Buffy

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #6

by Alan Rapp on August 26, 2014

in Comics

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #6The second arc of Season 10 begins here with Buffy and the Scoobies dealing with the harsh realities of living in a big city out of their meager price range. Offered an opportunity at a new place to live, Buffy gathers the team to help exorcise a haunted house which isn’t so much haunted by ghosts as controlled by a demon who offers his victims idyllic visions of lives not lived while slowly draining their lives.

With the conclusion of the previous arc co-writer (and former Scoobie) Nicholas Brendon says goodbye leaving Christos Gage in control of the writing duties. Rebekah Isaacs is also supplanted here by Karl Moline. Although Xander’s voice is lessened a bit by both the story and Brendan’s abscence, neither the sound nor look of the characters is hurt by the changes.

The only surprise with the fake reality is the one character who refuses to see through the lies as Giles continues to struggle with his new reality as a teenager cut off from his old life which will likely continue to be a theme of the series going forward. Worth a look.

[Dark Horse Comics, $3.50]

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #5

by Alan Rapp on August 4, 2014

in Comics

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #5Season Ten’s opening arc comes to a close as Buffy and the Scoobies fight Maloker (the Old One responsible for creating vampires) who has taken over Dracula‘s body. With the help of a very tall building and giant-sized Dawn, Buffy is able to halt the demon’s rise, but it takes Xander‘s quick thinking to truly save the day.

The conclusion of “New Rules” resets Xander’s odd relationship with Dracula while also forcing the Scoobie’s one-eyed member into finally dealing with his relationship with Dawn the fallout of which leaves them both bruised but ultimately better off (at least for the time being).

The main takeaway from the arc (featuring the co-writing duties of Buffy star Nicholas Brendon), other than getting to see Xander and Dracula back together again, is the importance of the Vampyr tome which now controls the mutable laws of magic and which Buffy can trust no one but herself and her friends to keep safe. Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $3.50]

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #4

by Alan Rapp on June 24, 2014

in Comics

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #4After double-crossing the Scoobies, Dracula (with his re-installed manservant Xander) begins writing in new laws of magic into the Vampyr tome. First, Dracula decides to make himself the lord and master of all vampires, which leads to some humorous consequences for Spike, but unsatisfied with the result Dracula decides to become the most powerful vampire of all leading to disastrous consequences not only for Xander’s master but all of Earth.

Worth picking up for the Dracula and Xander alone, the latest issue continues to develop the Willow and younger Giles relationship which might be my favorite of the new season so far. We also get several mentions of turning “Dark Willow,” as Willow’s evil turn has become a much-used verb about the dangers of power (much to the witch’s chagrin).

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #4 is the first issue to deal with with Dawn and Xander’s relationship issues directly as Dawn explains her “reset” following almost being wiped out of existence in Season Nine. As to what this means for the couple long term, we’ll just have to wait and see. Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $3.50]

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #3

by Alan Rapp on May 28, 2014

in Comics

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #3The return of Dracula is always a good sign, starting with Xander and Dawn traveling to the vampire’s castle to enlist Dracula’s help to deal with the new kind of vampires who possess several of his skills as well as being able to fight in sunlight.

Thanks don’t get any easier for Xander once transporting his former master back to America, although Dracula does give thought to enlisting Andrew as his new manservant. The villain’s inevitable turn after deciphering how valuable the Vampyr tome is to the new laws of magic set up serious ramifications for all involved – especially Xander. The tension between Xander and Dawn continues to grow producing both humorous and awkward moments such as Xander’s reaction go Giles trying to play Grand Theft Auto like a gentleman.

Co-written by Nicholas Brendon the dialogue feels as sharp as ever, and not just with Xander as Buffy and Willow share the kind of bestie moment we haven’t seen between them in quite some time. Must-Read.

[Dark Horse, $2.99]

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #2

by Alan Rapp on April 29, 2014

in Comics

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #2After helping Buffy and friends turn the tide against the enhanced vampires, neither Faith not Kennedy will stay long although Scoobies do welcome back a pint-sized Watcher, the adolescent Giles, back into the fold (even if it looks like it will take some time for everyone to adapt to his new circumstances and demeanor).

Laying the groundwork for the next several issues, Giles discovers that the Vampyr tome has begun to fill-in with new information. Understanding that the new seed was rushed into the world, what the Watcher finds troubling is not knowing who is responsible for writing the new laws of magic (and gifting the vampires with an improved power set).

