Reviewed by – ShadowJayd
Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs take us deeper into Dark Horse’s ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10’, as the characters try to make sense of a world where the “New Rules” of magic have all but allowed for a total revamp of the series’ traditional supernatural mythology. Along for the ride is BtVS alum, Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), who has taken on a new role of co-writer for a three-issue arc featuring the return of Dracula.
WRITTEN BY: Christos Gage, Nicholas Brendon
ART BY: Rebekah Isaacs
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: May 21, 2014
With the series’ first two installments being so well received by fans and critics alike, coupled with the news of Nicholas Brendon joining the creative team, anticipation for this issue was expectedly high, though tempered by uncertainty as to whether or not the follow-up could pack the same punch. Evidently, those doubts were unwarranted seeing as Issue #3 not only lives up to the narrative standard and quality of art set forth in “Part One” and “Part Two”, but is also a hilarious presentation of quips and quirks that highlight the writers’ knack for comedic storytelling.
As writers, Gage and Brendon spend time strengthening the idiosyncrasies of a number of different characters in “Part Three”, as opposed to any one focus, whilst fleshing out the interrelationships between them. In terms of story, they continue to explore the situation with the wiped-out VAMPYR book, and the supernatural abilities of the series’ new vampires, who evolved from an unexpected consequence of the current state of magic in the Buffyverse.
Last month, Rebekah Isaacs and colourist Dan Jackson fantastically illustrated the scope of these vampires’ evolved powers through action-packed battle sequence panels between Buffy’s team and Vicki’s vampire gang, and the result was epically eye-opening. With a new sense of purpose and direction, the gang embark on a journey to find those responsible for manipulating Earth’s new rules of magic, by acquiring the help of the perfectly characterized eccentric, and supremely arrogant Dracula, and by tracking down a supervamp to use as a lab rat.
Overall, it’s a nice change of pace to see an abundance of beloved personalities, written and drawn with such infallible representations and likeness, actually working together instead of on their own and/or against each other. And though it’s honestly been said to death, it genuinely feels like the tone of the season, as well as the Scoobies themselves, are heading back to the basics. Even with a recently resurrected Giles comically trapped inside the body of a pubescent boy, along for the ride.
The artwork remains a consistent bonus throughout the issue, as Isaacs brings Gage and Brendon’s narrative to visual signification with the help of Jackson’s palette of strong colours. There are many things to love and praise about the interior art of Issue #3. It’s emotive, dynamic, and thoroughly engaging, from the busy action panels to the quiet introspective moments. The spot-on character design for Dracula, the action at the ruins of the Sutro Baths, as well as Buffy and Willow’s kidnapping quest through the streets of San Francisco, are just a few personal highlights. Isaacs’ and Jackson’s individual contributions and styles of art complement each other’s impressive work, and they — along with Brendon — seem to be a perfect match for Gage’s “Buffy Season 10”.
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