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I hate to say it, but I think Issue 7 is where Season 9 jumps the shark. Issue 6 tempted us with a potentially juicy plotline with plenty of character development. But in this issue, Buffy and Spike kvetch about their relationship for the billionth time, giant bugs fly around in spaceships, and the issue ends on a truly facepalm-worthy note.
At the end of issue 6, Buffy decided to have an abortion after discovering that she had become pregnant. Rather than follow up on that dramatic decision right away, Issue 7 opens with a pointless scene involving Buffy’s inane roommates (apparently, their names are ‘Tumble’ and ‘Anaheed,’ but I prefer to think of them as ‘Hipster Chick’ and ‘Guy Who Looks Like Stephen Stills from Scott Pilgrim’).
Earlier, they freaked out when they learned that they were living with the Slayer and decided to vote her out of the apartment a la Survivor. But lo and behold, both of them ended up voting in Buffy’s favor when push came to shove. They go to tell Buffy about her reprieve, only to find her stuff in boxes.
It turns out that Buffy has found some new digs. She is now living on an alien spaceship belonging to Spike, her on-again/off-again vampire sex toy. Not only does Spike have a spaceship, but it is crewed by a bunch of giant talking bugs. After some more pregnancy angst (which seems like more of a plot device than genuine emotion), Buffy segues neatly into relationship angst with Spike.
Buffy whines about her desire for a normal life, Spike complains that Buffy is using him, and I roll my eyes because we have all heard this conversation a billion times before. Seriously, these two are stuck in some sort of emotional Groundhog Day where they are doomed to have the same arguments over and over — and over again. Come to think of it, that pretty much describes all of Buffy’s relationships.
Since this is, after all, an issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, there has to be a battle. Sure enough, Detective Dowling soon comes under attack by a bunch of zompires. Like all law enforcement officials in the Buffyverse, he is incompetent and unable to defend himself, so he radios Spike for help. Spike naturally obliges (he is, after all, the new Sensitive Spike™, complete with soul), though he makes Buffy stay behind because of her ‘condition.’ Buffy watches the battle from aboard the spaceship until she remembers that she is the title character and jumps into the fray.
Naturally, she kicks butt, and afterward she and Spike end up having a romantic scene amidst the carnage, and we get to see them natter on about their relationship some more. *Sigh* Just as it is revealed that they both want normal lives, Plot Contrivance rears its ugly head, and a random zompire jumps up and rips Buffy’s arm off. Instead of screaming frantically before passing out due to blood loss, Buffy just stands there looking confused. No, it is not because of her hardy Slayer constitution. Apparently, Buffy is a robot!
This issue felt like a gigantic letdown. Having Buffy grapple with an unexpected pregnancy could have interjected a strong human element to the comic. Instead, we are subjected to a mélange of tired tropes. Spike’s spaceship and its bug crew seem like they were lifted from the pages of a bad sci-fi comic, and Buffy-like robots were done to death on the TV show. To series newcomers, the ending might have been a shock, but series veterans are liable to roll their eyes at yet another Buffybot.
In one of the last panels, ‘Buffy’ says that “I think this means I’m not pregnant,” which suggests that writer Andrew Chambliss could be using the Buffybot as a way to extricate himself from the Buffy-is-pregnant plotline. I suppose it could have been worse: she could have woken up and realized it was all just a dream. Still, it will be a shame if such an intriguing plotline is cut short so abruptly.