The release of Christos Gage and Nicholas Brendon’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10” #5 sees the exciting end of this Season’s widely revered first arc, and the beginning of what’s gearing up to be a potentially significant saga in the series’ rapidly evolving mythology. Be sure to pick up your copy when it hits stands this Wednesday (July 23), and click through to read our spoiler-free review!
WRITTEN BY: Christos Gage, Nicholas Brendon
ART BY: Rebekah Isaacs
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: July 23, 2014
Reviewed By: ShadowJayd
For how different they seem to be, seasoned writer Christos Gage, and Buffy alum Nicholas Brendon, deliver another perfectly co-written script, both working in tandem to establish the dramatic events that will ultimately set the course for whatever lies ahead in “Buffy Season 10.”
Following last month’s surprising cliffhanger, Dracula’s dangerous meddling with the VAMPYR book in his quest for power has left the Scooby Gang scrambling in an epic battle to stop the terrifying—and familiar—demon he has unwittingly transformed into; whilst also trying to extract a mind-controlled Xander from Dracula’s hold. The issue roller-coasters along at an alarmingly quick pace, only slowing down to provide exposition and plot development when needed. The prominence of action and movement is a gift that keeps on giving as Buffy and crew take the fighting to the streets, providing a great opportunity for Rebekah Isaacs to not only showcase the cohesiveness of the team as a combat unit, but also her illustrative capabilities and fantastically imagined artwork. At times, the accelerated pace comes off as a bit excessive, but overall this is a pretty infectious installment.
Gage and Brendon use dialogue to great effect, leaning heavily toward the comedic side of the spectrum, with the writers delighting readers with quip after witty quip. Comedy is notoriously difficult to pull off, especially when trying to effectively express humour within the comics medium, but Gage and Brendon appear to be in their element. On the other hand, while “New Rules, Part V” is a master class in comedic delivery and timing, it could very well just be subject to its audience. It’s hard to say whether the narrative’s balance of plot and cheesy humour is exactly what the fandom wants and expects, or if it’s overkill; but personally, I relate to the former.
From beginning to end, this chapter is a blast to read thanks to Gage’s creative mind and understanding of the Buffyverse, and Brendon’s iconic acting experience as Xander Harris which allows for an incredibly authentic voice to be heard in the character’s dialogue; specifically his interactions with Dracula. Moreover, Rebekah Isaacs’ artwork really compliments the writers’ humour and makes excellent use of page layouts and design.
She also brings a lot of visual humour to the issue, herself. From subtle character moments, like Ghost Anya reaffirming her invisibility by waving a hand in front of an old acquaintance’s oblivious face. To big moments, like Willow magic-flying an unsuspecting, though agreeable, Catholic priest through the air to bless a towering structure amidst complete demon-fighting chaos. In contrast, colourist Dan Jackson keeps things visually serious with his typical palette of dark hues and tones. Yet he still provides a sense of vitality that instantly stimulates the eye. Isaacs and Jackson work together to capture that wonderful mix of humor, horror, and supernatural might that keeps life extremely interesting for Buffy and her gang.
The fandom is lucky to experience the beginning of a new season that’s growing into one of the most original and skillfully constructed eras of the series. I can’t wait to see what’s to come.
ShadowJayd, known everywhere else as Farah Jayden Hakkak, has been a staff writer for Bloody-Disgusting since July 2012. You can find her on Twitter, or passed out by the dirt road behind Wendy’s.