Hellmouth #5 Review

by Nick Devonald on February 12, 2020

Writers: Jordie Bellaire & Jeremy Lambert
Artist: Eleonora Carlini
Colors: Cris Peter
Letters: Ed Dukeshire

This issue was great. It acts like a season finale for everything that’s come so far, the comic equivalent of the first season of the Buffyverse concluding (But don’t worry, there’s no break in between, with Buffy #13 due out in less than a month). This is where it’s been leading up to. And it really delivers.

And like all good season finales when the overall story arc has concluded we get a tease for what’s coming next. And oh boy, does it look good.

It follows directly on from the last issue of Hellmouth and Buffy. The Hellmother has taken over Angels body and it doesn’t look good for Buffy.

It manages to hit all the right beats. We have epic battles. We have the Scoobies all coming together in a moment that is sure to please fans. But we also begin to deal with the ramifications of Buffy #12 and the huge sacrifice that was made there (I don’t want to go into specifics since it only came out a week ago and I don’t want to spoil it for fans who haven’t had a chance to read it yet). There are going to be big consequences there.

Now onto Anya. She’s taken a huge role in the last issue of Buffy and we find out even more about her in this issue. They’ve made some huge changes from TV canon but that makes for some great reading. There are some great revelations from her as well. Things I can guarantee you won’t see coming. We also find out a bit more about her and Giles’ history. She’s rapidly becoming my favourite character in this rebooted series.

Every review I’ve covered for Hellmouth has mentioned Eleonora Carlini’s art and how talented she is. With this issue she gets a chance to draw all the scoobies (I know they’ve all cameoed before, but they’re a big part of this issue) and she shows us just how perfect she is for the Buffyverse. I really hope this isn’t the last we see of her in the Buffyverse. We also get moments outside of the Hellmouth here and she does a great job with all the scenes she draws.

Then we have Cris Peter’s colors. Again he’s proved throughout this series he knows what he’s doing.

Before I finish up I need to mention a couple of slight reservations I had with this issue. After all the building up to the big showdown between Buffy and the Hellmother the battle resolved quite quickly. Then again there’s limited space in a comic and there is a LOT in this issue. And it reinforces that Buffy is at her best when she’s surrounded by the Scoobies. And don't worry the pacing which has vastly improved over the course of the Buffyverse is still good.

Then there’s Cordelia. Part of me enjoys where they’re taking her in this issue (definitely getting vibes of later seasons of Angel) and then another part of me is going wait, hold on a second, is this really in character for her? It seems a bit much a bit quickly.

Minor issues, which I wanted to mention, but don't detract from the overall quality of the issue.

As the conclusion to the Hellmouth event I have to say Boom! Studios really know how to do an event properly. This has to be one of the best events I’ve ever read in a comic book. Real consequences for the main titles as well as a fantastic series that stands on its own rights. I really hope this becomes an annual thing because it’s been outstanding.

Three page teaser

Writer: Jordie Bellaire
Artist: Marco Renna
Colors: Mattia Iacono
Letters: Ed Dukeshire

Just when you think the issue is over we get a three page teaser at the end for what’s to come. Think of it as a Marvel Post Credit scene if you will. We have echoes of the first issue of the Buffy reboot making an effective bookend for the season. Then there’s plenty of moments to make you go WHAT? If the whole idea is to get you excited for the next issue (or season, if you will) of Buffy then it really succeeds.

Marco Renna’s art is also great. It really compliments Eleonora Carlini’s and I would love to see him doing more in the Buffyverse going forward.

This issue acts as an excellent season finale for the first year of the Buffyverse. It has everything we’ve come to expect of this reboot and so much more. There’s epic battles, quieter emotional moments, good banter. It’s Buffy at its best. It succeeds in drawing all the different threads together to a satisfactory conclusion while also sowing the seeds for what’s still to come. Fans, both new and old, are going to love this. To say I’m excited for the future of the Buffyverse would be an understatement.

Our Score:


A Look Inside