By Christos Gage, Nicholas Brendon, Rebekah Isaacs & Dan Jackson
Over the course of the past four issues, Christos Gage (with the help of Nicholas Brendon) has been continuously impressing on Buffy and the fifth issue (which is also the fifth part in the New Rules arc) keeps up that trend, pitting the Scoobies against Maloker, with their lives and most of the West Coast of America at stake.
The issue itself features mostly the Scoobies battling against Maloker, and it’s handled very well from Gage. All the typical Buffyisms are there, and the issue moves along at a fine pace that finds room for all of the cast to do their things. We get Giles, Willow, Xander, Dawn and Buffy all doing what they do best and, as a result, this issue is very fun indeed.
There’s also some good character moments in this issue, as has been typical from this series. Dawn and Xander get some good interaction here and it’s good to see that Gage and Brendon are developing them well. The other main interaction in this book is between Spike and Buffy, which closes off this book as the New Rules arc reaches its conclusion. It’s good to see that the action doesn’t always prevail over character focus, and we get some good development here that should continue to make things interesting and help make this book feel fresh, like it has done since the beginning of Season 10.
The artwork provided by Rebekah Isaacs continues to impress, capturing the energetic feel of the characters and making sure that they look like those on the show. The colours are handled by Dan Jackson and both artists really capture the Buffy atmosphere, and it’s good to see that this book continues to have a distinctive, coherent feel.
Season 10 is rapidly shaping up to be the best since Buffy made the transition to comic book format. It’s fun, energetic and fresh and there’s very little where this book goes wrong. It’s safe to say that if you’re a fan of the series then you’ll certainly get a kick out of this issue as Gage and Brendon have impressed a lot on writing duties so far, and it’ll be interesting to see how they handle the next arc. One thing’s for sure, this is a creative team that can stay on the book as long as they keep delivering the high levels of writing and artwork that we’ve come to expect so far.