Buffy

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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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?)

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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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