By Christos Gage, Richard Cordon, Rebekah Issacs, Beth Corben Reed & Dan Jackson
The rules of magic are constantly in a state of flux. Not only is there a male slayer, but day walking vampires in town. Giles is a child, and Xander and Dawn’s relationship isn’t exactly going smooth. So it’s safe to say that things are pretty busy for the Scoobies, but at least there hasn’t yet been any signs of an apocalypse. So it’s all good, right? Well, or at least it is on the surface, because a trip back to Sunnydale is in order, and things start to get interesting pretty quickly.
Gage has been handling this series very consistently so far and it’s great to see that he didn’t lose track with this issue. The book is a Halloween issue designed to be friendly to lapsed readers, making it a great jumping on point if you’ve fallen behind. Richard Cordon brings some incredible artwork to the already excellent creative talents of Gage and Rebekah Issacs, in order to make the book look good. In fact, it’s yet another excellent addition to the Buffyverse and this reviewer couldn’t be more happy with the direction that season ten has been taken in so far.
The book itself, entitled “Return to Sunnydale”, is the first part of a two issue storyline and as mentioned above, it features Buffy, Spike and Willow returning to the town where it all started (or at least, its ruins) to retrieve the stolen Vampyr book. Whilst this issue could have fallen into the trap of being too nostalgic, Gage gets the balance just right. With this book, he’s showing that he can handle the characters very well indeed and the balance between their appearances, the narrative and the development is all handled exceptionally well. Christos Gage is one of the most underrated writers in the entire comics medium and really deserves a lot more praise than what he’s currently getting, and this issue goes a long way to reinforce that statement.
The cliffhanger panel is a fantastic teaser for next month’s issue, and will leave you wondering whether or not it’s going to be pulled off. Either way, regardless of what happens, it will certainly have you desperately counting down the days to the second part of this arc, and hopefully it can deliver on the anticipation. With such a good creative team at the helm, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t.
The artistic team is brilliant as per normal. Rebekah Issacs continues to deliver her excellent standard of pencils and Beth Corben Reed and Dan Jackson both put out some good colouring. Also on hand for this issue is long time artist Richard Cordon, who really adds an extra layer of awesomeness to this already brilliant issue.
So if you’re a Buffy fan who wants to read some exciting adventures of our favourite Vampire Slayer this Halloween week (unless of course, you prefer Faith, in which case, check out the equally brilliant Angel & Faith comic), then you can’t go far wrong with #8. What’s great about this issue is that you don’t have to be familiar with every single comic issue to understand what’s going on, as the way it’s pulled off is designed to appeal to fans who aren’t quite up to date. As a result then, it comes highly recommended, and it’s great to see the quality of this series continue.