Lines in the sand are deepened as Faith and Wesley recruit an unlikely ally, while Buffy’s status as the Slayer pariah is solidified. A familiar Slayer heirloom is unveiled, and its new owner might surprise long-time readers. Jeremy Lambert seems to be ratcheting up the tension here. Much of this is grounded in the strife between Giles and his mother, the Head of the Watchers’ Council. It’s at times poignant, but I can’t help but feel like some of what we’re expected to feel is a tad unearned. There’s a fine line between overselling the drama and playing too coy with the main points, and Giles’ strained relationship with his mother feels like it erred too far on the latter side.
Marianna Ignazzi takes over the art duties in this issue, and I feel like it’s likely by polarizing. On the one hand, the looser linework feels very organic and fresh, and there’s some really nice gesture-work in the panels. On the other hand, likenesses are almost completely out the window here, which wouldn’t be as much of an issue if you didn’t have Buffy and Anya looking virtually identical. Yes, the lines help to establish their identities, but I feel like I generally prefer it when I don’t need to rely on that to get the story. Mattia Iacono’s colorwork does complement Ignazzi’s linework, though, keeping things feeling breezy. Ed Dukeshire helps to keep things straight with his skilled lettering, as per usual.
Overall, things feel urgent, as they should, though the stakes still feel a bit uncertain. With Buffy’s big plan still in her back pocket, I’m really hoping that Issue #30 will finally make good of some big promises.
Creative Team: Jeremy Lambert (writer), Marianna Ignazzi (artist), Mattia Iacono (colorist), Ed Dukeshire (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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