Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer(s): Christos Gage, Nicholas Brendon
Artist(s): Rebekah Isaacs, Richard Corben
Penciller(s): Karl Moline, Cliff Richards
Inker: Andy Owens
Colorist(s): Dan Jackson, Beth Corben Reed
Release Date: 8th April, 2015
Prior to reviewing this one, I was aware that I had a lot of background reading to do. However, with a 24-hour plane journey to kill, I’m seeing it as a win/win situation! There’s also free beer and whiskey. I really like free beer and whiskey. So, I’ve pretty much been a Buffy fan since the day dot. Back I the day when it was on with Star Trek: TNG I’d watch it every week. Then, when the comics started, I collected all the single issues for a year without reading them, storing them away to be given as a gift to my girlfriend so that we could read them together. Safe to say the bar had been set pretty high going into this, never mind the incredible work the Gage has been doing at Dark Horse with the series.
Overall the tone of the series has been absolutely spot on, with Gage managing to capture the spark of what made he original show so amazing. The way that characters hold themselves and act, you can “see” exactly what they’re doing and it’s like a warm and fuzzy all over again. One of the main attractions to doing a comic instead of a series (for me as a reader, anyway) is the fact that there are no budget restrictions. There are things that happen in the series now that would never have made it into the show, and while there’s still the stereotypical “Buffy” feel to the way the stories are crafted, they look so damn good on the page!
The standout for me in this regard was right at the beginning of this volume; there was everything that makes a perfect Buffy story, from ridiculous setting changes to the dialog between Xander and Willow, making it the perfect opener for the second part of Season 10.
The tone of this volume seems much more jovial that the previous one, something with is never more apparent than in the issue written by Buffy alumni Nicholas Brendon. His story revolves around Xander and Spike going for a drink and things happening. Any more than that and I’d be spoiling it for you, but it’s absolutely hilarious nonetheless.
The rest of the volume? Well, let’s just say Hellmouth and Halloween feature heavily.
For the most part of the book, Rebekah Isaacs is on art duties, and damn does she do a good job of it. It’s difficult for me to properly express what I mean when I say how well it fits the book without coming across as patronizing, because honestly, she manages to do a job that I don’t thing most male artists in the industry would manage to do. Somehow, and I don’t know why this surprised me, there manages to be girls in the book and they’ve not been overly (or in some cases at all) sexualised! They actually look like real people! She also does a damn fine job of monster creation with the Cthulu-esque Soul Eater and Siren both looking gorgeously grotesque.
For fans of the show looking for a trip down memory lane, or for people looking for a strong female-led book – or even just people who flat-out enjoy horror books – this is well worth a look. However, for those of you who, like me, want to get that same feeling you used to get when you watched the show – you need this in your life.
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