Buffy Season 12 Begins With Everything We Love About The Series
Comic: Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Season 12 (Issue #1)
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: June 20, 2018
Retail Price: $3.99
We are possibly reaching the end of an era – and the intense depression has begun to kick in like I’m living a real life Buffy season six.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer has officially released the first issue of what they are labeling “the final season of Buffy” and the overall tone has us nervous. With series mastermind Joss Whedon back penning the book alongside Christos Gage, you know something serious is bound to happen since Joss hasn’t typically written for the comic since season nine and the recent Giles mini series that just concluded.
For starters, it’s a year since we’d last seen the scoobies living happily together in the bustling and beautiful San Francisco, but as all things Whedon – conflict is soon to follow. Since the year has passed, there have been several notable changes including a Buffy and Spike breakup, Angel and Illyria becoming intimate, and Dawn is now mother to a baby she named Joyce after the matriarch of the Summers family. It’s a lot to handle, but this is exactly the way I would expect the series to handle a time gap if we are to see that they have actually maintained a year of stagnance.
Buffy and Spike’s breakup was one thing I knew would come, but I’m truly disappointed to see play out. They credit it to a lack of “big bad” turmoil, but there are still very clear signs that the pair has unresolved feelings. The evolution of “Spuffy” has become one of the most beautiful qualities the series has offered both in comic and television form, introducing one of the most unexpected and emotional fictional relationships of all time. To say they end things because they work better when facing trouble after countless seasons of build up leaves me feeling practically certain that there will be some sort of development for the two because it’s in their nature to keep progressing.
One lesson we also took away from the introductory issue is that they have finally stated Buffy is 30 – giving the slayer an age without the standard comic book non-aging factor that keeps Teen Titans actual teens for decades. Buffy addresses her aage as she does inventory of her life, feeling slightly aimless at the moment when she expected stability. As always, the series thrives best in those real life moments that makes her character so relatable in the first place. We see a nice glimpse of Willow playing the role of reassuring best friend and the sense of security that there will always be a strong bond between the scoobies no matter what they’ve gone through.
Buffy may feel aimless for now, but there’s one thing she can do better than anyone and that’s saving the world – something she will be faced with again very soon. The Fray storyline impacted the future of Buffy before the series even finished airing, but the “Time of Your Life” plot in season 8 only set up a story that would have to be addressed before concluding. We know Willow lived for two centuries and forced Buffy to kill her as a lesson – but we still don’t know much other than what was prophesied in Fray as an apocalyptic battle that saw the end of slayers and magic. We now know it will be fully explored, being referenced once agian by Harth who holds the memories of former slayers and refers to the battle as “the reckoning”. While Harth has intentions of stealing all power possible with Angel villains Wolfram and Hart, it changes the future and leaves this more ambiguous than ever before. When alerted of Harth’s time traveling mayhem, Buffy springs to action and the core group (plus Illyria, Fred and Angel) join up to fight a force hoping to tear apart all realities for his own twisted benefit.
By the end of the issue, we establish a few key players (including Dawn’s very much active key-ness) leading them to recruit the future slayer Fray who knows Harth better than anyone. By setting up the plot after addressing pivotal relationships in the Buffyverse, BTVS season 12 looks to be one that tests every character in the series – without a single bit of indication on the future of Buffy. Is she erased from existence? Does she go to another plane altogether? There are several possibilities the series could take and I just hope when it’s all said and done, Buffy can come out on top for the happy ending she’s fought for her entire life.
Overall Grade: 9.5/10
– Giles is back to his true self, but with the mention of age for multiple main characters I’m more concerned about their well being than I’ve ever been.
– Dawn naming her daughter Joyce and Buffy being the loving aunt were two things I had no idea I needed, but I absolutely did. Thank you Joss and Christos.
– My main hope based on the prophecy is that Buffy and company will be able to leave with magic to a new dimension where they can live as higher beings, but knowing Joss I think things will be more complicated.
– Still having a hard time thinking Buffy could end – I truly hope they will do more event series like Dark Horse has suggested on social media.
Original article at PopWrapped