"Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 11) #11" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Written by Christos Gage
Illustrated by Rebekah Isaacs
Colored by Dan Jackson
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on September 27th, 2017
Buffy and the Scoobies have uncovered the government's secret plan to steal magic from all kinds of supernatural creatures, big and small. Now they've got to stop this from happening at all costs, as it would mean the certain death for about half of them. They take the fight directly to the government forces in a small covert base where they finally meet the Big Bad, the person behind this whole conspiracy and who summoned the dragon that destroyed a big chunk of San Francisco.
This reveal has been building up for the entire season. Now, in the penultimate issue of Season 11, we find out who put all this in motion and my only response is, “...who?” I mean, it makes sense and it works within the confines of the story, but it feels like it came out of nowhere. This is reinforced by the fact that Spike has to tell us who this person is in the first place. I don't know what I was expecting because I honestly had no idea who it could have been. There was a red herring in the Secretary of the Supernatural, but that's about it.
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Despite the lackluster reveal, the action is top notch. Buffy, Faith, Spike, and Willow throw everything they've got into this fight and still come up short. This villain has been preparing for this for a long time, merging science and magic into an abomination of nature that's clearly no longer human. We get a glimpse of the inner workings and it's an unholy mash-up of machine and muscle.
There is an undeniable energy to this battle brought to life by artist Rebekah Isaacs and colorist Dan Jackson. It makes for a very exciting read. The magical beams of light shot every which way vary in color and size, creating a different shade for almost every panel. The confident evil permeating from the Big Bad makes you hate them more. (Yes, I'm purposely trying to be vague about the identity because you should buy the book to find out the details yourself.) This person is responsible for so much pain and anguish over the entire season that you want to see them suffer and that comes through in their design.
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The fight escalates quickly, forcing Buffy and Willow to pull out a trump card that changes the entire series to date, especially since the TV series finale. It's major and opens the door to a number of possibilities in future seasons. It puts Buffy on an even playing field with the Big Bad, resulting in a battle brought to even greater heights, further amplifying the excitement.
Writer Christos Gage has paced this issue well. It's the big climax of the series and he's pulled out all the stops. This is pure action entertainment and it's incredible to see. All of the frustration and anger that Buffy has been through this season is being channeled in this fight and used in every blow struck. She is holding back nothing and will stop this one way or another. You can see that look of determination on her face.
Buffy Season 11 delivers a final battle that's right up there with the classic showdowns of the series. The reveal of the Big Bad's identity falls a little flat, but it's made up for with the action movie-level fight scenes that follow it. There's one chapter left in this season and I cannot wait to see how it's going to wrap up.