Buffy Season 9 has been a treat. The new zompire threat returns some of the menace and danger of vampires, while the Siphon and other forces gather in the shadows. The thing that makes this season so good, though, is the emotional stakes (sorry) and relationship drama that Buffy has always done so well.
This volume features the return of an old, old ally as the Siphon’s plans are finally revealed. The progression toward the big apocalypse of the season is good and works on a plot and character level. The thing is, there is another danger that hits harder in this trade by striking close to home.
So, cryptic plot summary out of the way, how is this book?
It’s good. This is a move-the-pieces-on-the-chessboard story, not a monster of the week. Now, I love the big season-long game that Buffy always plays, but the stories that always resonated with me the most were the ones that were mostly MOTW with a little bit of arc thrown in. As an arc builder, this is great. The villains vamp (sorry again), the heroes stew, and there are fights and fights and fights.
The script is very good and the art is phenomenal, but it almost feels redundant to praise Andrew Chambliss for his writing and Georges Jeanty for his art. Almost. These are great comics creators, and the work they are doing here is as impressive as a hell-dimension.
Ultimately, this is a comic book that falls into a weird spot on your shelf. On the one hand, it is not as good as a stand-alone as say Season 8’s Wolves at the Gate. It does do more for the season than a stand-alone might, though, and I like this season better than the last one. I think that this is one that you need to pick up for the season as a whole more than as an individual trade. It is well worth your time, and you will want to pick this one up.
Four Fiendish Master Plans out of Five