Andrew Chambliss takes us back to regular Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9 programming, with a new zompire-packed, four-issue story arc entitled, “Welcome to the Team.” Giving slight context to an ominous scene in Jeff Parker’s “Willow – Wonderland” #2, issue #16 brings back Xander and Dawn; deals with Buffy taking on a zompire nest in San Francisco with the SFPD and our new honorary Scooby, Billy Lane; and reunites readers with a terrifyingly wonderful ancient demon from Angel’s past.
WRITTEN BY: Andrew Chambliss
ART BY: Georges Jeanty
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: December 12th, 2012
Part One opens with Buffy, Billy, and Detective Dowling fighting off an abnormally strong zompire on a siring-spree; a zompire who bears a striking resemblance to a past character from Season 8’s “Predators and Prey” story arc. Complete speculation or possible spoiler, this zompire is Nisha, a rogue Slayer in cahoots with Simone Doffler. If Chambliss is going this route, I will not be terribly surprised if Simone is behind San Francisco’s zompire epidemic.
Chambliss will definitely have readers wondering how it all fits together, which is somewhat different from his usual straightforward approach to storytelling when it comes to Season 9’s narrative. Perhaps that can be chalked up to the multiple parallel narratives currently being produced by Dark Horse.
We finally get to see Xander and Dawn interacting with Buffy in the scene that was foreshadowed in “Willow – Wonderland” #2. Dawn is visibly ill with the flu, but if Willow’s grim glimpse from Parker’s series is any indication, I’m assuming that she’s going to need more than antibiotics to recover.
Georges Jeanty really missed the mark this time around. I’ve said it once before, but he remains one of the most inconsistent Buffy artists. Sometimes he gets it right, and sometimes he doesn’t. There’s absolutely zero likeness to the characters this time around, and there are instances where the human characters look slightly demonic. In one panel I didn’t know if I was looking at Buffy or an early Manticore experiment of a human who was engineered with canine DNA, à la Joshua from Dark Angel.
There is a slow and steady build up to the end of this issue, but by the time Chambliss gets there, you don’t want to put the book down. Especially with the return of Illyria! Like Buffy, Illyria still has access to her powers, and in the middle of a major zompire battle, she teleports Buffy to L.A. Things are far worse than before due to the destruction of the Seed. Because of this, Illyria gives her no choice, “Join us, or perish.” Join who, or what? You’ll have to pick up next month’s issue to find out.
Reviewed by – ShadowJayd