Following “Part I” of a new, three-issue, story arc by Andrew Chambliss, “Guarded, Part II” continues with Buffy settling into her new working environment at Deepscan—Ex-slayer Kennedy’s high-end, bodyguard service company, which hires out ex-slayers for the rich elite. It’s definitely a step-up from her dead-end job as a barista, and offers her something she’s always longed for in terms of stability and a “real” life outside of demons and vampires. Unfortunately, where Buffy’s concerned, the forces of darkness never tend to stay away for too long, as proven from last issue’s cliffhanger. Wolfram & Hart has returned! This familiar Whedonverse institution is back and their target happens to be, Theo Daniels, founder of TINCAN, and Buffy’s first client.
WRITTEN BY:Andrew Chambliss
ART BY: Georges Jeanty
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse
Daniels isn’t your typical computer programmer and internet entrepreneur, nor is TINCAN your typical social networking site. It’s a Facebook-esque media platform for demons that are trapped in and outside of hell dimensions, and Daniels was hired by Wolfram & Hart to create it. On paper, the idea of demons “poking” each other online doesn’t seem too farfetched in the Buffyverse, but the issue at hand is obviously much more complicated. The existence of magic on Earth is gone, and the demons need to find creative ways of moving between realms. This is where Daniels and TINCAN come in. By creating a complex code within the social network, he has made it possible for dimension traveling portals to remain open.
Understanding how dangerous his creation is, Daniels hires Deepscan to shut down TINCAN’s servers and to protect him from Wolfram & Hart, who have ordered a hit on his head. Now, under the guidance of the still discontented and broken-hearted Kennedy we met in issue #11, Buffy has a lot of work to do. They can’t get to the servers before battling against a big Teuth Demon with tentacles galore, so she calls on Eldre Koh to help bring it down. Eldre Koh, as we all remember, was the demon who was set free from a mystical prison after the destruction of the Seed of Wonder in Season 9’s “Freefall”. By his people’s code of honor, he was bound and obligated to Buffy Summers, as she was the person responsible for freeing him. He, as it turns out, may or may not be as honest and trustworthy as Buffy would have hoped.
Georges Jeanty has been really inconsistent on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9”. It’s hit or miss, especially where the likenesses in the characters’ faces are concerned. Kennedy is pretty unrecognizable and it seems as if he had trouble with Buffy’s proportions in a lot of areas. It’s not his best work for the series by a longshot, but Andrew Chambliss’ exciting storyline and spirited dialogue make up for it.
There is a lot of action in this installment and hopefully more will be seen in the one to follow. Especially when taking into account the shocking betrayal at the end of the issue. Buffy is going to go ape shit in “Part III”!
Reviewed by -ShadowJayd