Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #16

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20430With a new ally in the group, it’s time for the book to put the focus back on Buffy.  While there are plenty of new faces, the book has a back to basics feel that long time fans can’t help but love.

Andrew Chambliss is back on as writer, after writing an episode of Once Upon a Time.  He’s ability to write Buffy as a changing character but feel familiar was sorely missed.  Chambliss has amassed himself a nice little group of characters here.  Buffy always worked best when she was around some sort of gang of friends.  Billy and Dowling create a great new Scooby gang.  We haven’t seen anything from Xander and Dawn in a while, and Chambliss reminds us why they are good together.  The trademark Xander wit had me grinning from ear to ear.  But they seem to be going through the same thing Jim and Pam on The Office the past few seasons.  They are ok where they are, and don’t seem to be going anywhere.  But that can change rather quick.  The only complaint I can think of for #16 is the zomprie fight goes on for  a little longer than it should.  More time could have been spent on Buffy and Dawling’s budding relationship.  He seems to be a mix of Angel and Riley.

Since Dark Horse has been releasing Buffy comics, they have always felt like something different than the show.  They had the same characters, and usually told similar stories.  But for some reason, the tone and dialogue felt slightly off.  Not that it wasn’t enjoyable, as I have loved every Buffy series released.  But Chambliss captures the balance of drama and wit that Joss Whedon used to make this series spectacular.  The ending comes out of nowhere, but it’s good to see Chambliss taking advantage of the expansive Buffyverse list of characters.  I won’t reveal who the character is, but more characters from the Angel TV show need to make a come back.

Georges Jeanty is back on pencils this month.  The extra time off has helped his pencils immensely.  At this point in his Buffy career, you either like that Jeanty doesn’t stick to the exact look of the actors or you don’t.  Funny enough, the character on the final page looks exactly like their actor counterpart.  It’s funny, as every time I’ve seen this character, the penciler can’t seem to nail down the actor’s looks.  The action scenes flow well, and Jeanty’s panel progression is better than in recent issues.  There are plenty of dustings When Jeanty is rushed, many of the characters lose their detail in the big fight scenes.  He’d do well on a bimonthly book.  Dexter Vines, one of the best inkers in the industry, inks a great issue.  The numerous dustings must have been time consuming.  Michelle Madsen’s colors are good as always.  The flu color for Dawn was sickening, but very funny.  Same with the puke from her.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #16 gets 4.5/5.

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