the slayer, 3rd a vampire slaying trip to Vegas, last goes into detail of events that took place when buffy was sent to mental asylum. Loads of knowing nods to show for fans to enjoy, art looks nice on kindle, not mind blowing but story is good enough to shadow this. Worth a buy!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From the beginning, 19 Nov 2008
This review is from: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus Volume 1 (Paperback)
I was at first not convinced about this Omnibus version, but when i started reading it, i finished it in a weekend!!!!
It was great, this comics takes you right at the beginning explaining to you how Buffy got called, her life in LA before moving in Sunnydale...
Great comic
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus Volume 1
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus Volume 1 by Joss Whedon (Paperback - 3 July 2007)
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