Summary: In Volume 3, "Guarded", Buffy takes a job with Kennedy's new association of Slayers-turned-bodyguards. On Buffy's first trial run, they're supposed to be guarding a tech billionaire, so no special Slayer skills required… but of course, things turn out to be a lot more demon-y than anyone was expecting. We also get introduced to Billy the Vampire Slayer, a young man who isn't "called" the way Slayers normally are, and is busy dealing with bullying and boy troubles, but decides that it's his duty to help rid his small town of its infestation of the mindless slavering zompires that are being sired ever since Buffy destroyed the Seed.Review: I think Season 9 was a lot stronger than Season 8. Not every single thing Buffy does has to be preventing a world-ending apocalypse (although it usually works out that way) and I think that by keeping her storyline a little smaller and her motivations more focused (figure out life, navigate relationships, deal with a changed world, kill vampires, protect the people you love), the writers managed to keep the series reigned in to a more manageable scope, and kept it feeling more like the TV show and less like a trip to crazy-town. One of the key differences, I thought, was that S8 had a lot of stuff that felt like the writers were doing it because they didn't have to worry about special effects budgets anymore, so they could have all the special effects they wanted. On the other hand, there was very little in S9 that felt like it was something that couldn't have been filmed, which is I think how comics should be: a little something extra that we can't get from TV, but not so much that it loses touch with the spirit of the original series. And the Buffy comics, particularly S9, are good about keeping the flavor of the original. The characters all sound like themselves, even as they grow and change in response to what's happened in their lives. The patter of the dialogue still flows the same. The characters… don't quite look the same (in the panels, at least; the cover paintings are quite realistic), but that's not new to this season, and at least they're all consistently identifiable (except for Andrew, who in my opinion is probably the character that looks the farthest from the actor). So overall, I really enjoyed these; they've got the signature Buffy mix of humor and heart and supernatural ass-kicking, all while sticking a little closer to the types of stories that made the series so great. 4 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: I can't imagine these comics making a lot of sense to someone who hasn't seen the whole series and read season 8 (and maybe some other stuff as well; this season involved some Angel references, and probably some things from the other Buffyverse comics that I don't read that went right over my head.) But for fans of the show, this season is a lot more satisfying than S8.