Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9 #6 Review: Mother or Slayer???

 

Buffy S9I6The last issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9 left us with quite the cliffhanger, and this issue does not disappoint. While readers desperate for details of how Buffy ended up in her current predicament will be left wanting, writer Andrew Chambliss continues his stellar performance as the current Buffy scribe, while artist Georges Jeanty flaunts the amazing talent that got him the job! Talk about a dream team!
 

SPOILERS BELOW



Here’s a quick summary of Issue #6:
 

This issue opens with a flash back to 1970s New York City and pregnant slayer Nikki Wood in the process of her Cruciamentum, the process all eighteen-year-old slayers must endure. Angered when the vampire threatens her unborn baby, she dusts her adversary in pure rage, surviving the test to the relief of her watcher, Bernard Crowley.


In present day, Buffy confides her pregnancy to Dawn and also explains that she doesn’t know who the father is. Apparently, her memory about that wild party in Issue #1 is a little hazy. Buffy thanks her sister for her advice and support but whips out her cell saying there’s someone she needs to talk to before making any sort of decision.


Meanwhile, Spike meets up with Detective Dowling for a ride along. It seems the Detective wants to brush up on his vampire knowledge. Spike does his best to fill Dowling in, but soon the conversation turns to Buffy and how she came into Spike’s life. Despite Spike’s attempt to set Dowling and Buffy up, the Detective clearly sees the vampire’s love for the slayer and points it out to him, suggesting he just let her know how he feels.


While the boys hang out together, Buffy gets together with Robin Wood for a serious heart-to-heart about motherhood and slayers. Through more flashbacks to Nikki and his description of his childhood, Robin urges Buffy to have the child, despite the difficulties that may be present.


In the final scene, Buffy asks Spike to meet up with her. When he arrives, she informs him that she’s decided to have an abortion. She tells Spike that she considered keeping the baby, but, in the end, she feels that she barely has control of her own life and is in no way ready to be a mother. She asks Spike to go with her when she has it done, and he, of course, is there for her.
 

The Good
 
Mommies, Daddies, and the return of Nikki Wood! While writer Christos Gage is currently exploring fatherhood in the Angel & Faith series with the return of Drusilla and the recent appearance of Faith’s father, Chambliss almost seems to be writing a companion piece that explores both slayerhood and motherhood in equal parts. While I’m not sure it’s a coordinated effort on Dark Horse’s and the writers’ parts, it makes the two series feel that much more intertwined and real. Chambliss also seizes this opportunity to bring back Nikki and Robin Wood, which is a great move. The unique relationship between Nikki and Robin is something that was barely touched on in the television series, and this chance to dive back into that meaty territory will be much appreciated by fans. And, honestly, who doesn’t love a reappearance by that badass slayer from the ‘70s, Nikki Wood?


Vampire with a space ship. Spike has a short, yet hysterically brilliant, scene involving his bug-ship and Detective Dowling. I love it when they make me laugh out loud!


Buffy S9I6 - 2Buffy’s decision. The ending to this issue is almost is HUGE and literally made me freeze in place when I read it!  Buffy’s decision to not keep the baby is bold, challenging, and a good number of fans will be outraged, but, once again, I’m happy to see that Chambliss and Whedon are not playing it safe this season. No matter what readers‘ feelings may be on the subject of abortion, it cannot be denied that Whedon continues to keep Buffy relevant and interesting by showing no fear in tackling the controversial. Also, special shout out to Georges Jeanty for nailing this issue, especially those hugely important emotional close-ups! The panel where Buffy tells Spike she going to have the abortion hits on a level of pathos not often felt in comics. Kudos, sir!


The Bad


Nada. This book is that good. You’re reading it, right? RIGHT?!?!?
 

The Ugly (Fan Buzz, that is...)
 
Fan reaction has been fairly positive for this issue, despite the controversial content. Many are praising Whedon and Chambliss’ handling of the subject, with good reviews coming from CBR, Team Hellions, The Outhouse,
 
What’s the point??? The last scene in this issue is the biggest point of discussion with fans at the moment. While many agree this is a bold move by the writers, there’s a noticeable few who are asking why this is happening and what it has to do with the over-arcing theme of Season 9? I think the below post from Whedonesque answers those naysayers:


“I was shocked by the ending, too, but it truly is the best and most sensible decision Buffy could make. Actually, it can go either way since I see potential for a pregnancy-birth-baby story, as well as the story of a woman facing an abortion and its emotional aftermath. The latter seems more fitting, too, as a metaphor for Buffy breaking the seed and the fallout of a magicless world.”


Will she or won’t she??? Another debate that is common right now is whether this is a fake-out or not. Will Buffy change her mind next issue or is our season going to focus on the fallout of this decision by our heroine? Only time will tell...


Is Season 9’s theme ‘parenthood???’ Another interesting point was brought up over at Whedonesque.com:


“Scott [Allie] said that like Season 8 (Betrayal and Self Betrayal), he couldn't reveal the theme of Season 9 at the start of the season because it would give too much away.

I do wonder if the theme of Season 9 is Parenthood...”


This makes an awful lot of sense. The Angel television show has explored parenthood, so I’m not sure that Angel & Faith will stick with that theme beyond the current arc, but it would be a very appropriate theme for Buffy to tackle this season.


Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9 #6 is out in comic book shops on Wednesday! Do not miss this one, Scoobies!


’Till the end of the world,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer

 

 

 

Last modified on Monday, 24 December 2018 19:13

Bryant Dillon, Fanbase Press President
Favorite Comic BookPreacher by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon
Favorite TV ShowBuffy the Vampire Slayer
Favorite BookThe Beach by Alex Garland
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