By Christos Gage, Nicholas Brendon, Rebekah Isaacs & Dan Jackson
Up until now, Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs have been doing a fantastic job of writing Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 – it’s been a fun ride, and this issue is no exception, and the addition of actor Nicholas Brendon to the writing team – Xander himself, allows for a strong issue that should not disappoint, with Xander, Dawn and Dracula getting plenty of page time in an issue that is able to get the balance between humour and seriousness pretty well indeed, typical Buffy style – the characters are still recognizably the characters, and it could be an episode of the TV show quite easily.
One of the funniest parts of the episode was Giles, now a kid – playing a computer game. His reaction to Xander telling him to rob people was priceless – and one of the best moments in the comic so far. Dracula, acting incredibly out of touch with the present day civilization also allowed for lots of fun too – particularly when he was less than impressed with Xander’s home. The banter’s still there, but at the same time, this managed to be an issue that had some crucial plot developments and manages to set up #4 quite nicely indeed.
Rebekah Isaacs’ pencils are brilliant as always, and with the addition of Dan Jackson’s colours both really bring the comic to life. They’re not going for the overtly photo realistic approach, but you can still easily tell which character is which and there are some great panels here that really work. So far it’s been a great move to switch Isaacs from Angel & Faith to Buffy rather than keep Jeanty – and it’s something that hopefully should stick on this season towards the end.
The relationships between characters are handled well in this book – there’s a good scene between Buffy and Willow that is one of this issue’s highlights, for example – and the relationship between Dawn and Xander is explored in more depth as well. #3 continues to handle the characters well and it works because of that.
As expected from having Brendon involved in an issue, his character Xander gets plenty of page time. However, he and Gage also manages to balance it out with the rest of the cast very well – Buffy, Spike etc all get healthy page time and there’s no awkward moments with comic relief that feel out of place given what we’ve seen from the past two issues. It fits perfectly, and you can barely notice the addition of Brendon to the writing team as the book flows on so smoothly from the first two issues.
On the whole then, the addition of Nicholas Brendon to the creative team has been a firm success, giving us one of the most comedic issues of Buffy to date, not just in the tenth season but since the comic began in Season 8. It’ll be interesting to see where we go from here, and the next issue can’t come quickly enough.