Buffy The Vampire Slayer #9 Review

by Nick Devonald on November 06, 2019

Writer: Jordie Bellaire
Illustrator: David López
Colors: Raul Angulo
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire

The Buffy reboot has been a mixed bag for me. On the one hand it’s perfectly captured the feel of the comic and translated that into a new, modern take on it which has been fantastic. Dan Mora’s art on the first 4 issues was absolutely top notch and combined to make this a comic I looked forward to every release.

Then Dan Mora left and the art duties were passed onto David López. And the comic suffers for this. López doesn’t compare to Mora, who so perfectly captured the characters from the TV series. This direct comparison makes the art suffer. But it’s more than that. I wasn’t sure who several characters were in the first few pages of #9. To the point I had to read the dialogue and flick back over them a couple of times to be sure I knew who they were. That takes away from the enjoyment of the comic as a whole.

I don’t want it to sound like I hate David López’ art, I don’t. I like his action scenes, and he does a pretty good Xander and Giles. And Willow at least is always recognisable. I just don’t think he’s a good fit for this comic. Because he's drawing already established characters who aren't neccessarily the most distinctive I think he struggles to make some of the characters stand out, which is to the detriment of the comic. I would love art duties to fall back to Dan Mora, or even guest artist from #7 Sas Milledge who was equally talented.

But enough about the art. Onto the story. In terms of progressing the main storyline further it doesn’t do much. But this isn’t a bad thing. The pacing has been a little questionable in this reboot series at times and it’s nice to slow down and take stock of where the characters are at. Like it’s other Buffyverse comic, Angel, the main comic is actually better for its main characters absence and gives the reader a chance to spend more time with the supporting cast.

Probably the other area this reboot has suffered has been introducing too many characters at once. Angel has done this slowly and as a result is better for it. It’s nice to spend a bit of time with the characters and find out what’s going on with them.

We see Willow, more and more lost, since she shared half her soul with Xander. Xander trying to deal with what he’s become. And Giles. Giles is suffering from Buffy’s absence. He’s on a dark path at the moment, reminding me of Ripper Giles, or the Giles who had to deal with Glory/Ben in the series.

Only by the end of the comic Giles was crossing lines, becoming someone I not only didn’t recognise but didn’t like. There are hints that something else is going on here, which I really hope is this case, because if this is where they’re taking the character I’m not sure what my thoughts on this are.

By the end of the comic we get a bit of a tease about the upcoming arc, promising that the pace will pick up a little. And some answers about Robins storyline. This has been one of the more interesting changes the reboot has made and I’m quite looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Scoring this comic is difficult. If it was only the writing I would give it 10/10, but art only gets a 6. Does bad art make a bad comic? Not necessarily. But when it actively takes away from the enjoyment at times because the art is so poor I can’t recognise Joyce and Eric, or Cordelia, it has to affect the score.

Top Notch writing as always, let down by art which isn’t a great fit for this comic. Jordie Bellaire deserves a better suited artist to team up with.

Don’t let the sub-par art drag you away from what is a fantastic read and comic series. Hellmouth & Angel are both fantastic, and this is the parent of the Buffyverse.

Our Score:


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