ADVANCE Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #1
Dark Horse has been advertising that this season of Buffy is going to be back to the basics. Scooby Gang fighting Vampires is the new name of the game. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #1 is just that, and a hell of a lot of fun.
Christos Gage (who wrote the underrated Angel & Faith for Season 9) takes over the reins for the main book in the Buffyverse. His first issue with the Scooby Gang could not have been written better. Gage captures their voices well, but finds a way to make them feel older and wiser than when we saw them last. Spike’s near obsession with Buffy not only feels like a thing of the past, but Spike feels like a new man. There is a pep in his step throughout this issue. Everyone feels like they have a new purpose with a fresh energy we haven’t seen in these characters since the beginning of the series (TV I mean). The Scooby Gang doesn’t seem to have lost their humor, as Gage works in numerous jokes. All of them hit their marks perfectly too. Buffy’s reaction to the Vampires had me laughing out loud. I hope Andrew pops up more this season, as he had some of the best jokes. The cast in this issue is rather large compared to past seasons, but Gage juggles the cast so well that it doesn’t impact the pacing. Each character gets their lines, and their quips, in without a specific character being relegated to background duty.
Gage makes a big impact in the mythos of the Buffyverse quite fast. It leaves a lot of questions to be answered, but the change is built upon the essence of magic properly. Gage doesn’t force feed the changes down the reader’s throats but lets them flow through the plot. Giles’ change, for example, doesn’t get an explanation. Gage lets the characters have their moment and will let the change be explained when the plot gives it time. Unlike Season 9, Season 10 looks to have a Big Bad of sorts in the form of changing Vampires. Seasons of Buffy have always been better when there is a Big Bad to face off against.
What is there to say about Rebekah Isaacs that wasn’t said throughout her run on Angel & Faith? Her artwork flows effortlessly across the page, showing Buffy’s athletic ability in a way that has been seldom seen in the comics. Every character looks like their actor counterpart, and that likeness is never sacrificed when the battles start to get hot. Spike especially captures the posture and personality that James Marsters brought to the lovable anti-hero. Along with Gage’s excellent character work, Isaacs adds a level of confidence in Buffy throughout the battle. And no matter what her inner monologue says, readers can pick up on her feelings when she is looking as Spike. Dan Jackson’s color are break through the darkness that is the Buffyverse. We often don’t see this book set during the daytime, which adds to the new feeling this issue has.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #1 gets 4.5/5.
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