"Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 10) #29" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Written by Christos Gage
Illustrated by Rebekah Isaacs
Colored by Dan Jackson
2016, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on July 20th, 2016
Buffy has had some ups and downs throughout Season 10. She and the team were charged with literally writing the new rules of magic, which was a responsibility Buffy didn't want to accept, which ultimately led to it falling into the hands of D'Hoffryn, the head vengeance demon and now current all-powerful evil. The penultimate issue of this season gets the players in place for a climactic...or anti-climactic battle between the two forces.
This is supposed to feel very tense and exciting, but it comes through as anything but. D'Hoffryn realizes that Buffy had one last trick up her sleeve, which prevents him from writing in the last new law that would make him virtually unstoppable. This happens with the ink spraying back in his face every time he tries to write. It's the book version of a fake flower that shoots water. You almost expect him to look at the reader with a smirk and say, “You got me! Wakka! Wakka!”
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D'Hoffryn then just shows up at Buffy's apartment to finish her off once and for all. He makes one hell of an entrance though, as he literally tears the roof off and causes blood to rain down from the sky. It's like he's in a heavy metal music video. Artist Rebekah Isaacs hammers home the evil with the design of the vengeance demon. Everything about him is creepy and menacing. The panel where Spike and Willow look out the window to see blood splattering like rain drops is perfect. It's such an unsettling image.
The battle that follows is lackluster. It's the opposite of your typical super hero fight in that maybe one punch was thrown. Instead, they fight with their words. The Scooby Gang tries to convince D'Hoffryn's minions that their master is a really bad dude.
Speaking of the minions, Anya is back from the dead. Or rather, a recreation of her has been turned into a ghost and then brought back to life. That might just be the most “comic book” sentence I've ever written. Xander gets a moment to make amends with her, even though she's been appearing to him in ghost form for half the season and he apparently didn't feel the need to do it then.
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The final page could pack a real punch, although I have a feeling that there's a reset button in the season finale coming with the next issue. Remember, there's a book floating around where they can rewrite the laws of magic. Also, I don't think that everything is as it seems.
Buffy Season 10 seems to be ending not with a bang, but a whimper. It's tough to sympathize with Buffy and the Scooby Gang because they brought all this on themselves. While it's been over a decade since the show went off the air, this comic is set only three years after the series finale. That would put these characters right in their mid-twenties and like most people in that age range, they're making poor life choices. Instead of backpacking across Europe to find themselves or getting a tattoo they'd regret later in life, the fate of the world hangs in the balance with these decisions.