I’ve been pretty happy with how Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 has been shaping up (aside from the pretty lame recent Fray arc), much more so than Angel’s season in Hell for which I’ve completely lost all interest.
In the latest issue, penned by longtime Buffy write Jane Espenson in what promises to be a “groundbreaking” arc, Buffy and the Slayers take a back seat for an entire issue centered around Harmony. Okay, who thought this was a good idea?
The major problem with “Harmonic Divergence” is the limitations of the basic set-up. Harmony is a fun character is small doses but this Harmony-centric issue puts her front and center and the bubbleheaded vamp begins to bore much too early.
The basic idea for this issue is also poorly thought out. It takes Harmony to Paris Hilton-like celebrity and by the end casts her as a hero and the Slayers as an evil secret organization which even Anderson Cooper is comparing to Nazis. Although this might have made for an okay storyline, how it unfolds is simply bewildering.
Harmony kills a man on camera and gets her own tv-show. Then she drinks the blood of a Slayer on national television and becomes a media darling? Um… does no one see a problem here? Do laws not apply to vampires? Were the hell, for example, are the police?
The basic premise of the issue seems to be that the American people are stupid (which I can buy) and most are so stupid that they’ll think Harmony is really cool (slightly harder to buy, but okay). Here’s the problem – she’s a vampire. Sure you may think the Firefly family are totally badass but you aren’t going to get within two states of them. Even with all of Harmony’s dumb-blonde charm at the end of the day she’s still a horrific murdering creature of the night who is EATING PEOPLE ON CAMERA!
What if, instead of what we are given, the comic had set-out to have Harmony hiding the more malicious parts of nature and coming out as a sexy dumb-blonde who never ages and can’t be remotely dangerous? That version could have realistically painted vampires as something other than blood-sucking fiends and might have worked to cast Slayers as murdering bigoted psychopaths out to commit genocide on a misunderstood race. However once you show the true evil of vampires on film at 11 there’s no place left to go.