Buffy Season 10 Issue 1 Response

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“New Rules. Part One.”

     Buffy returns with Season 10! You might be wondering why a “magical boy” themed webcomic is reviewing Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10. Buffy has been a crucial part of my development as a geek and as a queer person, and it’s ability to weave comedy, drama, pop culture, and a supernatural/fantasy element into a cohesive long-form has shaped my own (and arguably pop-culture-at-large’s) concept and experience of storytelling. That being said, the franchise’s jump from TV series to comic wasn’t always the smoothest of transitions, but it has been strong enough to keep most of the fandom (including me) desperately grasping for more. 

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     So now we have Season 10! And not to be a total hater, but I’m glad artist Georges Jeanty has moved on to other projects. He delivered well enough for the past two seasons, but his art always left something to be desired (and often that was desiring to know who the hell the character on the page was actually supposed to be). Fresh from doing Angel & Faith last season, the dynamic duo of Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs have stepped in to take over the reigns of Buffy, and I couldn’t be happier (well unless my fantasy of Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples doing an arc of Buffy came true). Christos Gage did a fantastic job last season capturing the voices of the cast of Angel & Faith, including my favorite new characters Lavinia and Sophronia. And it feels somehow right to have a woman doing the art for the flagship Buffy comic. Rebekah Isaacs does a terrific job capturing the likeness of the characters while imbuing the series with a confidence that I felt was often previously lacking from the art. Also her design of the monsters and supernatural elements was incredible last season, and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for Buffy!

     This issue starts out right in the thick of things, with Buffy and the gang all together for the first time in who-knows-how-long fighting zompires in Santa Rosita. If you don’t recall (which, to be honest, I didn’t at first) Santa Rosita is the town where the adorable Billy is from. The town had been experiencing an unusually virulent zompire infestation, and Billy, accompanied by actual slayer Anaheed, had traveled back to try and take care of it. Apparently they weren’t able to do much because the town is still swarming with zompires. 

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     Enter Buffy and gang, fresh from the events of “The Core.” Magic has been restored, but now it works differently. And Buffy has a strange new frenemy, Vicki the Vampire, who can apparently change into a giant bat monster and isn’t hurt by sunlight. Also she’s a sassy hipster and I kinda love her. 

     Dawn is back to her old self, being normal-gal and driving a getaway car. Her relationship with Xander (which always felt a little forced IMO) seems a bit weird. This isn’t helped by the appearance of ghost-Anya who is now haunting Xander. In a comic that is often bringing back dead people, I can’t say I’m too happy about this, but if it had to be anyone I’m glad that it’s Anya. 

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     Billy and Devon (<3) are helping out as well and I really hope they become a permanent fixture in the Buffy universe (Billy spinoff anyone?). Especially after Billy’s vision of the Primitive in the “Love vs. Life” mini-arc. And now that the rules of magic have been rewritten, who’s to say that slayers can’t be boys?

   Eventually the gang wipes out the zompire infestation, and Buffy is betrayed by Vicki and her gang of nü-vamps. Intense fighting ensues and it looks like Buffy isn’t going to be able to save the day. That’s okay because Faith is here to save it for her. Typical. Remember when Buffy used to clean up Faith’s messes? I barely do, and I have loved every moment of their role reversal. Faith is one of my favorite characters from Buffy, and she came through with startling clarity last season. So I am happy to have Christos Gage writing her some more.

     Also…..the return of Giles! Buffy’s reunion with Giles is heartfelt and heartwarming and Rebekah’s art makes me believe their tears are real. I love that Buffy isn’t even phased that Giles is now a child and recognizes him instantly. I am so excited for Giles to become a main part of the cast again, and to see how he interacts with all the scoobies, especially Willow. I look forward to many great character moments in the coming season. 

     This felt like a very strong first issue, and I hope they keep up the momentum, though I won’t mind if they tone down the action a bit to allow the characters to really shine. In a couple weeks we get the second season of Angel & Faith, which seems like it will be a crossover for the first arc since Faith and Giles, who were part of the main cast of last season, are hanging out with Buffy. I can’t wait to see how Season 10 unfolds!

J