Pencils by Georges Jeanty
Published by Dark Horse Comics
In stores now!
This is the true test of Season 9′s strength going forward- the first issue where series creator Joss Whedon sits it out and instead hands over the reins to regular writer Andrew Chambliss. I have to admit that I was incredibly anxious about this transition, as well as for the future direction of the series as a whole. No one writes Buffy like Joss, and the thought of his involvement being toned down was as terrifying as any Big Bad the Buffster might face. But fear not, fellow Scoobies, for Chambliss has more than delivered. In fact, if it weren’t for the credits telling me so, I’d probably assume that Whedon was still scripting.
This second instalment gives us a glimpse into the wider story of season 9, with the ramifications of Buffy destroying the seed still proving to have an enormous effect on not just the wider world but also the characters themselves. It’s nice to see the characters put front and centre again after the over blown nature of season 8, and the result is a book that truly feels like a continuation of the much beloved series- something last season struggled with at times.
This comic isn’t without it’s faults though. Georges Jeanty‘s art continues to be an odd mixture of bang on characterisation and rushed, unfinished pencils. In some panels he nails the emotion of the moment, only to follow it up with a panel where the detail is sorely lacking, and at times the lack of consistentcy between characters is staggering (his rendition of Willow is a far cry from how he portrayed her in Season 8). It’s even more perpelexing when you consider his stellar work on The American Way and Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 (well, the first half anyway). It could be that tight deadlines are forcing compromises, or simply that he’s gotten too comfortable with the characters and has become sloppy, but either way he’s letting the side down severely, as Rebekah Isaacs is producing fantastic work on the sister series, Angel and Faith.
Still, this book shows great promise, and fans of the show (who ISN’T a fan of this show?) will no doubt lap it up.