This issue wastes no time, at first plunging us into Willow’s tormented psyche, and then, completely unexpectedly, introduces a familiar face, and then it’s off to the races with exposition. Sarah Gailey manages to keep that breezy. Not everything is laid bare, but we at least understand why this dimension seems to be an anomaly. Gailey spends a good chunk of page time properly introducing us to Willow, and this is a solid issue where not a whole lot happens but a bunch is learned very quickly. It seems silly to talk about “getting” a character’s voice down since these are new iterations of them, but Gailey’s Willow does seem familiar. Not quite with the quirky adorableness, but then again, I’d lose my sunny disposition, too, if all I saw was death.
Art duties are taken over by Sonia Liao, and it’s quite a marked departure from the first issue. Liao’s linework is weightier than has been seen in BOOM!’s previous BtVS offerings with a bit of a woodcut-like vibe. For an issue dealing with existential dread, the heavier lines do seem pretty apt. Valentina Pinto and Riccardo Giardina remain on color duties, and their offerings are pretty solid. I particularly like the spell effect that we see here.
Overall, despite being an exposition-heavy issue, Gailey et al. deftly handle the narrative, giving us plenty insight into Willow’s existential crisis. Given what we know so far, I wonder how long this status quo will last.
Creative Team: Sarah Gailey (writer), Sonia Liao (artist), Valentina Pinto and Riccardo Giardina (colorist), Ed Dukeshire (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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