"Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 10) #30" 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 August 24th, 2016
Being an adult is hard. You've got all these responsibilities and bills to pay. Now imagine if you're also tasked with re-writing the laws of magic. That's the situation Buffy and her friends found themselves in at the beginning of Season 10. Instead of taking on that responsibility, Buffy passed it on to a shady vengeance demon who misled them all and received near god-like powers, all because the Chosen One thought it would be too hard to do something that didn't required repeatedly punching an ugly creature in the face. Now the Scooby Gang is faced with an all-powerful demon that they helped create. If only Buffy could just punch it in the face...
The events of the previous issue left the Gang a man down, but this is immediately rectified, which nullifies any impact the death could have had. That's not entirely true, as no one seems to really care that it happened anyway. This, and any other loose ends for this season, are neatly tied up, leading to a decision that Buffy and team should have made 29 issues ago when first presented with this new status quo. Basically, they all get to shirk a responsibility until it bubbles up to cause untold amounts of death and destruction before they finally realize that this could all be solved if they just did what they were supposed to do in the first place. I'll remind you that they are literally writing the rules of magic in a big book. At any time they could have made all vampires go away or caused all demons to be made of Nerf balls and it would have happened instantly.
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I feel like I'm being too hard on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Maybe I just hold it at a higher standard given the fondness I, and many others, have for the show and previous seasons. This season as a whole lacks that signature wit that we've come to expect from Buffy. It is more of a supernatural soap opera with these twenty-somethings struggling to figure out what to do as quasi-adults. Fortunately, they figure it out in the end, but it takes so damn long to get there. If we started there, the season would have been a lot more satisfying.
The one saving grace is Rebekah Isaacs' artwork. It has always been on point and this issue is no different. She has a knack for the characters' designs and captures emotion in every facial expression. This emotion is felt more in her images than the dialogue. She also brings a healthy mix of drama, horror, and humor. The look of the various demons and monsters and sufficiently fierce.
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 10 comes to a close with the characters in a happy place that hasn't been seen in ages. Maybe that's the issue with it. I'm used to Joss Whedon pulling the rug out from under us every time someone gets a little too comfortable with their life. From the looks of things, they're in no danger of that happening, even with Buffy and team taking on a new and exciting challenge. There are no stakes when a death can be erased in less than 10 pages (between the two issues), so what do they have to worry about, really? What's going to come at them that will offer as much of a threat as the enemies they've already faced and defeated? Each other? Holy crap. What if I just figured out what Season 11 is about? Buffy: Civil War.