By Christos Gage, Nicholas Brendon, Rebekah Isaacs & Dan Jackson
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is now four issues into its tenth season and with Christos Gage at the helm, it’s just going from strength to strength. Obviously, the plan to enlist Dracula hasn’t helped matters because not only has he escaped from the Scoobies, he’s taken the Vampyr book, along with Xander.
Right from the start, this issue is strong with the witty banter that Whedon fans will be familiar with. Dracula is described as being “Dark Willow”, and Willow comments on herself now being a trope. With Nicholas Brendon involved in the book with Christos Gage, the characters continue to be in character – Xander, as expected, continues to play a large role even under Dracula’s service. It’s interesting to see how the plot develops when they learn that whatever they write in the Vampyr book will come true, and how it plays out from there with some very entertaining side effects, particularly when it comes to Spike. In short then, as far as you should be concerned, this is typical Buffy, and both Gage and Brendon are weaving a fantastic storyline here.
Rebekah Isaacs handles the artistic duties for this issue and doesn’t disappoint. The book has looked consistent for the past few issues and the artwork that she provides is among the strongest that we’ve seen on a Buffy book. It looks amazing and will consistently have readers coming back for more, with it being easy to distinguish who the characters are and on top of that the book also has some great colours by Dan Jackson.
There are several great character interactions here as per normal. The Dawn/Buffy exchange was one of the highlights of the issue and as something that hasn’t happened in a while, with Gage and Brendon proving that they can handle character development just as well as they can action and humour, which rocks. Giles also has his moments – remember, he’s still a kid, and it’s interesting to see how he’s affected by this situation – a topic that is explored not just through comic relief.
The title is smart, witty and captivating. You remain in familiar territory here, but at the same time there’s still plenty of new stuff so there’s never the feeling that you’ve been through this before in the past nine seasons. Gage and Brendon are telling a story that feels fresh and exciting, and they’re very much the creative team that should be on Buffy for the rest of Season 10 if not more.