Buffy

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #14

by Alan Rapp on April 28, 2015

in Comics

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #14To find Spike‘s connection with the vampire whose recent kills Spike has been witnessing in his dreams Buffy takes a tour of her lover’s subconscious. Although I expected the answer to Spike’s memories of the killings to be a callback to “Somnambulist,” the truth is the exact opposite. In this case Spike isn’t viewing the killings of someone he sired but the vampire who sired his entire line beginning with The Master.

With the introduction of Archaeus the latest season of Buffy begins delving into the subject of siring vampires and introduces the idea of an ancient creature such as Archaeus leaving a piece of himself, connecting him to every vampire of his line.

Along with the introduction of the new big bad, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #14 gives us Buffy snooping through Spike’s mind finding both beauty and horror before confronting Archaeus whose connection to Spike makes him a serious threat to Buffy in more ways than one. Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $3.50]

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #13

by Alan Rapp on March 23, 2015

in Comics

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #13The afterglow of Buffy and Spike‘s romantic night together is short-lived as the vampire seeks out the help of Xander, and eventually Giles and Willow, when his nightmare about killing appears to be true. With the magic users seeking for any control of the vampire Xander keeps Buffy away by inviting her along for a long overdue conversation with Andrew.

Buffy artists come and go over the course of a season but I have to admit I absolutely adore Megan Levens work in this issue capturing a cool look and feel for each character, particularly Buffy. Here’s hoping we see much, much more of her work on Season Ten and beyond.

As to the story, Spike’s pro-active nature in investigating the mystery bodes well for his future with Buffy (and produces a humorous reaction from his roommate). As to the cause of Spike’s bad dreams I wonder if we may look back to a First Season episode of Angel for a possible explanation as new trouble from William the Bloody’s past may have recently arrived in town. The Andrew subplot, while really not much more than filler, is a well-handled look at someone finally coming to terms with their sexuality with the support of their friends. Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $3.50]

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #12

by Alan Rapp on February 28, 2015

in Comics

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #12Romance is in the air as relationships are at the center of the latest issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten as Super-Andrew‘s new found powers allows him to help Buffy, Spike, and the Scoobies fight a sorcerer known as the Sculptor who creates armies out of dead flesh. As promised the magic potion Andrew took allows him to finally become his best self, which actually doesn’t have anything to do with his new powers which leave him as quickly as they appeared once the young man admits a not-so-well-kept secret to himself and his friends.

Spike has much soul searching to do as he rebuffs Buffy’s attempts to rekindle their romance in earnest for the first time since his soul was returned. Although he thinks he’s doing what’s best he quickly regrets his decision attempting to rectify the mistake. As expected the pair finally do find their way back to each other but not without some foreshadowing about about a murderous cost that could come into play in the coming months.

Romance doesn’t flow for Giles who continues to be stymied in his adolescent form or for Xander and Dawn who seem to finally be more at ease with themselves after months of awkwardness. Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $3.50]

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #11

by Alan Rapp on February 4, 2015

in Comics

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #11Love is in the air in the latest issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten leading to several characters falling flat on their face. Against her better judgement Buffy tries speed dating (where she discovers her fetish for vampires has become common knowledge among the undead). Willow has a transdimensional ecounter. Xander and Dawn continue to fail to make things work. And Giles gets shot down by an old flame who can’t quite come to terms with his current situation.

Although the main crux of the story focuses on just how hopeless the characters collectively are about love the issue does make a couple of big breakthroughs. First, Andrew makes a discovery everyone else was clear about many, many season ago. He also gets a power boost which could lead for an entirely different path for the character going forward. Oh, and remember kitten poker? Yeah, it’s back.

Andrew’s transformation will certainly have consequences, but the big news is the final panel which finally puts Spike and Buffy together again romantically. It will be interesting to see how the comic explores their relationship going forward. Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $3.50]

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #10

by Alan Rapp on January 6, 2015

in Comics

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #10The latest issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten begins Buffy realizing the duties and politics she’s been forced to take on since accepting ownership of the Vampyr tome. Meeting with everyone from new vampires to leprechauns, the Slayer’s sanity is tested. And, if that wasn’t enough, two old friends come to call.

