‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer #31:’ Advance Comic Book Review

Previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer:  Giles and Anya were casualties of Silas’ Lurkers. Buffy and the rest of the Scoobies were putting Operation Slayerverse into gear, while Faith learned a dark secret about her past… memories stolen from her by the Watchers’ Council experimentation.  

Portaling through different dimensions, the Scoobies try to recruit as many Slayers as they can. Meanwhile, we get more glimpses of Faith’s past as well as some justification for Silas’ plan to wipe out dimensions. With yet another devastating loss, the arrival of an old ally may just help the Scoobies with their ordeal.

We’re back to full-on portal shenanigans in this issue, though it doesn’t feel gratuitous here. Jeremy Lambert gives us some great moments of character drama, with one scene that will absolutely be recognized as an homage of sorts to an iconic scene from the TV show. While the callback is obvious, it does feel a tad less groundbreaking than the original scene. Partially because the metaphor feels less timely. While the stakes are objectively higher here, it somehow still feels less personal and therefore less crushing. It’s times like this when you are forced to wonder if you can truly capture the same magic twice, but, honestly, I also have to take a step back and wonder if the moment in question is just not meant for me this time around, and I’ll accept that maybe it isn’t. #StoriesMatter and themes and motifs have a funny way of reemerging, but they may convey the same messages in different ways, usually tailored for the target demographic.

Marianna Ignazzi’s art looks the same as before, loose and dynamic and not very focused on likenesses, which I feel has been the general direction of the series for a while now. There are some dramatic moments that stand out, and I feel like Ignazzi’s art walks the fine line between being graphic enough to get a serious gasp from the reader without feeling cheap. Raúl Angulo’s colorwork here is pretty much the usual fare you’d expect from him. Angulo does brilliant atmosphere work, and you can almost feel the change in temperature when he switches palettes. Ed Dukeshire continues to be a solid contributor to the series with his excellent lettering.

Overall, this issue feels like a solid B+... it has moments of great stuff happening, but, overall, it still feels a little less Buffy than I’d like.    

Creative Team: Jeremy Lambert (writer), Marianna Ignazzi (artist), Raúl Angulo (colorist), Ed Dukeshire (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Click here to purchase.

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