Dark Horse rolls out the announcement of all four titles that will be featured in two different comics to be given away to thousands of fans on May 5, 2012.

First comes a special flip book featuring both Felicia Day’s gaming web series turned comic, The Guild, and Dark Horse’s best-selling comics continuation of Joss Whedon’s iconic television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer! Buffy has never needed a vacation as badly as she does now, with the world overrun with zompires and other fallout from Season 8. After an old friend suggests a relaxing getaway from all things that go bump in the night, it turns out to be harder than she could ever expect for a Slayer to get a day off!

Felicia Day, creator of The Guild, continues to bring on the funny with high jinks from her diverse group of gamers when the Guildies struggle to find a meeting place they can all agree on. A little in-game battle becomes the deciding factor, and the circle follows the decree of the winner: the beach?!

Next up is one of the biggest flip books we’ve ever published, when Zack Whedon brings you tales of the coolest guy in the galaxy and the most charming rebel in the ’verse! That’s right; we’ve paired Star Wars with Joss Whedon’s Serenity! 

Han Solo and Chewbacca have a falling-out after a deal with their slickest—and shadiest—customer goes bad. But when the client gets designs on the Millennium Falcon, Han and Chewie present a united front that can’t be beat!

Meanwhile, Captain Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds is no stranger to jobs gone wrong himself. But when the chips are down, he’s able to rely on the amazing, odd, and diversely talented crew of Serenity.

Dark Horse Free Comic Book Day 2012: Four great stories for the price of, well, none!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine #3 “Firefall Part III” review

By Juan C Pineda

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine #3 “Firefall Part III”
Script: Andrew Chambliss
Pencils: Georges Jeanty
Inks: Dexter Vines
Colors: Michelle Madsen

I like Joss Whedon’s work. I may even consider myself  a Joss Whedon fan…wait, is there a name for Whedon fans? Whedoners? Whedonites? Whedonoes? Either way, I would faithfully run home to watch “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer” on Mondays and then Tuesdays nights on the WB and loyally jumped to the UPN when Buffy switched networks. Life was difficult before DVRs, my friend. But when the series ended after seven seasons in 2003, I didn’t keep up with the Scoobies in comic book form, despite the fact Dark Horse had been publishing BtVS comics since 1998. Fortunately for ardcore…Whedonists…Dark Horse continued the TV show in a comic book series they called “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight”, providing the further adventures of Buffy, Dawn, Xander, Willow and others. It picked up where the TV show ended in stories that can be considered canon, because fans love it when things are officially canon.
But somehow I missed all 40 issues. I am not making a strong case for myself as a…Whedonologist.
Lucky for me, Dark Horse is still creating Buffy comics in a new series called “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine” and now I can find out what has happened to my favorite slayer family since the end
of the TV series. Let’s see what I can gather from reading “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine” #3 “Firefall, Part III”…magic is gone from the world because Buffy destroyed something called the Seed in Season 8, therefore Willow is powerless as are all the other slayers and they all hate Buffy. Xander and Dawn are now romantically together. Buffy is continuing to slay vampires but this attracts the attention of the San Francisco Police and now she is a wanted fugitive and no one is willing to hide her. Wait! What? Xander and Dawn are now together? Ew. I missed a lot. So Buffy has to slay vampires in a world where vampires are cool (thanks Twilight!) and people are volunteering to become fanged. But
with the lack of magic, the newly sired vampires are more vicious, so Buffy calls a Scooby Gang meeting to figure out how to deal with the consequences of her actions from Season Eight. Although Buffy may now be alone, she may get help from Severin an enigmatic dude with seemingly magical powers.
Oh and look, Spike is here too. He hears that someone is going after Buffy…really Spike? That shouldn’t be news to you.
BtVS:S9 #3 did a good job of bringing me up to speed on the status of the Buffyverse, color me intrigued. The story, despite it being part 3 of a 4 part storyline, is a good jumping on point for those familiar
with the TV show. The dialogue could have easily been filled with exposition but it flows. Sometimes it reaches for that familiar Whedon trademark of quick quips and witty banter, however writer Andrew
Chambliss (Dollhouse, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Vampire Diaries) keeps his own voice and is able to keep a good rhythm throughout the issue.

Handpicked by Joss Whedon, Artist Georges Jeanty has been working on Buffy since Season Eight, so his likenesses of the characters are spot on to their TV counterparts. This is especially important to a licensed property and it added to my enjoyment of reading the series. This particular issue didn’t have any fight scenes so I can’t comment on how he handles those but for a story where it’s mostly people
talking, Georges did an excellent job of storytelling.
So for me, a Whedontot and a Buffy fan, I was intrigued and entertained to see how Buffy had been doing (not so good actually, life is rough for her, as usual) Season Nine is set to run 25 issues so get in on it while it’s still early. I recommend picking this up if you are a Buffy fan, it still maintains the feeling of the show. If you’re not familiar with Buffy, give it a try. She still is a strong character, fleshed out and re-boot free. Although I would probably recommend one of the trades from Season Eight so you can read a complete story arc. However if you are expecting some gratuitous T & A, move on folks…nothing to see here. So get it, read it and pass it on, if you have a friend who is a big Buffy fan but they never read Buffy comics, or comics in general, this would be a great way to introduce them to the medium.