Albeit for different reasons both Harmony and Clem have been fan favorites for quite a long time but haven’t been given that much to do since the end of both Angel and Buffy‘s TV runs. Issue #10 changes that with Harmony’s new master plan to change the book and rewrite magic in the world to her liking. Thankfully Clem, now in the role of her toadie, still has a conscience. Although he does grant one of Harmony’s bizarre wishes (no, not the crazy fanfic one) in deciding to make unicorns real.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #10 proves to be an awful lot of fun capturing Harmony’s craziness. I hope to see more of each of them. And Buffy’s new position offers up all kinds of odd meetings that I’m sure the Season Ten writers will enjoy exploiting. Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $3.50]

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Top 10 Comic Series of 2014

by Alan Rapp on December 18, 2014

in Top Tens & Lists

Top 10 Comic Series of 2014

Heroes, spies, detectives, samurai and ninja, vampire slayers, talking animals, and galactic adventurers. Looking back at the year in comics, these are the ongoing comic book series which continued to entertain, delight, surprise, and fascinate me over the year. It was a good year for women (and crazy gun-wielding raccoons) in comics with four of my top ten comics all helmed by lead female characters and a number of other female characters dominating issues of nearly every title on this list. Here are the top ten ongoing comic series of the year…

[click to continue…]

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #9

by Alan Rapp on December 3, 2014

in Comics

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #9The storyline of Andrew attempting to resurrect Tara thus unintentionally powering and Old One and sealing the fate of all mankind comes to a close as Buffy and Spike hold off the creature while Willow is forced to argue against bringing the love of her life back to the land of the living.

In a TV series and comic which has already brought back multiple dead characters (Giles, Buffy, Spike, Angel, Fred as Illyria, and ghost version of both Wesley and Anya) it seems fan favorite Tara doesn’t make the cut and like Joyce reminds us that some deaths are permanent even in the Buffyverse. The big takeaway of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #9 is Willow admitting out loud that resurrecting Buffy, for whatever reason, was a mistake and one that she doesn’t plan on repeating.

In the midst of the action the comic continues to pull Buffy and Spike together teasing the possibility of reuniting the couple. And although Andrew admits to his bad judgement he doesn’t exactly learn from his lesson as the final panel foreshadows more trouble on the way. Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $3.50]

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #8

by Alan Rapp on November 5, 2014

in Comics

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #8You know what they say about the best laid plans. Despite the effort the team spent in recovering the Vampyr tome from Dracula and locking it up safe in Xander and Spike‘s new apartment, the roomies discover the book has been taken by Andrew back to the giant gaping hole which was once Sunnydale (the site of a Burning Man-style celebration on Halloween) in order to fix a mistake.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #8 works by obscuring the true motives of Andrew for multiple pages while allowing the Scoobies to fear the worst. Andrew’s guilt to bring back Jonathan makes sense, but it’s that final panel which suggests an unexpected return of a fan favorite that will likely get fans in a frenzy and have huge ramification for everyone involved.

The B-story involving a de-powered Old One with a very personal grudge against Slayers hunting Buffy isn’t as interesting, but I’m willing to see where it leads (especially as long as the main story continues to deliver). Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $3.50]

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #7

by Alan Rapp on September 29, 2014

in Comics

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #7After taking a month off, Nicholas Brendon returns to co-write the latest issue of Buffy Season Ten which continues the fresh start for the comic’s core characters and new living accommodations for roomies Spike and Xander. Continuing the theme of temptation, the latest issue sets Spike and Xander at the mercy of Sirens who nearly devour the pair if not for the timely intervention of ghost Anya screaming some sense into her ex-fiance.

With new digs the Scoobies are back together. Across from hall from Spike and Xander there’s Buffy, Willow, and Dawn leading to a Friends-style set-up so obvious one character even comments on it. The Siren escapade is a mix of bizarre and humorous (pillow fights? do Sirens really enjoy seeing half-naked men having pillow fights?) tempered by the loneliness of both Spike and Xander.

Xander’s situation with Dawn is far from settled and the ongoing temptation to use the new Vampyr tome continues to affect all those who hold onto it foreshadowing an error in judgement looming just beyond the horizon. Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $3.50]

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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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