Previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in a high school battle for the ages, Faith put an end to Vamp Xander. A grief-stricken Willow used her powers to open a portal into another universe, hoping to find Xander elsewhere, causing everyone but Faith and Robin to follow her into a strange, new(?) world…
We’re welcomed back into a very familiar Sunnydale with very retro sensibilities. With the Scoobies left marooned in another world, throwing her plans into jeopardy, Anya makes the choice to try and salvage her scheme. Will she be able to save them all? Will anyone want to leave a world with delicious shellfish tacos? The answer to a pressing question that longtime fans may have had will ultimately be paid off.
Issue #25 seems to be a love letter of sorts to the series, and it’s ultimately a capper to some of the ongoing – and, honestly, more tedious – storylines of the past year. That being said, the issue does have its compelling moments, and Jeremy Lambert’s script has a few moments that really brought me back to that irreverent state of affairs that was so synonymous with Buffy the Vampire Slayer back in the day. There is a lovely exchange between Buffy and Willow which seems to really put some issues to bed, at least for now. I can’t help but feel that Anya’s part in this whole mess needs to be addressed soon, because it has been a long time coming.
Valentina Pinti steps in on art duties, and I found her work to be a nice balance between likenesses and stylistic license. The character-work is pretty great, with the aforementioned interaction between Buffy and Willow being the highlight for me. Raúl Angulo’s colorwork beautifully complements the linework as usual; I really liked the use of the more sepia-toned palette for the scenes that brought me back to the ‘90s. Ed Dukeshire keeps the story going in his usual seemingly effortless manner, seamlessly doing dramatic, comedic, and action scenes. It could be argued that Dukeshire really keeps the spirit of the Buffyverse going with his deftness.
Overall, with some chapters seemingly closed and the confirmation of a Buffyverse multiverse, there’s plenty of room for new elements and new iterations of familiar faces to come into play.
Creative Team: Jeremy Lambert (writer), Valentina Pinti (artist), Raúl Angulo (colorist), Ed Dukeshire (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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