Change is hard and at times can be the scariest thing in the world. But that doesn't mean it can't also be super exciting as well. Season 10 of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer written by Christos Gage with art by Rebekah Isaacs and colors by Dan Jackson is about that exact idea. The rule book is being rewritten and Buffy and co. find themselves with the task of figuring out exactly what that means. Picking up in the middle of the fight that started last issue, Buffy #2 bursts through with a rapid-fire introduction of what we can expect to see heading our way. The opening fight lasts a few pages, followed by a quick reunion which moves right into the planning and execution of action. Everything happens so fast, it's kind of hard to keep up.
There are a lot of conversations in this issue, but they're not poorly paced or alienating. Part of the reason all of the talking works so well is because of how Gage has captured the individual voices of each character. Every other thing out of Xander's mouth is either a smart-ass remark or a nerdy reference (sometimes both!), Buffy is a slightly snarky bad-ass, and Spike really likes to drink. While there are times when it may feel like Gage is playing to close to one dimension of the characters (see Spike's affinity for booze) it's also evident that he's getting himself comfortable and is finding out what makes each character tick. The pencils and inks of Isaacs also help the briskness of the story. Her lines are softer than former Buffy artist Georges Jeanty and she's not afraid to make the characters look a bit more cartoonish. This brings a new lightness to the Buffyverse and it'll be interesting to see how it plays out in respects to the story. Dan Jackson's colors enhance this new lightness in a way that works perfectly with Isaacs' art. While there is a definite threat looming, and we know someone somewhere is pulling some kind strings, there isn't a real sense of absolute danger anywhere in the story so far. It's nice, but it's also disconcerting on some level. When will things go bad? We see hints of a few relationships souring, but then a few panels later, things start to look up again. The lack of conflict is kind of a conflict in itself. The Big Bad is coming, but how long will it take?
Speaking of lacking, though I like what Isaacs is doing with the art for the most part, there are a few panels that are nothing but negative space and reaction shots of raised eyebrows. The faces she's drawing are by no means poorly done, but the obvious emptiness of the panels comes off as a little too minimalist and bland. Jackson's choice to color these negative backgrounds in a wash of blue or white makes the lacking all the more apparent. Where there should be detail, there's sadly only a tone. All in all, the new season is still in the beginning phases and the new team is giving a great effort in making this series their own. This particular issue does fly by, but it's also establishing something bigger. What that bigger thing is, we don't yet know. Things change whether we want them to or not. Season 10 is full of changes both on page and in universe. It'll be interesting to see what this means in the long run. For now the book looks like it's in good hands and whatever the future holds will be worth the read.