An advance review of the newest Buffy book!
Credits & Solicit Info:
Story by Andrew Chambliss
Art by Georges Jeanty, Dexter Vines
Colors by Michelle Madsen
Cover by Phil Noto, Georges Jeanty
The uptick in the zompire population has the SFPD on Buffy's trail again—but this time, they need her assistance. However, Detective Dowling must settle for a little help from the bleached-blond vampire Spike, as Buffy has become distracted by a rather personal problem that will lead her to Robin Wood.
After the direction that season eight of Buffy went, I personally wasn't looking forward to season nine. However, I'm glad I picked it up; and to the disappointed fans, I seriously recommend picking up the first trade when it's out to see what I'm talking about. For those disillusioned by the last season, the current storyline is much more grounded than its predecessor. Instead of following the slayer army and big crazy monsters, the focus returns to the Scooby Gang. Between the new Buffy volume and Angel and Faith, the Buffyverse is firing on all cylinders; and this sixth issue of the latest season is no different. A warning to those who want to be surprised about Buffy's major life developments- there will be spoilers, so don't read any further if you want to be surprised.
This issue primarily deals with the fallout from the shocking development of last issue, i.e. Buffy is pregnant. The issue jumps back and forth from Buffy's life in the present, and Nikki Wood's life in the past. We learn that Nikki was one of the few (if not the only) documented case of a woman who gave birth to a child while being the Slayer.
The issue's writer, Andrew Chambliss, does a great job of showcasing the similarities and differences between Buffy and Nikki. The most striking difference is the amount of support in their lives; while Nikki was essentially alone, Buffy has her friends and family. The issue also shows how ill prepared for "real life" Buffy is. Sure, when it comes to slaying, she's the best there is, but everyday things? Not so much.
Another good thing is the treatment of Nikki's son Robin, whom longtime fans will recall from the last season of the television show. Buffy uses him as a resource in this predicament- and if anyone would know what it's like to be the child of a Slayer it'd be him- and the execution works well. I won't spoil the whole ending, but the last page has a cliffhanger I definitely did not see coming.
Georges Jeanty's artwork is amazing, as always. The characters all clearly resemble the actors from the show, yet there is enough of his personal style in it to make them his own. He does a great job of conveying the emotions the characters are experiencing, yet at the same time he can still depict amazing action sequences.
Overall, the Buffy comic FINALLY feels like the television show. The intimate focus on only a few characters is what makes Buffy great, and this issue was no exception. It's also great to get some more development of both Nikki and Robin Wood. I look forward to seeing where the story goes.
For those of you who were turned off by Season 8, I urge you to give Season 9 a chance. This issue in particular was the best so far- I definitely recommend it.
Review by: e_galston