While out picking up lunch today, I stopped and also picked up some books. Sometimes, my taste in reading material is a complete mystery to me, as one of today’s books was Willow: Wonderland (graphic novel 120 pages).
I think I wanted something that required very little work, with a story and characters that I was familiar with, that I could also finish fairly quickly. This definitely fulfilled all of those requirements. I’m also fairly certain that there is likely to be a lot of little details and interesting clues to upcoming parts of the storyline scattered throughout the story, but that’s not why I picked this up. I didn’t want something heavy or depressing or anything filled with tons of extra text that a fan would point at all the tiny innuendos within the text.
I’m also thinking that I was in the mood for something with more philosophical thoughts and less overt sexual or romantic interests. As much as Willow’s love life has been crucial to several plot and storylines throughout the entire Buffy: the Vampire Slayer television show and continuing graphic novels, Willow’s intimate engagements have all been focused on love, not so much on sex. She was a character with an extraordinary amount of power who wanted to do the right thing, but wasn’t always sure what doing the right thing meant.
This story really demonstrated the difference between wanting/having power to help other people and wanting power for yourself. Even though Willow has been a combat witch for some time, she goes through extra lengths to save lives, even lives of creatures that mean her harm. She understands that the demons in the realms she travels to are just attempting to survive and that attacking her isn’t meant in an evil or ill-intentioned way.
I guess that’s always been the defining characteristic for me when I talk about good and evil. I’ve always defined evil and the “bad guys” or villains as those who are only out for their own gain and those who will harm anyone and anything just because they can, or people who hurt or kill because it’s fun for them.
As much as this was a random, “brain-candy” thing for me to read today, I think it suited my mood just fine. It’s also made me do a little bit more self-reflection than I think I was looking for today, but I’m glad for it. I guess I see a lot of my own character and personality traits in Willow; how hard doing the right thing is sometimes, and how much you have to sacrifice of yourself in order to make things better for the people around you who you care about.
Overall, I’d probably rate this as a low three on my rating scale. I’m glad I read it and I’m glad I own it and I look forward to rereading it at some point in the future when I’m not in such a philosophical place.