"Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 11) #6" 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 April 19th, 2017
After a supernatural creature attacks San Francisco, the government reacts by forcing all magical creatures and magic-using people into internment zones. This includes Spike and Willow. Buffy came along, as she's shacking up with Spike. She now works as a guard along with a handful of other slayers, keeping the place safe. Unfortunately, a number of monsters have it out for her and they're preparing an ambush.
While this is a great thread, the sub-plot of Willow and her Wiccans enhances Buffy Season 11 in a big way. They're in a unique situation. Unlike magical creatures like vampires or centaurs, their link to the supernatural can be removed. They can go back to being normal human beings, albeit without that twinkle in their eye that magic represented to them. This gets into some interesting territory. Would you sacrifice something that makes you who you are in exchange for freedom? You could compare this to the X-Men in other comics, but there's a more real life comparison you can make. To avoid persecution, would you change your race, gender, or religion? That's the level of what's going on here.
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The experience of removing a Wiccan's magical ability is a somber one. It is not taken lightly. Artist Rebekah Isaacs shows the toll this takes on Willow as she absorbs the magic from these women. After the act, the former Wiccans look depressed and tired. It's like their life force has been sucked out of them. You just want to give them a hug.
Jumping back to Buffy, although she's been effectively imprisoned with the monsters in the internment zone, she's more in her element than ever before. There is an incredible fight scene that serves as a reminder that she is indeed the Chosen One and no one should forget that. Buffy kicks ass, taking on all manner of creatures, big and small. Whether they've got tails, tentacles, or horns, she's ready to throw down. Isaacs does a tremendous job here, orchestrating an epic battle full of action.
This fight happens in the middle of the day, with the sun beating down. Dan Jackson's colors highlight every exquisite detail. They also give you an idea of just how wide and varied the different breed of monsters can be.
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There's one sequence where Willow uses an invisibility spell. In film or TV, this can be easily shown, but in comics, you can't just show one panel with her in it and the next without her. Isaacs creates this midway spot that gets the point across and works in a creepy way. Willow looks like she's fraying, like she was a piece of paper slowly burning up, with little pieces of her crackling off. A faint green glow surrounds her.
Buffy is more sure of herself than she's been in some time. Sure, she's saved the world a few times and has always been dedicated to the cause, but this is taking that to another level. It's also putting her in a completely new scenario. She's up against the government and not like she was in Season 3. It's a public thing now and the full force of all three branches are working against her. She has to fight an organization, not a big monster. She can't just punch it in the face and be done with it. This requires planning and strategy, tact and brilliance. That's coming through in spades and it's so very exciting. This is a must read for any Buffy fan.