With Silas on their tail, the Scoobies are in crisis mode, trying to figure out ways to deal with the impending crisis. Meanwhile, Morgan (the Slayer before Buffy) is still trying to find an exit strategy for her life, with no guarantees that her life will ever be normal. With Machiavellian plans coming to the fore, what can the future hold?
Issue #28 feels like the convergence point of the last sixteen issues or so, with all things sort of coming to a head, of sorts, just before we get to some major stuff. With such a wide breadth of issues to tell a story, this issue, unfortunately, shows how tenuous the connective tissue that holds all of these issues together really is. There have been a lot of plot points that have been brought up over the last 16+ issues: 1. The introduction of Kendra; 2. The introduction of Faith; 3. The introduction of Morgan, the Slayer before Buffy and her connection to Anya and their mutual distrust of the Watchers’ Council; and 4. The Watchers’ Council's agenda that’s seemingly their more proactive approach to taking down evil, which ties right back to Faith. In theory, these plot points could have been a recipe for a highly engaging and extremely innovative take on the Buffyverse. Unfortunately, it has felt mostly like a lot of disparate pieces being built up with no real guiding vision for the big picture, and so we, the readers, have been left with a patchwork jigsaw puzzle of some kind of Picasso-esque Buffyverse. It’s unsettling, it’s unfortunate, and it’s borderline unacceptable, especially if things don’t clarify soon.
Jeremy Lambert pulls in bits from his Faith one-shot in here, directly connecting that to that narrative. While I appreciate the effort to do so, what it does is draw attention to how confusing that narrative was, and in my humble opinion, the Faith narrative would’ve been better served if it had been deftly incorporated into the main series instead. As it stands, Faith’s MO and her attachment to the Watchers’ Council are very underdeveloped, and the schism between her and the rest of the Slayers and the Scoobies seems underbaked, despite all attempts to tell us why. And as I’ve said before, the entire “Ring of Fire” saga has really lost the “Buffy” of it all… it’s as if the main character has been lost in the shuffle and that’s beyond unfortunate. That being said, there is a bright moment where Buffy has a very “Buffy” moment, where she subverts the expectations and takes the “lesson” that’s been impressed upon her and turns it on its head to a possible advantage. Lambert writes that moment perfectly, giving us a that great moment from “Chosen” that’s one of the most iconic Buffyverse moments ever.
Valentina Pinti’s artwork juggles the mix of likenesses and storytelling quite nicely, with an emphasis on the interpersonal relationships. Raúl Angulo’s colors keep the title looking consistent, with some beautiful moodwork throughout the book. Ed Dukeshire’s letterwork keeps the proceedings uncomplicated, allowing simple appreciation for the issue.
Overall, this issue looks great and reads well, too, but it’s a constant reminder of the weaknesses of the last 18 months, and that’s not a legacy deserving of the title.
Creative Team: Jeremy Lambert (writer), Valentina Pinti (artist), Raúl Angulo (colorist), Ed Dukeshire (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studio
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