Still haunted by visions of Anya (which appear to be her rather than simple hallucinations or The First toying with the one-eyed Scooby) and wrestling with the his strained relationship to Dawn, Xander heads off to talk with Dracula to see if he can shed any light on the situation (setting up what should be yet another amusing reunion). Best of the Week.

[Dark Horse, $3.50]

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #1

by Alan Rapp on March 24, 2014

in Comics

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #1Magic has been restored to the world and Buffy and her Scoobies are working with vampires to put an end to the last of the zompires, but that’s only the beginning of the first issue kicking off a brand-new season which will reunite Buffy with her long-lost mentor and showcase that the rules have very much changed (again).

The death of the army of zompires ends the truce between Buffy and Vicki’s vampires who it turns out aren’t so much afraid of sunlight any more and have the ability turn into mists and giant bats (although Spike is still limited to wise-cracking and looking cool in his black trench coat with a heroic backstory – as Andrew points out).

Thankfully Buffy and her team are saved with the timely arrival of Faith, Kennedy‘s soldiers, and the adolescent Giles who shows up casting magic in Latin to everyone’s surprise. Giles and Faith aren’t the only familiar faces to make an appearance as Xander appears to be haunted by the ghost of Anya. (Ghost? Hallucination? Or possibly The First?)

[click to continue…]

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Top 10 Comic Issues of 2013

by Alan Rapp on December 6, 2013

in Top Tens & Lists

top-10-comic-issues-of-2013

Here’s my look back at the ten best single comic issues from the past year. Including ongoing series, one-shots, and mini-series, the only limitations I put on this list was that the comic had to have been released in 2013 (no reprints) and I limited myself to only a single issue from any one title. Because I was focusing on standout issues rather than consistently strong comics every month several of my favorite series missed the cut, but, if time permits, I may work up my regular list of best comic series of the past year as well.

[click to continue…]

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine #25

by Alan Rapp on September 16, 2013

in Comics

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine #25Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine comes to a close with Buffy and the Scoobies fighting for their lives inside The Deeper Well against Simone and the demon Maloker. With the new seed ready to burst, and return magic back into the world, Buffy’s friends are able to make it to safety leaving the Slayer one-on-one with the turned Simone for control of the Scythe.

There’s plenty of action in this final issue as Buffy is finally able to stake the bitch and make it out of The Deeper Well and rejoin her friends. With magic returned, Willow and the Scoobies are able to bring Dawn back and set everything right with the world. Well… almost everything.

The issue’s final panels show us the rules have changed as the laws of magic, vampires, and possibly much more are all different under the new seed than the old. Although Buffy and her companions survive (sadly without Illyria who doesn’t make it out of the Well), the world they return to may be far different than the one they left. Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $2.99]

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine #24

by Alan Rapp on August 20, 2013

in Comics

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine #24There’s action aplenty in the latest issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine as various factions battle miles below the surface of the Earth inside The Deeper Well for Dawn‘s life, the future of magic, and the lives of everyone on Earth.

Leaving Willow to find the magic needed to save Dawn (which she discovers in the form of a new seed slowly growing near the center of the Well), Buffy heads after the now turned Simone (now twice as strong and dangerous), which leaves the rest of the group of defenders to deal with the awakened Maloker, and the most unlikely person of all to talk Severin down from his mad quest to reset all of reality by sharing her own pain and loss.

The season is certainly going out with a bang as this issue is packed with characters, actions, and even a couple of nice surprises. Aside from Willow looking decidedly Joker-like (seriously, what’s up with that?) this not much for me to complain about other than how sad I am to only have one issue left to wrap-up the season. Must-read.

[Dark Horse, $2.99]

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine #23

by Alan Rapp on July 18, 2013

in Comics

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine #23Season Nine‘s final arc continues to heat up as Buffy and the demon council head into the depths of The Deeper Well to stop Severin from stealing enough power from the sarcophagi of the Old Ones to tear a hole in reality in order to bring his girlfriend back to life. Buffy also searches desperately for the magic which will stop Dawn from disappearing and must stop Simone‘s whose dark plans which involve an army of Slayer Zompires and the demon who created the first vampireMaloker.

There’s quite a bit of action here balanced by some tough choices for the Slayer as she must abandon her mission to save her sister in order to once again save the world and a tender moment between Dawn and Xander who tries desperately to get the woman he loves to fight against disappearing into nothingness.

Despite some ups and downs, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine is looking as if it will end on a high note as well as the possibility that some form of magic will be returned to world helping to set up a new storyline when the characters move on to Season Ten. Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $2.99]

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