In a world where faeries, the military, magic, vampires, and interdimensional travel exist, we find Buffy the Vampire slayer amidst all of it. Our titular character must balance the relationships with people that are in those walks of life, while attempting to defeat an unstoppable evil that threatens her world.
In Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #28, we join our titular character as she has to find a way to rally enough support against D’Hoffryn, a vengeance demon who has killed off the entire Magic Council, and stolen the Vampyr book to take advantage of the new rules of magic and become invulnerable. As Dawn and Xander continue skipping through dimensions trying to get back to their home, they are left to fend for themselves as Buffy is garnering the support of the Scoobies to defeat D’Hoffryn. Along with these troubles, she has to come to terms with her struggling relationship with Spike.
The story by Christos Gage does not disappoint. If there was any problem with continuity in any series of comics, this line of comic books seems to shut those problems down. As someone that had first been exposed to the 1992 version of Buffy with Kristy Swanson and Luke Perry, it was weird to see the more serious take in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alyson Hannigan in 1997. I was expecting some campy television show about a girl slaying vampires, but there was an attempt to delve into characters, relationships, and interweave that with the struggles of saving the world from evil. As this was the case in the series, we find that in season 10, our characters are going through many of the same troubles. Yet Christos Gage creates a story that so flawlessly picks up from one issue to the next, that comic book sticklers will realize that having a committed writer to a story for two years really benefits in terms of continuity.
Gage also touches on the subject of consequences. Willow is no longer with the military because of what had happened with D’Hoffryn, and Spike and Buffy’s relationship is strained because of the troubles they now have to face. Gage writes as though there are moving parts that the characters need to attend to, and the matter of choice is brought up time and again when faced with their issues. Do the Scoobies save Xander and Dawn, or do they rally support to face D’Hoffryn? Do Spike and Buffy go on a break from their relationship, or do they continue on together, despite the difficulties they will face later on? Each character is given a choice on how they can proceed, and has to deal with the consequences for their actions, and Gage handles that balance masterfully.
The only problem I saw was with the story of Xander and Dawn and their interdimensional travelling, as I had hoped that there would be more focus on their adventures through the different worlds and some of the emotional exhaustion they had to endure meeting other races and battles they had to undertake. Truly, it might have been another comic series altogether, but to have a little more of their story would have given a bit more depth to their characters and how they might have grown.
The art by Rebekah Isaacs is bright, colorful, and when looking at the characters, Buffy, Spike, and Willow look almost exactly like their TV show counterparts. One can’t help but think that Isaacs was looking at models of Sarah Michelle Gellar when she was filling in the panels for Buffy. Yet, she captures in the silent moments hints of reflection, and emotion. We see tears that reflect much more than any word bubble could express or thought bubble could convey. The art style makes it more like a cartoon than anything, but to keep the characters as consistent in their look in the way that Christos Gage kept consistency with the storyline, it makes sense to have the characters drawn this way.
The only issue with the art style is that there isn’t enough darkness or shadowing. It’s as if everywhere the characters went, there was an enormous amount of lighting. One tends to think of Archer when looking at the characters. This leaves the reader with a sense that these characters are little more than 2-dimensional, although with the writing that hardly seems the case.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #28 was everything I expected it to be. There is no sense of dwelling or pause in the momentum, as what would happen to any normal people because of the immense problems the characters are facing. Christos Gage writes the characters as if they are moving the story forward, putting off any long emotional pauses to face the problems at hand. It makes the story believable. The art style by Rebekah Isaacs, though cartoonish in style, is consistent throughout the episodes, and the character designs look almost exactly like their television show counterparts. Although it may be argued that the characters lack the depth in shadowing that gives any true 3-dimensional look to them.
- Story follows continuity flawlessly
- Writing explores characters in-depth
- Art style of characters mimics television counterparts
- Art style lacks 3-dimensional elements
- Some character stories not explored fully