The second volume of Joss Whedon’s comics revival of Buffy the Vampire Slayer shifts the focus from the eponymous Slayer to her one-time rival Faith, who is contacted by former Watcher Giles, largely absent from the previous volume, The Long Way Home, to carry out a “black ops” mission against a rogue Slayer. Whedon passes on the scripting duties to Saga author Brian K. Vaughan, who actually manages to capture the vocal patterns of Whedon’s characters slightly better than Whedon does in The Long Way Home. He also captures the sense of timing that was so much a part of the television series’ effect. The structure works effectively, and it actually reads like a halfway decent comic. For this, it is possible to forgive Vaughan and Whedon for a pretty gratuitous and voyeuristic scene in which Faith and rogue Slayer Genevieve share a bath.

Penciller Georges Jeanty, as he does throughout this series, captures the essence of the television characters without being dully photorealistic. His art is clear, and he’s evidently enjoying himself. He is aided by the inks of Andy Owens.

After ‘No Future For You’ concludes, there is a final story here by Whedon, with pencils by Cliff Richards (but inks by Owens, providing continuity across the stories). It contains important revelations about what Buffy and Willow have done to achieve the levels of power and resource that they have (a hint: the cost paid is quite high), and foreshadows what will come later in the story.

This isn’t among the best volumes of Season 8, but is self-contained, and relatively accessible to a new reader. Later on, when Buffy’s world collapses around her, the volumes will become tightly interconnected. The season continues with Wolves at the Gate.