Quick recap of the new arc so far: Xander has been sired… or not quite sired? In the equivalent of a magical Hail Mary, the Scoobies are trying to find a Soul Tie that may just fix the problem. For those who’ve read the Free Comic Book Day short, you already know how Buffy gets the map to the McGuffin. All caught up? Shiny!
It’s taken a couple of issues for me to warm up to the new art style, which is a pretty radical departure from Dan Mora’s clean lines. David Lopez’s linework lacks some of that elegance, but I like his dynamic style. His panels of Robin mugging with a beetle demon carcass while Buffy and Willow argue are hilarious! Likenesses aren’t Lopez’s strong suit, but I don’t think you’ll ever really have trouble recognizing the characters. Raul Angulo’s colors lend a nice sense of continuity, and the lettering by Ed Dukeshire captures the tone of conversations very effectively.
After a rather awkwardly paced Issue #5, it would appear that Jordie Bellaire is back to fighting form here, delivering a snappy and fun issue with some major developments and surprises all around. There are hints that a character may be lurking in the shadows (Or maybe the snake-demon lady needs an abacus?), some suggestions about the duality of Willow’s character, and then there’s the bombshell of a reveal about… you’ll see. This actually feels like classic Buffy but with some refreshing new ideas mixed in, which is all you can really ask for in a reboot. While I don’t think that it’ll ever be possible to read Buffy without the quippy tone that Joss Whedon established in the ’90s, I think that Bellaire is doing an excellent job of giving those voices new things to talk about.
Overall: Things pick up considerably. A lot happens, and none of it seeming out of place.
Creative Team: Jordie Bellaire (writer), David Lopez (artist), Raul Angulo (colorist), Ed Dukeshire (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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