Review: ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow – Wonderland’ #2

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Jeff Parker’s knack for writing increasingly engaging scripts is fantastically supported by Brian Ching’s ability to give life to them through Michelle Madsen’s alluring explosion of colours on the pages of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow – Wonderland #2. This second installment has a lot to offer in terms of plot development and sees the exciting return of an iconic past lover to the BufyVerse.

WRITTEN BY: Jeff Parker
ART BY: Brian Ching
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASE: December 5th

Part Two continues with our protagonist’s tumultuous journey through this bizarre, Lewis Carroll inspired, dimension, as she carries out her quest to restore magic on Earth. With the mysterious conjuror Marrak by her side, the issue finds Willow impulsively indulging in magic due to the plenteous supply the dimension has to offer. Her power seems limitless in this realm, casting spell after spell to get out of extreme life and death situations; but from what history suggests, her compulsive nature doesn’t bode well for the successful suppression of “Dark Willow”.

The rest of the issue follows Willow and Aluwyin’s reunion, and introduces the readers to a handful of Aluwyn’s exotically drawn, and peculiarly interesting, companions. You know the creative team is doing something right when you find yourself being taken in by these new characters upon first meeting them. There are a couple wonderfully ominous cameos by some major players in the BuffyVerse, which tie directly to the grand narrative of “Buffy Season 9″. And a few major plot developments concerning the broken Scythe, and the deterioration of Willow’s main theory regarding how to restore magic on Earth.

Michelle Madsen’s use of green and purple lighting helps to brighten up Brian Ching’s awesomely drawn panels; and Jason Gorder does a fine job inking the pages, particularly for the panels depicting the characters’ night endeavors. Keeping up with Parker’s writing and engaging readers is no problem for this art team.

I’m glad Dark Horse and Whedon have enough faith in Willow to give the witch her own mini-series. There’s nothing superfluous or contrived about Parker’s storytelling, and everything that happens within the pages is blatantly relevant to the main narrative of Season 9. That’s all the fandom wants from these solo minis; and that’s what Parker delivers. Issue #2 ends on a depressing note, and the readers are left to wonder what Willow’s next plan of action is, and how far she’s willing to go to get what she wants. If this installment is any indication, next month’s issue is only going to up its game.

4/5 Skulls

Review by – ShadowJayd