ADVANCED Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #2
While Dark Horse has been touting that Buffy is going “back to the basics,” Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #2 shows that embracing the basics and building upon them is better. And that’s a great thing for us readers.
Christos Gage uses the illusion of going back to basics throughout #2. The ol’ Scooby Gang is back together and looking to Giles for help on a new situation that they can’t seem to tackle. But that’s not the case anymore. Giles makes it abruptly clear that they need to figure things out for themselves now. This is something we saw in the latter seasons of the TV show, but Gage gives it a nice twist with Buffy jumping in without hesitation. I always appreciated Giles father figure like role on the show and understood why he left for England in the later seasons, but his sudden confession about not wanting to be in the role didn’t fit right with the scene. You want to be back, but don’t want to be useful? It just doesn’t work with what we know about the character, even with his new teenage body. If this streak continues, we’ll see him heading back to Angel in London where he won’t have anything to do either.
The rest of the issue was entertaining as hell. I liked that Gage sent Faith off on her own as her presence in this book was burden on Angel & Faith #1. Buffy’s never ending love problems were missed severely in Season 9. Her “breakup” with Dowling shows that we have a more mature Buffy on our hands, but having it occur so early in the season almost guarantees that something will be happening between these two before long. I’m glad that Xander and Dawn are finally doing something about their relationship. Xander was in borderline limbo last season, as the character didn’t really have much to do. Gage’s character work really brings him back to the character we knew from the TV show and season 8. The humor is back, but is mostly there when Xander is anxious or nervous about something. That character trait was one of the things that made Xander a constant favorite for me when watching the TV seasons. Gage fits a surprising amount into 24 pages, with every character getting enough time to shine. I’m not too surprised as Gage has always been a effective in spinning lots of plates at once.
What is there to say about Rebekah Isaacs artwork that I haven’t said a thousand times before in other reviews? She is a powerhouse on this title. Characters constantly capture the look of the actors while bring the characters to life in her own way. Buffy’s shock at Dowling agreeing with them not being an item was hysterical. Truly less is more in this case. Isaacs’ inks are stellar in this issue as she nails one of the hardest inking jobs in comics; inking Spike’s incredible cheek bones. James Marsters’ (Spike). They are a key feature but can make Spike’s face look skeletal if the inks are too heavy. But I compared the panels to Marsters in costume and it looked perfect.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #2 gets 4/5.
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