Best Shots Extra: BUFFY #32 (Meltzer's First) Review

Preview - BUFFY: SEASON 8 #32 (new arc)

Preview - BUFFY: SEASON 8 #32 (new arc)
Preview - BUFFY: SEASON 8 #32 (new arc)
Best Shots Extra

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #32

From: Dark Horse

Written by Brad Meltzer

Art by Georges Jeanty and Andy Owens

Color by Michelle Madsen

Letters by Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Albert Deschesne

Executive Produced by Joss Whedon

Review by Troy Brownfield

There’s probably no way to write this particular review without addressing some of the external controversy surrounding the book at this point.  Yes, a big plot point was revealed on a different site.  No, I’m not going to discuss that point myself as it doesn’t actually come into play yet in this issue.  Furthermore, I’d ask that you not discuss it below out of courtesy for readers that may not yet know the identity of Twilight.  Now that we’ve settled that, how is Brad Meltzer’s first issue?

Pretty damn good, actually.

As a comics writer, Meltzer’s has had his share of praise and detractors.  I think that it’s definitely safe to say, based on this issue, that he really gets Buffy.  The pace, the tone of humor balanced with more serious events, the intricacies of the characters . . . that’s all present.  So is the overtly funny use of super-hero/comics tropes centering on Buffy’s sudden power increase, an event that lends the issue its title (“Buffy Has F#©$ing Superpowers”).  Xander’s efforts to test the limits of Buffy’s powers are chuckle-worthy, but Dawn’s reaction to what he’s actually doing is priceless.  These moments draw from both established character traits and an overall comics context that really works.

In terms of the serious and continuity-laden bits, Meltzer has a good handle on all of it.  Twilight’s made his big move, including the use of a device that I recognized on sight (with mild disbelief and a big laugh).  The captured characters (Giles, Faith, Andrew) are interesting in this context for a variety of a reasons, and I can’t be sure that we won’t see somebody from the cast making their last stand before this arc is over.  I’ve found it pretty amusing since the outset that Buffy’s big nemesis is a character named “Twilight”, given the obvious Buffy-mining that occurred in that other girl-loves-a-vampire franchise, but I’m left wondering in a sense if Twilight isn’t also a symbol of the fact that Buffy has to stop thinking of herself as just a girl in outlandish situations and accept all of her mantles as woman, mother-figure (to Dawn and the Slayers), and champion in order to overcome her adversary.

From an art standpoint, Jeanty continues to do terrific work.  His likenesses are on-point, his action fluid.  This issue is emblematic of his overall skill.  Between the aforementioned device, fields, bridges, locomotives, body-choked streams, speeding bullets, and more, Jeanty really has to draw it all.  There’s no skirting on backgrounds and the expressions, motion and contexts make sense.  This is strong art.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer continues to be a solid book in all respects.  Meltzer’s take definitely has the energy that I would associate with, say, Season 3, of the television series, and the art really only gets better.  Even if you aren’t a long term fan, you’d probably agree that this issue is worth a look.

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