After an introspective issue that delved into Willow’s ever-spiraling psyche, this issue seems to pick up the pace again, setting the scene for what will probably be an epic showdown between the Scoobies and Willow. With Willow draining the magic of a limitless pool of Slayer trauma, things seem pretty bad. Bad enough that Buffy has finally stepped back up to the plate to lead the gang. Because if there was ever a Slayer known for her unconventional thinking, it’s Buffy.
Sarah Gailey’s script moves us along at a pretty brisk clip, with Faith’s initial encounter with Willow effectively illustrating just how corrupted Willow’s magic has become. Well, if one Slayer isn’t enough to take down a Slayer/witch combo, it’s time to bring in the benched Slayer. Gailey balances the exposition-heavy bits nicely with some emotional moments between the Scoobs, but it serves to finally put Buffy back in the thick of the action. It’s felt really wrong to see her so listless and out of sorts in this series, so having her back feels like the situation is not all lost.
After the darkness and sheer horrorfest of the previous issue, Hannah Templer’s offering seems more muted here. Oh, Willow is still pretty terrifying, but the vibe is generally less intense. There is plenty of drama in the character moments though, and Templer is more than up to the challenge, offering natural and expressive panels. Echoing that sentiment is a brighter palette by Valentina Pinto and Riccardo Giardina. Ed Dukeshire seems to be a powerhouse… I’ve no idea how he’s lettering so many books without sacrificing quality, but some people are just gifted, I guess.
Overall, Buffy is back! By the time you get to her power pose at the end, you can practically hear the “Chosen” theme swell.
Creative Team: Sarah Gailey (writer), Hannah Templer (artist), Valentina Pinto, Riccardo Giardina (colorists), Ed Dukeshire (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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