Previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy and Co. took a risky gamble and like all well-laid plans, things go sideways pretty quickly. With no other plan to resort to, the group makes a hasty retreat, but is it already too late for that?
Plans continue to go sideways… like really sideways. With a couple of devastating losses on the ledger, the team decides to move forward with Operation Slayerverse (I quite like that name, Buff.) with a few new recruits. Meanwhile, Faith faces a whole new, crushing realization and reality of her own that will undoubtedly shake her to her very core. With personal stakes ratcheted up to about as high as they can get right now, things finally seem like we’re getting somewhere really important.
After several issues of portaling about, sometimes gratuitously, Jeremy Lambert takes things a bit slower here, allowing for the characters to do what they do best: be a team. Despite the fact that quite a bit happens here, there seems to be a lot more breathing space as the plan takes more shape. While unorthodox, it feels very “Buffy,” and I don’t mean just that it sprang from the mind of our protagonist but also that it seems very much like it gels with the spirit of the TV series. While this reboot has felt rather uneven for a while now, when it really gets it right is when it makes clear that it shares the DNA of the previous iteration; taking less-explored ideas and really running with it in new directions. The notion of a multiverse had previously been explored in episodes such as “The Wish” and possibly even “Normal Again,” but they were never really explored beyond that. BOOM!’s current storyline feels at once grounded in previous canon while being fresh and exciting. This is yet another reason why #StoriesMatter; new ideas can allow you to enjoy your old favorites through new lenses.
Marianna Ignazzi’s art retains all of the strengths of her previous outing, with the looser linework feeling very flowy and dynamic. Raúl Angulo returns to color the book, and I feel like I generally prefer his sensibilities with the brighter and more saturated colors really popping off the page. It reminds me of the cartoon-y vibe of Batman: Animated Series when paired with Ignazzi’s work and I really dig it. Ed Dukeshire does great work, as usual, but honestly, it’s the sound effects that really sing in this issue. I had a visceral reaction to seeing the “CRUNCH” in big, bold letters in a scene where one of the Lurkers bites into a fan-favorite character. To me, it truly highlights the importance of a great letterer in selling the story to the reader, really conveying the emotional impact of the script.
Overall, with the tagline of “We Are the Slayer” riding high, we’re being promised great things. If things continue the way of this issue, having seemingly shaken off the issues of the second-year slump, we’re in for a treat.
Creative Team: Jeremy Lambert (writer), Marianna Ignazzi (artist), Raúl Angulo (colorist), Ed Dukeshire (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studio
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