‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer #34:’ Advance Comic Book Review

The end of BOOM!’s current Buffy the Vampire Slayer series is here! Issue #34 generally ties up some loose ends, sets a few characters off in new directions, and gives the Scoobies a moment of reprieve before the next Big Bad inevitably breathes down their neck.

In the final issue of his run, Jeremy Lambert stuffs quite a bit in there. There’s the big showdown between Silas and the Slayers. There’s the denouement with most characters given their due. There’s the setting up of possible new threats which hints at BOOM!’s possible future intentions with the franchise. Lambert pulls it off in general, but there are definitely a few moments and threads that could have used a bit more space to breathe.

Marianna Ignazzi returns to close out the series, and as suspected last month, it appears that the outfit continuity errors were pretty much just the result of switching artists. Ignazzi’s linework is fluid and dynamic as usual, but likenesses remain pretty loose. Willow does look really badass in some scenes though, so that’s always a plus in my book. Raúl Angulo’s colorwork says a lot without words, from the lackluster coloring of Buffy’s barren mindspace to the vibrant spellwork courtesy of Willow. Finally, Ed Dukeshire closes out this run, making him the only member of the creative team to have been involved since the start, if I recall correctly. Dukeshire’s lettering retains his usual level of mastery, and I especially love his Camazotz speech design.

After a three-year run, we’re finally at the end, or at least an end. I can’t help but cast a retrospective eye at the entire run. I think an honest assessment of this run would be that it started off with lofty ambitions, but the execution was uneven most of the time. The Scoobies never really gelled for me, and a lot of the connective tissue was too reliant on prior knowledge of the franchise. While the first year or so seemed to play to a roadmap of sorts, the last two years seemed a bit listless for a while, with the final arc tightening up. For a franchise with the amount of maturity that BtVS has, I’m not quite sure if we need to keep returning to the “high school is hell” trope… the later seasons showed us that the franchise and its mantra could grow up with its intended audience.

Overall, a fitting end to the current run, with some interesting new directions that we could go in, if BOOM! decides to continue the story in some capacity.     
 

Creative Team: Jeremy Lambert (writer), Marianna Ignazzi (artist), Raúl Angulo (colorist), Ed Dukeshire (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studio
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