10
Feb
2012
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 #6
Review
Chris
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 #6
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Andrew Chambliss
Penciller: Georges Jeanty


I was very skeptical after last issue's cliffhanger. And now I feel guilty for giving into such skepticism, because the approach that Chambliss and company take to this issue is anything but the standard cliches and inevitable downward spiral that I usually expect from properties that employ this particular trope. Sorry I don't wanna spoil anything so this review is gonna lean towards the vague side.

Following the shocking end of last issue, Buffy seeks out an old friend and a familiar face who hasn't been seen in awhile for some advice. Meanwhile Spike teams up with new face and possible Buffy love interest Detective Dowling to teach him how to kill vampires.

As one of the few, and I dare say ardent fans, of this issue's special guest star I was thrilled at this characters inclusion both because their insight makes sense given Buffy's current predicament, and just because I have sorely missed them since they were shuffled off the board some time ago. The conversation between these two is well crafted and natural and leaves me hoping this isn't the last we will see of this character in these pages.

The body cop duo of Spike of the new cop character that has become a fixture of season 9 is just as much fun as you'd expect it to be. It's no easy task to introduce a new character into such an established ensemble, one that were defined by actors in a different medium, and have them hold their own against traditional favorites, but Dowling's willingness to accept the unknown and the insight and understanding he shows towards Spike is a welcome divergence from the relationship you would expect these two possible romantic rivals to have.

This issue is all about subverting expectations of cliches and the usual storytelling paths. You would not expect an issue of Buffy to be this bold, but the final exchange between Buffy and Spike tackles the problem in the most frank, honest, mature, and unflinching way possible, elevating this comic to a whole new level of good and reminds readers that these creators know exactly what they are doing. The decisions the characters make in this issue are sure to have ramifications for the rest of this volume if not many more to come, and I'm eager to see the journey.

Georges Jeanty has been steadily improving and honing his craft on this title over the last six years, and it would be hard to argue that he isn't on the top of his game right now. While Buffy's likeness still leaves something to be desired, the rest of the cast is instantly recognizable. And while Jeanty's figures are as expressive as you would hope for an issue that is primarily composed of heart felt discussions, it is his attention to background detail that I would applaud for this particular issue, as Jeanty does not take the shortcuts that many lesser artists would given the variety of locations he had to draw this issue, and each panel is just as detailed and consistent as the last.

This is a great issue, and if the mainstream media coverage hasn't spoiled the content for you, run to your nearest local comic shop and check it out for yourself.

Grade: A-
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