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‘The Vampire Slayer #14:’ Comic Book Review

With the threat of Willow succumbing to the endless well of Slayer trauma and ending the world firmly behind them, efforts turned to figuring out just what Baby Crab really is. Unfortunately, the Scoobies are not the only ones interested in Baby Crab and his seemingly endless power. Enter Spike’s ex. Yeah… that one.

Things pick up right where they left off, with Buffy, Faith, and Spike entering the dilapidated Bronze in search of Baby Crab and Spike’s ex. While Spike is pretty coy about saying her name, it’s fairly obvious from the get-go that this ex is the fairly batty, epically unhinged, and cruelly whimsical… eh, I’m gonna take a page from Spike’s playbook and play it a bit coy, too, just in case. Anyways, encounters are had, vamps dusted, and a slip-up by Spike may just endanger everyone else.

Having laid the groundwork for the group dynamics in the first arc, Sarah Gailey wastes no time cranking up the action here. The fast pace really works, with the writing feeling punchier than it ever has. There’s also a fair bit of physical humor which does feel very Buffy-esque, too, bringing back memories of episodes like “The Zeppo” and “Him.” Gailey’s comic timing is right on the money in this issue, and I kinda wish there was more of it in the first arc. What felt a bit flat for me were the couple of moments where characters sounded like they were reading a self-help pamphlet.

Kath Lobo stays on art duties, and, like Gailey, she really turns up the physical humor in the artwork. My favorite panel is of Buffy asking Faith and Spike for help while they have a heart to heart. Though, I’m not quite sure about that vampire design… no idea why he has horns. Lobo’s work is expressive throughout, though the only character that really seems to bear any resemblance to their live-action counterpart is Spike. Valentina Pinto and Riccardo Giardina’s colorwork looks great as usual, but a thing I’ve noticed lately is the color choices for the vampire eyes. Spike’s eyes are yellow, even when he’s not in vamp face, and, in this issue, his ex-paramour’s are blue even when she’s in vamp face. I mean, alternate universe rules and all, I guess, but it feels like an inconsistency from established canon. Ed Dukeshire’s lettering is his standard great work: easy to read, set in a logical arrangement so as to make reading feel very natural.

Overall: Well, with the threat arriving at the Scoobies’ doorstep, our heroes better hustle before anyone becomes a snack for a gang of thirsty vampires.

Creative Team: Sarah Gailey (writer), Kath Lobo (artist), Valentina Pinto, Riccardo Giardina (colorists), Ed Dukeshire (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Click here to purchase.


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