Boom Studios Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer #23
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Jeremy Lambert
Art: Ramon Bachs
Colors: Raul Angulo
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Reviewer: Tony Farina
The Scooby Gang has been torn apart… and no one is safe. Giles, Willow, Ethan (sorry, still a ghost) and Anya have discovered the true threat of the multiverse…one that changes everything they thought they knew. But while Buffy must fight the Slayer from Before, it seems that Xander has returned…
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #23 features some solid work from Ramon Bach and Raul Angelo. They do the the heavy lifting here. In particular, their Dark Willow is stunning. This whole series has been a feast on the eyes, but this one is particularly great because Angulo manages to capture the darkness quite well. Letterer Ed Dukeshire should be paid his weight in gold this month because this book is FULL of dialogue bubbles and exposition. He manages to make sure nothing gets in the way of the rest of the team all while making sure nothing is lost. If colors are equivalent to the score, letters are the lighting. You only notice it when it is bad.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #23 has a slayer problem. Now that Faith, Buffy and Kendra are all together, it does not work. On paper, yes, I know comics are on paper, but bear with me on this, having three slayers should be awesome. I never liked how Kendra was killed off in the series and I thought Faith deserved a bit better as well. Here is the chance for them all to shine, but in order to have them all there, that means there is SOOOOOO much going on. Everyone needs time to talk. They each have a watcher. The watchers are supposed to have time to talk. Then there is the gang. Time for them to talk. Of course, the real story is the Willow/Xander story, but is it? Wait, what about Anya and Morgan?
OK. Do you see the problem? This issue is really designed to be part of a longer story and while that is admirable, it is being sold as a monthly. I am not suggesting readers can’t remember what happened last month, they can, but I am suggesting that there is too much going on and too many characters and story lines that this is all a bit muddled. Plus, and this is not slight on Lambert, but I can really tell that Jordie is not righting this book anymore. She is missed.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #23 feels like it has moved the story along, but really, it has muddied the waters a bit. It isn’t bad per-se, but it isn’t super strong either. I think, when one goes back and reads this as part of the collected works, it will be a nice strong condiment. You would notice if it wasn’t there, but you won’t think too much about it. I feel like the Ring of Fire tease and the multiverse theory has been dragged on long enough. Let’s get to it.