Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been saving the world from what lies within the darkness since she was a teen. With her vamp boyfriend Spike, BFFs Willow and Xander, and sister Dawn, there is nothing she can’t handle—until now. After San Francisco was destroyed by a supernatural attack, the government decided to isolate all things/beings having anything to do with magic. Now Buffy, Willow, and Spike are stuck in the “Safe Zone.”
There is a lot of tension within the internment camp where Buffy and her buds are staying, especially since Buffy is known as the Slayer, and most people are either intimidated by her or want to pick a fight with her. After she gets in a pretty big one that exposes Spike and shows how out of control he is when it comes to feeding (since vamps are forced to stick to only small blood rations), she decides to become the law in order to help him. By the end of the issue, Buffy is a trustee. After all, she has always been good at law enforcement and hunting.
Writer Christos Gage writes this issue with a perfect pace. He doesn’t linger on any one problem in the plot for dramatic effect or emphasis. Even so, there is a great deal of emphasis, given the gravity of Buffy’s situation (especially with Spike) and Georges Jeanty’s artwork to support it.
There’s a lot of pressure on Buffy and Spike’s relationship because he isn’t able to eat as much as he’d like to. Buffy is actually offering her own blood in addition to the small rations that he gets, which is, in turn, making her weak. Now that Spike is getting a little out of control, she does the only thing she can think of to get him more food while keeping her energy.
There isn’t too much action in this issue except for a fight or two that aren’t really enough to be called “action,” as they don’t have that big an impact on the plot, aside from Buffy’s reputation and Spike’s need for food—both of which we already knew.
Elsewhere, Willow is helping Calliope work on her magic (which is being contained within the camp, so it can come in handy going forward). These two have a “thing,” so to speak. I’m not all too sure what’s going on there, but it’s big enough to warrant its own panel with simply two hands touching, so we know it’s not something to look past just yet.
Speaking of the panels, Jeanty does a great job of varying the panel layouts so we don’t get bored. Different sizes, shapes, and gutter-usage come into play really well. Of course, this issue wouldn’t be as entertaining as it is without the magical creatures that are in the camp with Buffy and co. The alien-like monsters, vampires, lizard-human hybrids, and more look awesome. They aren’t super detailed, but the fact that it’s no big deal that they’re living alongside humans so nonchalantly is actually really cool. The characters aren’t too realistic, so they show a lot of hyperbolized emotion and reactions with only minor inconsistencies. Dan Jackson’s colors really help with the tone of this issue and the pacing of the storyline.
This book poses a great question: When Buffy is already a target for the confined, how much worse can things get when she’s their authority figure? We’ll have to wait and find out, but I have a feeling she’s going to have to deal with a lot more than just a few brawls here and there. Buffy fans, get to your local comic book shop and read this issue so you can prepare for what’s coming in March!
Written by: Christos Gage
Illustrated by: Georges Jeanty