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‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow #4’ – Advance Comic Book Review

Quick recap: Abhainn seems to be a witches’ paradise, and Willow seems to have found a mentor (and perhaps a bit more) in the intriguing and alluring Aelara.

Throughout Willow’s time in Abhainn, there have been moments where things just seem kind of off. Things seemingly come to a head in this issue, with Willow finally coming face to face with the root of the problem with this place.

I’ve been a fan of Mariko Tamaki’s pacing with this miniseries. It’s felt very deliberate and introspective, and I think it was a very much-needed injection of personality into this rebooted version of Willow, who has largely seemed like a cipher until recently. I think a lot of this has to do with how complex a character Willow is, and trying to just get by on visual and narrative shorthand really doesn’t sell her strengths. Here, she’s the focus and allowed to bloom; this miniseries is a love letter to awkward young adults everywhere, especially ones who are queer. #StoriesMatter because not all of us get to be Chosen Ones like Harry Potter and Buffy. We don’t all get to be gritty badasses like Katniss. Or cool kids like the Hardy Boys. We should, however, be celebrated, too. Tell our stories. Celebrate our strangeness.     

Natacha Bustos’ artwork continues to beautifully illustrate the duality of Abhainn. Moreso, I think it’s the intimacy that she brings into moments between Willow and Aelara that truly show the best aspects of Bustos’ work. Eleonora Bruni’s colors are wonderfully evocative as per yoosh, and they have been one of my favorite aspects of this run. I think I’m biased when it comes to Jodi Wynne’s lettering; somehow, they make me feel like I did when I first encountered the older iteration of the character way back in the ‘90s. Wynne’s ability to generate that familiarity is a real winner in my book.

Overall, Willow #4 is brings us to the dramatic climax, and the final issue looks to be pretty epic, which is a surprising word to use in such an intimate book, but I foresee some awesome magic coming up.  

Creative Team: Mariko Tamaki (writer), Natacha Bustos (artist), Eleonora Bruni (colorist), Jodi Wynne (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Click here to purchase.

Wenxian Tan, Fanbase Press Contributor



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