Buffy #16 Review

by Nick Devonald on August 05, 2020

Writer: Jordie Bellaire
Artist: Ramon Bachs
Colours: Raὐl Angulo
Letters: Ed Dukeshire

After all the drama in the previous issue of Buffy this comic hits the ground running and doesn’t let up till the final page. We’ve got the aftermath of Rose being attacked in the previous issue, with her now hospitalised. And, probably most importantly, the aftermath of that reveal at the end of the last issue.

** Spoilers for Buffy #15 – Don’t read on unless you’ve finished the previous issue. **

Xander is alive. Or undead. He’s not gone, anyway, and is now full on evil vampire. That was a hell of a way to conclude the previous issue. Jordie Bellaire has decided not to take her time with this storyline however and dives head first into it with this story. There are very much vibes of Angelus in season two of Buffy here and it’s fantastic. The parallels are really strong, which is one of the strengths of this series. Not a reboot as such, more a modern take on Buffy, it allows for storylines which are both familiar and brand new. What the long term repercussions of this storyline are remain to be seen, but it feels like there are real consequences to everything which Buffy has been through, leaving her metaphorically scarred and damaged. And this storyline promises to take her lower than ever before.

The dynamic between Kendra and Buffy has been strained up till this point, but after the disaster at the end of the last issue they’re now beginning to work through their problems. It’s a long shot to call them friends, but they’re definitely more of a team now than they have been in previous issues, and have a better understanding of each other. After the plant attack in the previous issue it’s clear the two slayers need to begin to work together or they’ll end up hindering each other, with potentially fatal consequences.

Another strength of Bellaires writing is the way she isn’t afraid to mix it up. By turning Xander into a vampire early on it was clear to the reader that no-one is safe. We’re now reaching a stage where both Jenny Calender and Kendra’s fate is potentially on the line, their TV counterparts both being killed off around this part in the story. But that doesn’t mean anything to Bellaire, and whether she decides to kill either of them off, or somebody else, is up in the air. It leaves the reader scared for all the main characters and it doesn’t feel like anybody is safe. It would be a huge shock if the vampire Xander storyline doesn’t kill anybody.

The relationship between Buffy and Xander is explored in a little more depth in this issue, through the classic slayer storytelling method of dreams. Bellaire manages to capture the bizarreness of dreams which Whedon utilised in the TV show, with a character as random as the cheese man but without the constraints of a TV budget. And speaking of dreams, earlier on in the series Buffy had dreams about being a vampire along with Xander, which were dismissed because Xander was dead and gone. Only he isn’t. Could this be a hint for what’s coming? The way Bellaire writes nothing is discounted, and the fate of our favourite slayer may not be as safe as we would expect.

Ramon Bachs is an inspired choice as artist for Buffy. He brings the characters to life in a manner which was lacking at earlier stages of the series, capturing their emotions really well and filling the story with plenty of character. There is a dramatic confrontation in this issue which Bachs manages to bring to life excellently, filling it with all the drama and danger that the scene demands, and really raising the stakes for the reader.

Raὐl Angulo’s colours have been consistently good throughout the series. There is a scene in particular in this issue where his colours really stand out, but for the sake of spoilers no more details will be given, other than it’s an incredibly dramatic scene and the art and colours only increase the drama of the scene.

Things are really heating up in Boom!s Buffyverse. It feels like no-one is safe, and it’s an incredibly exciting time to be a Buffy fan. The art is amongst the best of the series. No slayer fan will want to miss this issue, or indeed incredible series.

Our Score:


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