A special Halloween issue of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 10” takes readers back to Sunnydale, as the gang pursues the stolen VAMPYR book through a raging—inevitably doomed by an ancient, soul-devouring demon—bash at the Hellmouth. Lending his artistic vision to the series is legendary comic book illustrator Richard Corben, who works alongside Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs to deliver another top tier addition to the Buffyverse.
WRITTEN BY: Christos Gage
ART BY: Rebekah Isaacs, Richard Corben
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: October, 2014
Reviewed By: ShadowJayd
“Return to Sunnydale” Part One is the first of a two-part story arc which opens with the VAMPYR book being missing, and the gang pointing comical and exasperated fingers at one another. After learning that it was Andrew who stole the book, Buffy, Spike, and Willow go on a retrieval mission to Sunnydale, where occult enthusiasts happen to be celebrating the existence of magic. Unfortunately, throwing a party at the Hellmouth is never a wise decision, and quite naturally, chaos ensues.
With the perfect balance of nostalgia, wit, and sincerity, Christos Gage writes in a way that is thoroughly engaging, and not in the least bit pandering. It’s very easy for writers to delve into contrived narratives when the story calls for characters to revisit their shared pasts, but Gage allows the issue to move forward naturally, while seamlessly shifting between present obligations and addressing serious past events that ultimately shaped the characters into who they are today. He seems to have a knack for setting up reflective moments like these, and Rebekah Isaacs has a way of capturing them with her pencils.
With a fluidity that echoes Gage’s narrative perfectly, the artwork by Isaacs is equally impressive. Through conscious choice of apparel to distinguished mannerisms, she actually manages to successfully illustrate the familiar personalities of the main characters on paper. This issue also showcases her ability to effectively create a sense of space and depth as evidenced during Buffy, Willow, and Spike’s excursion through the ruins of Sunnydale. Supporting the kinetic flow of Isaacs’ pencils and livening up the fantasy elements in this installment is Dan Jackson on colours. His style is very much characterized by soft, yet dark, tones and his penchant for utilizing a wide range of hues to capture the richness of Gage’s reality. Together, both Jackson and Isaacs present another great show of interior artwork.
Multi-award winning artist, Richard Corben graces the pages of “Buffy Season 10” #8 with a 3-page flashback feature focusing on this issue’s Demon of the Week Month (the physical appearance of which was inspired by his cover art for Warren Magazine’s“Eerie” #31, first published in 1970). His signature style, though obviously very dissimilar to Isaacs’, lends itself well to the dark and macabre tale Gage has concocted for the ancient demon, and fits nicely within the context of the narrative. Expect his usual incorporation of graphic violence and exaggerated characterizations with fantastically embellished features within the book.
Overall, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 10” #8 proves to be another solid issue thanks to a phenomenal effort by the creative team, a surprise Halloween treat in the form of groundbreaking comic book artist, Richard Corben, and a cliffhanger panel that will set your soul on FIRE.
ShadowJayd, known everywhere else as Farah Jayden Hakkak, began writing for Bloody-Disgusting in July 2012. You can find her on Twitter, or praising legendary comic book artists in her art column, Visions of Horror.