By Christos Gage and Rebekah Issacs
Buffy the Vampire Slayer returns for its tenth season in style thanks to Dark Horse Comics, who have put out a great creative team on this new book. It’s good to see that ten series in the much-loved Joss Whedon creation never feels old, or dull – and with this issue it allows readers to catch up not only on previous events who have perhaps fallen behind (for example, I am working my way through Season 3 as of writing this review) but also provides a welcome return to a monthly Buffy comic for fans who have stuck with the series following its transition back with Season 8.
The issue itself opens with Buffy and the Scoobies teaming up to fight a massive horde of vampire-zombies again. Everybody’s favourite characters are present – Willow, Faith, and more – and the issue itself really sets the ground running for the series with a very good, high quality start, and proves that there’s still a place for Buffy over a decade after her original creation, and this issue proves that whilst we’re probably not going to see Sarah Michael Gellar return to on-screen slaying, this book allows for an entertaining continuation of the ongoing storyline that never feels fresh or repetitive.
The issue itself takes things back to the roots of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. As the solicit suggests, it’s the age old battle of Slayer vs. Vampire which is the focus of Buffy’s life once again. There’s a monologue that allows readers who have missed out on the previous seasons to catch up early on – and it’s presented in-character proving that Gage can understand just what makes these characters tick, however it does feel like the recap tends to stray into expositional territory every now and again.
The issue itself opens with Buffy apparently fighting alongside a Vampire. However, it quickly becomes apparent that this is only a temporary alliance – for Vikki, as she’s known – doesn’t want the zombies plaguing the Earth as much as Buffy does. So it’s another case of the enemy of your enemy is your friend.
The artwork by Rebekah Issacs is pretty good when you take that into consideration as well. Whilst it doesn’t feel like a direct photo-realism translation, Issacs artwork is distinctive enough so that you don’t lose track of who each character is trying to be, and it’s quite an accomplishment, and it’ll be interesting to see what we can expect from Issacs in the future. It’s not completely perfect and could allow for more depth – but aside from that, it’s more than okay for a Buffy comic.
Whether you’re an old or new fan of the series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #1 starts what should be a great series to come, and is virtually essential reading if you’re looking to start this series fresh – but for some readers of the previous Dark Horse series may find themselves frustrated that a decent amount of the issue is dedicated to recapping what has already taken place. Regardless though, this issue comes highly recommended.