Willow #4 Review

by Nick Devonald on October 13, 2020

Writer: Mariko Tamaki
Artist: Natacha Bustos
Colours: Eleonora Bruni
Letters: Jodi Wynne

One of the strengths of the Willow mini-series has been the way it’s the reader spend some much deserved time with one of Buffy’s most important characters, really learning about her and what makes her tick. Plus it’s always great fun to have a story focusing purely on Willow, let alone an entire mini-series. While it’s been apparent to the reader from the first issue that there is something a little off about Abhainn, Willow has been more focused on the fact that this place is a haven for her and how well she fits in, only gradually noticing that things that are a little off, and she's been almost blinded to the fact that somethings not quite right. It’s not until this issue that this sense of wrongness is dealt with head on. It has left the last few issues feeling a little drawn out in terms of the overall plot, but as a storytelling device it's it’s been a great way to explore Willows personality in more detail.

Mariko Tamaki really understands what works about Willows character, and manages to bridge what we’ve seen of her so far from the comics and the Willow of old from the TV series. A little more of that awkwardness and shyness comes across here, just through the act of seeing Willows thoughts. It doesn't contradict anything we've seen in the main Buffy comic, but it does show us this Willow isn't as far removed from the TV series as it sometimes appears. A throwaway line about Rose really helps the reader understand their relationship and how important it was to Willow. As the penultimate issue it does a great job of bringing all the different threads together for what promises to be an interesting confrontation and show down.

The art from Natacha Bustos has been great throughout Willow, really bringing her character to life. There is a great scene, set late at night, where Willow meets one of Abhainns less contented citizens, and ther emotions are written all over both characters face, which works really well at not just telling the story but bringing it to life, telling us so much more than words alone could do. The scene is filled with dark shadows and muted colours, expertly done by Eleonora Bruni to really give the scene some fantastic atmosphere. Throughout the entire comic Bruni’s colours really work well with Bustos’ art, expertly setting the tone and mood.

The penultimate issue of Willow, it’s been an excellent way to spend time with the character and learn a little more about what makes her tick. With only one issue left before her return to the main Buffy comic (ignoring the fact that due to the way comics are published she’s technically already returned) it’ll be interesting to see how the final issue, and the series as a whole, have changed the character. Readers will desperately be awaiting the final issue in this exciting mini-series.

Our Score:


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