Buffy #11 Review

by Nick Devonald on January 08, 2020

Writer: Jordie Bellaire
Illustrator: David López
Colors: Raúl Angulo
Letters: Ed Dukeshire

Each new release in the rebooted Buffyverse I jump about like a yo-yo between which series is my favourite. Angel is released, that’s definitely my favourite. Then when this issue of Buffy was released then Buffy is definitely my favourite. When next weeks Hellmouth comes out, guess what? I’m sure I’ll decide Hellmouth is the best. I think that demonstrates how much I’m enjoying each series and how there isn’t a weak series.

Not to say there isn’t flaws. I still think they’ve got the wrong artist for this Buffy. I think Gleb Melnikov does a very stylised take on Angel which is a perfect fit and very much represents Angel in my mind. Eleonora Carlini has a great take on all of the characters and I love the demons she’s created in Hellmouth. But when it comes to David López I don’t think he’s quite right for drawing Buffy. And as I’ve stated in previous reviews I don’t think he’s a bad artist he just isn’t quite right for Buffy. I think he’s talented but isn’t being used to his best on Buffy. I’ll try and explain why I feel this way.

There is a dramatic reveal on the final page, and I don’t know who it is. To look at it could be three characters, from the context I have it down to two, but I need to wait until the next issue to confirm for sure who it is. And that’s really bad. And while the strength of the writing will keep me buying this month after month for a visual medium the art letting it down is not a good sign.

I need to point out a few things that I feel David López does really well though. His take on monsters is fantastic. I love all the vampire Xander he does, and there are a few panels in particular where Willow and Xander are arguing and what he does with Xander is great. But then the panels focusing on Willow let it down. Then towards the end there is a panel taking up most of the page focusing on Robin and it’s brilliant.

I think David López would be perfectly suited for a series like B.P.R.D. (Yes, I know it’s finished). With a series like that most of the characters aren’t completely human and there’s plenty of monsters which he would be great at. I think if he was drawing a series like that I would end up raving about his art and how good it is. But, at the risk of repeating myself, he just doesn’t quite fit for Buffy here. Anyway I’ve spent enough time on the art, I need to move onto the rest of the issue now.

By now it’s pretty obvious that there’s something wrong with the men in Sunnydale. The last few issues of Buffy have slowly built up to this point, and the last issue of Hellmouth gave us a bit more info about where this was going. So now we’ve reached the point that’s been teased and it doesn’t disappoint.

We get some great character moments. Willow and Xander get to have a bit of a heart to heart, and then we learn a bit more about what’s going on. Xanders unique position as half vampire gives us a bit more insight into what’s going on, as well as giving us more information about his new condition which has been somewhat lacking so far.

We find out a bit more about Robin, nothing new to fans of the TV series but it’s nice to get a bit of confirmation of his backstory. I would like there to have been a bit more deviance from his TV backstory, but we don’t seem to be getting that. He’s younger and a watcher, but otherwise he’s the same Robin.

Previous issues have left me with questions about Kendra’s appearance, namely how is she the slayer if Buffy hasn’t died? Since this is a reboot the rules could be slightly different, or perhaps she hasn’t been called yet? We get a bit of clarification in this issue. I still have questions, and a theory, but the rules have been cleared up a bit which I’ve been needing.

I’m glad to see Rose is sticking around, it looks like she will be for a while now which is good. And she’s not sitting around moping about Willow all the time either which is nice to see. It would be too easy to have her doing that which would have been a shame so I’m glad that’s not where they’re taking the character.

When it comes to Kendra I’m not sure how I feel about her character. She seems very different to her TV counterpart so far, but we only had a few appearances from her in the show so it’s fair that they’ve done their own thing here. For example in the TV series she was incredibly obedient but here she’s far more rebellious. And that’s Buffys deal, not hers. I suspect when Buffy does eventually reappear there’ll be a bit of disagreement between them. But unlike the majority of the conflict in this series which I’ve enjoyed I’m not looking forward to this. Plus, a BIG part of me can’t wait for her inevitable death so we can get Faith. No guarantees of course but a fan favourite like Faith is bound to make an appearance sooner or later and the way the reboot is bringing in characters much earlier than the series makes me think it’s got to be sooner rather than later.

This issue perfectly sums up my feelings about the Buffy reboot. The writing is spot on, there are some real stand out moments, but the art lets it down again. Which makes scoring this issue a real challenge. Writing? 10/10, no question about it. The art however lets it down. When it shines it’s fantastic. When it doesn’t it drags the whole comic down, taking me out of the story and stopping me being completely immersed, and on the final page leaving me confused about who the character appearing is.

Our Score:


A Look Inside