Buffy the Vampire Slayer #32


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Buffy the Vampire Slayer #32


  • Words: Brad Meltzer
  • Art: Georges Jeanty
  • Inks: Andy Owens
  • Colors: Michelle Madsen
  • Story Title: Twilight - Chapter One: Buffy Has F#(C)$ing Superpowers
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Feb 3, 2010

Coming off a strong Joss Whedon one shot, Buffy the Vampire Slayer #32 has the air of a story that’s ready to burst at the seams. This is a good thing. For nearly three years, loyalists have been following this mega-plot over the course of multiple arcs. It’s starting to feel like that patience is about to pay off.

Written by Brad Meltzer (Identity Crisis, Justice League of America, Book of Fate), with art by series regular Georges Jeanty, this issue marks the penultimate arc for the Season 8 experiment. Did it go on too long? Perhaps. Were there peaks and valleys in quality? You could make that argument. If Meltzer and Whedon stick the landing, will it have been worth it? I sure think so!

When we last left Buffy, she had newly acquired superpowers and without her knowledge, three of her closest allies had been captured. This issue picks up the very next day, with a fascinated Xander wanting to test Buffy’s new abilities. Despite Dawn’s protests, Xander and Buffy proceed to run down a list of superhero clichés just to see which one’s she can accomplish.

Flight: check!

Super strength: check!

Faster than a speeding bullet: …well, I’ll let you figure that one out.

Most surprisingly, the humor of this issue is firing on all cylinders, endearing us to these characters even more. These people have become so well defined over the years that placing them in new situations and nailing it tonally is a real feat and joy to read. Kudos to Meltzer, who has not had a comic hit stands since DC’s Last Will and Testament back in 2008.

Any fan of the series and these characters can tell you though, there is an ominous feel over the whole shebang. It commonly gets funny and comfortable right before the rug gets pulled out from under you. By issue's end, we are clued into the macabre source of Buffy’s new powers and half of the Scooby Gang is directly in harm’s way. 

Meltzer’s comic work has been hit or miss over the years, but he writes this story very confidently. One can’t help but go along for the ride. Also, he writes it with a comic book nomenclature that makes the issue enjoyable on a meta-textual level, right down to the Fraction/Uncanny character boxes.

What can be said about Georges Jeanty’s pencils that hasn’t already? He and his inker, Andy Owens, maintain a perfect blend of familiarity and cartoon style that keeps the art loose, but carries real weight. The colors by Michelle Madsen only add to the tone and style of the book. The palette remains on the lighter side and approachable. No matter how bleak things get, these characters shine bright and the art team really drives that home spectacularly.

With their creative juices flowing and this story coming to a close within the year, the fanboy inside can’t help but get excited. Sure, we know the big bad’s identity, but it has yet to cloud my excitement about the reveal. It’s no longer about wanting to know who’s behind it all. Now, it’s about wanting desperately to see these characters react and the drama that’s likely to ensue. It almost makes me question what’s better, a satisfying shock in the end or the anticipation a well-told story can evoke?

Let’s hope Whedon and company can provide a pretty cake that’s also edible.

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  • Eric Lindberg

    Eric Lindberg Feb 6, 2010 at 1:51pm

    Sadly, the reveal of the big bad has clouded my enjoyment somewhat. Really annoyed by how that played out. But I suppose we still have the unanswered question of "why" as opposed to "who." And that said, this was an enjoyable issue. Loved the comic references and the other characters' reactions when they figured out what Buffy and Xander were doing.

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