Andrew Chambliss and Dark Horse Comics deliver a well-rounded issue with Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9 #17. The second installment of this four-part story arc entitled, “Welcome to the Team,” sees our Slayer being forced to join a mystical council in L.A. after Illyria teleports her away from San Francisco. There, she’s involuntarily recruited to defeat a past foe who’s hell-bent on endangering what little mystical energy remains on Earth. Surprise cameos and interesting plot developments galore, Chambliss writes an enjoyable issue. Unfortunately, where he excels in script, Jeorges Jeanty, expectedly, falls short in the art department.
WRITTEN BY: Andrew Chambliss
ART BY: Georges Jeanty
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: January 9th, 2012
Part Two continues with an overwhelmingly outnumbered Billy and Detective Dowling, fighting for their lives in a zompire battle gone south. Easily overpowered without Buffy’s Slayer strength at their disposal, the two find themselves in a tense battle for life or death. Buffy, having been unceremoniously teleported to L.A. in the middle of said fight, comes face-to-face with fan-favourite WhedonVerse character, Illyria, who, like Buffy, still has access to her powers.
Andrew Chambliss sets up this second issue of the arc as a lead-up for what’s to come, and reverts back to his straightforward approach to storytelling as a means to push the narrative forward. Striking an effective balance between disclosure and mystery, the author reveals enough information to keep readers invested in the plot, all the while leaving certain things unanswered for the readers to ponder over; specifically regarding Xander and Dawn’s side-story. Still no answer as to why the latter’s health is quickly deteriorating, or why Xander has turned into a quick-tempered rage monster, but all signs point to trouble with a capital “T”.
Interestingly enough, even though I’m left completely underwhelmed by Georges Jeanty’s illustrations in this arc, my favourite part of the issue is his first panel depicting the mystical council. Not only for the wonderful surprise cameo that fans will love, but for the overall idea behind a council of witches, demons, mystics, and deities who still retain their powers, coming together to protect what little mystical energy is left on Earth. It’s just awesome in both script and art.
The end of Part Two sees Buffy’s foray into battle with *SPOILER ALERT* The Siphon, AKA Severin, the former enemy the mystical council recruits Buffy to defeat. As we already know, he’s a being who rips mystical energy from all he touches; and considering that beings who have power in this realm are few and far between, keeping him alive is not an option.
Reviewed by – ShadowJayd