Overview

Buffy The Vampire Slayer #31

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Buffy The Vampire Slayer #31

Credits

  • Words: Joss Whedon
  • Art: Georges Jeanty
  • Inks: Andy Owens
  • Colors: Michelle Madsen
  • Story Title: Turbulence
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jan 13, 2010

It’s bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s… Buffy?

Earlier this month, a revelation pertaining to one of this title’s main twists was leaked and it practically broke the inter-web in half. To be completely honest, knowing that certain spoiler almost increased my enjoyment of this issue, exponentially. When the issue diverges and deals with plot points regarding spoiled material, knowing the things to come gives these actions a new layer of gravitas and mystery. Sure, we now know the who… but the why is so much more intriguing.

Created as a canonical continuation to the television show’s mythology, Season 8 is building a new momentum not felt this strongly since Bryan K. Vaughn’s Faith-centric arc. Thirty-one issues in, and story points are finally being readdressed in exciting ways. Joss Whedon comes back to writing chores on the title for this one-shot to remind just how well he knows the characters and exactly why we fell in love with them in the first place.

Last we left Buffy and her army of Slayers, they were holding up in Tibet, freely giving away their powers in order to remain hidden. Nothing really worked out as planned and one large battle later (involving tanks and giant gods, no less), Buffy finds herself imbued with super powers. Sure, she already possessed enhanced strength and reflexes, but flight had never been a part of her skill set before. The book opens with her flying through the air, confused, intrigued, and scared by her new abilities, as well as the desire to keep them hidden for now.

The purpose of this issue is strictly smash and grab, creating a character-based one-off story that bridges two arcs. In this case, reconciling Jane Espenson’s previous story with Brad Meltzer’s upcoming superhero themed take on the heroine. Almost brilliant in its simplicity, Whedon takes this opportunity to give us a conversation between Xander and Buffy that seems to have been building for the better part of a decade. This scene is, without a doubt, one of the most fun and satisfying scenes I have read in recent memory. It’s equal parts bittersweet and hilarious in a style that only this writer has been able to capture on a consistent basis.

Tipping the scales is the beautiful art of Georges Jeanty with complementary inks by Andy Owens. The two have worked on the majority of this title’s issues creating a visual language that has become comfortable and synonymous with the characters. No small feat for a pre-established franchise with a very large fan base. Jeanty has been able to use actors’ likenesses without letting them confine his fluid and sometimes loose style. He has given this series of comics a visual representation that isn’t married to anything that came before in its other medium.

Spoilers be darned, after a few weaker arcs, Buffy seems to have finally reached the end of its second act, breaking into its third with excitement. There’re only nine issues left in this macro plot that is Season 8 and we are starting to see the gears crank with new speed and purpose.

Color me excited.

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Comments

  • Eric Lindberg

    Eric Lindberg Jan 15, 2010 at 5:59pm

    The spoilers may not have bothered you but they royally pissed me off. Really, Dark Horse? The story's been building for this long and you let the twist slip two months in advance? I really hate this trend in the comics industry of revealing big secrets and plot developments in interviews and solicits. I'd rather read the actual stories, thank you very much. I'm old fashioned that way. Buffy is still a great comic and I did enjoy this issue. But Dark Horse has lost some of my respect with the way they handled this.

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