5 Skull Review: ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10′ #1

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Having fiercely demonstrated their ability to authentically tackle the BuffyVerse through Dark Horse’s blazingly sublime series “Angel & Faith”, Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs, take the reins on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10″ with overwhelmingly impressive results.

WRITTEN BY: Christos Gage
ART BY: Rebekah Isaacs
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
PRICE: $3.50
RELEASE: March 19, 2014

Following the apocalypse-thwarting — and ultimately game-changing — finale that boldly altered the series’ established vampire mythology, the terrific twosome passionately and purposefully set the gears in motion for what, presumably, is going to be an incredibly fun season. As both a refresher issue, and an exciting teaser chapter for what’s to come in regards to last season’s unresolved story developments, “New Rules” Part One will thoroughly engage readers, as Gage and Isaacs deliver an entertaining, action-fueled, and plot-driven opener, with undeniably flawless representations of the series’ characters, in both dialogue and artistic likeness.

Without revealing too much, the narrative picks up in Santa Rosita, where Buffy and co are taking care of the dwindling zompire infestation alongside an untrustworthy vampire gang that is working to achieve the same goal. War does indeed make for strange bedfellows — or in this case, a zombie vampire pandemic in Southern California is enough to fill the “Enemy Mine” trope — but the reluctant team-up will prove to be significant when the gang is faced with the repercussions from their battle inside the Deeper Well. Magic has been restored in the BuffyVerse thanks to Willow birthing a new Seed, and the Old One, Maloker, was ultimately defeated within the ancient tomb. But at the troubling cost of the VAMPYR book being completely wiped blank, and new vampires developing disturbingly evolved powers.

Gage manages to provide just enough exposition regarding these new developments without the script becoming too exhaustive or repetitive, by using Buffy’s categorically spot-on, self-deprecating inner-dialogue, and the story’s non-stop action, to his narrative-building advantage. Isaacs keeps up with the accelerated pace of the issue with a remarkable display of talent and artistic vision that is untouchable within the confines of the Whedonverse. Simply the best, she excels where many artists tend to fail when illustrating character likeness, physical movement, and flashy sorcery. The latter of which really pops, courtesy of Dan Jackson’s dynamic colors. With an impressive color palette and beautiful visual depth, Jackson adds a lot of value to the finished pages, and is a great addition to the creative team. He and Isaacs work in tandem to bring Gage’s story to life, with a strong attention to detail, and bold artistic style.

“New Rules” Part One feels like a reunion chapter, of sorts, considering the amount of familiar characters prominently featured in the script, both anticipated and unexpected. All perfectly voiced and drawn. This feeling is further driven home by a fantastically emotional reveal of one sorely missed, and extremely cherished individual near the end of the issue. If Gage’s dialogue doesn’t do the trick, Isaacs’ pencils will. The entire issue is a testament to the genuine understanding Gage has for the BtVS universe and fandom, and his natural ability as a fantastic comic book writer. The same goes for Isaacs and her unquestionable knack for visual storytelling.

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10″ #1 is an A+ accomplishment on all accounts, and the fandom couldn’t have asked for a better creative team behind the pages.

5/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – ShadowJayd