StephenT (stormwreath) wrote,

(Review) In Space, No One Can Hear You Slay

I know I'm horribly behind on writing comic reviews; but the Free Comic Book day 'Buffy' comic is only eight pages long, so I think I can manage that one. :)

As this is a stand-alone, it's not entirely clear where it fits into the season, other than Buffy says it's the first time she's taken time off from the coffee shop in three months. There's no sign of her being pregnant, robotic, one-armed, or anything else like that, so I'm going to assume it's prior to the 'Apart (Of Me)' arc. 

The premise is simple enough: Spike has persuaded Buffy to take a long weekend break and come away with him in his spaceship, to see the sights. Things go wrong, as usual. The fact that the issue title is a riff off the 'Alien' catchphrase is a pretty big give-away as to the type of trouble. I also means I can use this banner without giving away any other spoilers. :)

Buffy banner

So, Buffy is hiding in the spaceship locker in much the same way Ripley did at the end of the said film. Those definitely look like human spacesuits, not bug ones; that's considerate of the crew. I'm sure there's an in-universe reason for Buffy being in her underwear, like she was getting changed or about to have a shower or something when the monster was spotted; but I'm pretty sure the real reason she's drawn like that is to match what Sigourney Weaver was wearing in that scene.

Meanwhile, Spike's attitude talking to the crew seems quite harsh considering one of them just died; then again, the bugs don't seem overly concerned either. Maybe they have less of a sense of individuality than humans; they didn't have names until Spike gae them some, after all.

Poor Irene. Who is apparently male. :)

Buffy goes to her suitcase - she cetainly packed a lot of stuff for just a long weekend. Since we next see her she'd fully dressed, I assume this is when she changed. Sadly, the bugs think of wood as a tasty snack, so she is stakeless. 

Also, the bugs apparently think nothing of going through her bags and taking stuff from there.

Buffy's suitcase is in Spike's room. Hmmmm. So is there only one human-compatible stateroom on board this spaceship snd they're forced by circumstance to sleep in the same room; or is it by choice? Interesting. :)

I'm sure the spaceship wasn't this dark, cramped, creepy, dirty and steam-filled before it suddenly found itself playing host to an 'Alien' homage...

The dismayed body language of the bugs when they learn Spike carries insecticide on the ship is amusing, especially given that their emotions are visible only through hand getures, not facial expressions. I also liked his asking them when they learned to spell; and the substitution of 'little grubs' room' for 'little boys' room'.

After the 'Alien' homages, a 'Jaws' homage - and for that matter, a callback to the 'Buffy' movie. Though Buffy needs her memory joged about using an aerosol as a flamethrower. Maybe the traumatic experience of her appearance mutating from looking like Kristie Swanson to looking like Sarah Michelle Gellar caused Buffy to lose her memory of how she dealt with Lothos?

I laughed at the "on its tail... and the rest of its body parts" joke. The alien bug shedding its skin as it grows is another 'Alien' call-back, of course.

Aww. Spike is upset and angry at Colin's death, and tells Buffy to avenge him. Buffy, meanwhile, is being snuck up on by the monster; she reacts as you'd expect when she notices: a moment of shock followed by instant violent action. Not your typical horror movie protagonist, our Buff.

I was confused by the teeny aerosol flamethrower apparently melting a big hole in the deck. What are the decks made of, polystyrene painted to look like steel? Then I decided that maybe the injured bug started bleeding molecular acid blood onto the deck, and that's what created the hole.

Buffy jumps through the hole, as she does, but discovers that Irene is a lot less injured than we'd though, and now he's angry.
At this point all subtlety of homage is lost and we see that yep, Irene turned into a full-blown 100% Xenomorph. Complete with teeth in its tongue. 

Buffy manages to hold it at a safe distance with her feet... now when I wrote this exact same confrontation in my own fic, I had her rip the Xenomorph's tongue out with her bare hands; here, Andrew Chambliss comes up with a less brute-force solution.

Apparently Buffy's off-the-cuff comment about the Alien's appearance that she "Thought *Spike* looked bad in bumpy-face" has caused some fans to conclude that she has never loved Spike, because if she did, she wouldn't mind his appearance. I'm not so convinced: even in the famous scene in 'What's My Line' when she doesn't notice Angel is in vamp-face and kisses him, the point is that she didn't notice he'd vamped out, not that she thought he looked attractive that way. She was prepared to look beyond the surface appearance, to see the man behind the monster. It wasn't the monster that attracted her. I'm pretty sure she can do that with Spike as well. :)

It's also not such a random comment if we remember that despite the 'Alien' homage being done here, Irene is still actually a bug turned into a vampire. As such, the Xenomorph look is nothing more or less than the bug-vampire equivalent of a human-vampire's game face.

Today's lesson: bugs being turned is a bad thing. :)

Buffy realises what the name of the room, Solarium, must actually mean; and presses a big red button in yet another homage to Ripley disposing of a Xenomorph. Becaue as I just pointed out, Irene is stil a vampire of sorts, which means the sun is fatal to her.
Or any sun, apparently. Luckily, it seems that Pylea's sun being non-fatal to vampires is an aberration. Unless that sun is actually Sol, and they've just gone closer to it. :)

And Buffy gets to enjoy some sight-seeing after all. (And let's face it, a holiday with no slaying involved at all seems like it would get boring for her after a while...)

Tags: buffy, season 9, season 9 review
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