Due to the new rules of magic being rewritten in the Vampyr book, the Buffyverse continues to evolve and venture deeper into new and stranger territory. As fan-favourites from the past return to wreak the usual havoc, it’s nice to see some things stay the same. Treat yourself this Christmas Eve and pick up Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs’ “Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 10” #10.
WRITTEN BY: Christos Gage
ART BY: Rebekah Isaacs
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: December 24, 2014
Reviewed By: ShadowJayd
The reflective tone of last month’s installment gives way to a much lighter chapter that just reeks of ‘calm before the storm’. Titled ‘Day Off (Or Harmony In My Head)’—a nod to the latest returning character—the narrative presents a particularly laid–back vibe that seems necessary in order for Gage to effectively convey the natural spontaneity the script needs, to successfully demonstrate the kind of ridiculousness that Buffy & Co. have to deal with now that they are responsible for the Vampyr book. From negotiating with determined lobbyists from all supernatural walks of life, to making sure the book doesn’t end up in the wrong hands—all the while juggling their personal and professional lives—the gang is in need of some hard-earned TLC. Naturally, as the girls take a much-needed break, Spike runs into trouble whilst guarding the book.
Moving passed Willow’s unusually ineffective protection spells, what’s interesting about this issue of BtVS Season 10 is that Gage provides some insight into the political process of rewriting and overseeing the new rules of magic. With the Mystic Council acting as a supernatural advisory board, and arbitrators on standby to settle any unresolved disputes amongst disgruntled supernatural representatives requesting their own rule amendments, there seems to be a basic level of cohesion that is already in place so far. Though I imagine it could potentially be fractured if certain groups aren’t happy with the changes. Considering Willow aims to modernize historic roles to abolish outdated and sexist rules, as well as protect human life, I’m envisioning some amusing on-the-nose parallels between angry Buffyverse lobbyists and real world right-wing conservatives in future issues.
Visually speaking, it’s a really solid issue; specifically in regards to the panels depicting Spike’s unfortunate predicament with the returning characters and the Vampyr book. Rebekah Isaacs nails the hilarious scenes Gage describes in his script, illustrating even better the level of absurdity reached by this story. Honestly, there is only so much praise I can lavish on Isaacs every month before it becomes obnoxiously repetitive—and slightly awkward for everyone involved—but she is consistently on the money and very much deserving. Same goes for Dan Jackson with his quiet yet rich palette of colours that range through such a wide spectrum. From vibrant touches of blues and reds, to different hues of excessive purple and green, to his ability to reflect and beam light delicately against dark tones to allow certain elements to shine. Jackson and Isaacs feed off each other’s respective talents, bringing out the best in each other’s work, and it’s all very pleasing to the eye.
Nothing majorly significant occurs in terms of overall plot development until the very end of the issue, which teases some serious trouble for the Slayer and her friends, but Gage still writes a thoroughly engaging and entertaining installment that the fandom will surely appreciate. Next month will see Nicholas Brendon return as co-writer, Megan Levens take over for Isaacs on pencils, and Buffyverse secrets revealed in an issue you don’t want to miss, according to creators.
Reviewer: ShadowJayd, known everywhere else as Farah Jayden Hakkak, began writing for Bloody-Disgusting in July 2012. You can find her on Twitter, or praising comic book artists in her art column, Visions of Horror.