BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #12: YA GOTTA EARN IT IF YA WANT READERS TO CARE
|Author(s): Jordie Bellaire|
|Artists(s): David Lopez|
|Colorist(s): Raul Angulo|
|Letterer: Ed Dukeshire|
|Publisher: BOOM! Studios|
|Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama, School, Supernatural|
|Published Date: 02/05/2020|
Things are getting straight-up Walking Dead in Sunnydale! With Buffy still MIA, the nascent Scooby Gang is up to their eyeballs in mind-controlled citizens! Luckily, Anya has showed up for an eleventh hour save!
Elsewhere, Rose and Cordelia are finding out what the rest of the crew knows – that trouble is everywhere!
The rest of the gang shows up, but it might only be in time for one last stand…
Buffy #12 wraps up its tie-in to “Hellmouth” arc with an attempted bang, and throws readers for a loop with a major twist at the end – but has this title earned it? Sadly, the answer is “no”. Before it had even gotten its footing, this title was off to the races with a major crossover in which the lead character was whisked away and the barely-defined – and wholly different from the show – supporting cast was left to fill the void. And without having taken the time to properly establish the interpersonal dynamics between them all, writer Jordie Bellaire found herself with a lackluster fill-in arc that was far less than the sum of its parts, unfocused and unthethered from much of a semblance of familiar faces.
The art hasn’t helped matters. David Lopex’s faced and figures are so poorly-defined that I honestly had no idea it was Anya who showed up to save the day at the end of last issue until someone said her name in this one. The pretty blonde girl could have been anyone; I had assumed last month it was Buffy, back from her sojourn to the Hellmouth. Nope, it was Anya, who had absolutely no reason to show up and help based on her limited page time in issues past. She just shows up… because. No real reason is given, she just wants to help save the day. And that’s nice and all, but it’s completely random.
Getting the entirety of the Scooby Gang together for a final stand at Cordelia’s fast food job makes for a decent “one last stand” moment, but before any real tension can be wrung from it, something completely unexplained happens that at least appears to result in a major character death… Though this isn’t explained either. I had to reread the sequence twice to get an idea of what was even happening, and even then, there are no specifics to it. The moment is supposed to have gravitas and real emotional weight, but instead it falls flat. And again, it’s unearned, because it’s reliant on readers’ familiarity with the characters from the show, not their current incarnations. And that’s a cheat, to say the least.
Buffy, the Boom! Studios reboot, had read potential in the beginning. But all of that potential has been squandered at this point. It’s going to take a heavy-duty turnaround to help this title regain its focus now that “Hellmouth” is finally wrapping up, but unfortunately all signs point to a creative team that simply isn’t up to the task.
Chock-full of unearned characters beats, ill-defined art, and vague plot continuations, Buffy #12 shows that maybe the time isn’t right after all for a new, rebooted version of the Slayer and her crew. Disappointing to say the least.
This article was originally posted at Comic-Watch.
This article has been reproduced for archive purposes.