Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Season 10 / Issue #14
Script: Christos Gage
Art: Rebekah Isaacs
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Dark Horse Comics
This Review Contains Spoilers:
The issue kicks off with the core scoobies attempting to discover a connection between Spike’s nightmares and multiple murders throughout San Francisco, and as it turns out – he’s been dreaming of the victims. After ultimately realizing this potential association between the killer and Spike, it’s decided (to Spike’s dismay) that Buffy will enter his dream space to retrace the trail of this outside influence. In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when dreams are evaluated you can guarantee personal discoveries will be made or truths will surface, and this issue maintained the Whedon-y influence.
We are shown Buffy’s perspective as she sauntered through Spike’s history; initially his first thoughts quickly unveil his deep rooted love for Buffy – which subsequently brings the slayer to tears. Concern, admiration, respect, insecurities, all of the emotions exhibited by Spike, Buffy admittedly reciprocates and notes that the lasting emotion is in fact true love. The Spuffy “will they or won’t they” relationship has been circled over the course of the show and comics, never having that full fledged relationship that was so clearly needed. Buffy is guided through the darkest of Spike’s past, including the many individuals he murdered throughout his life as a soulless vampire, but a charming panel written by Christos Gage best explains that Buffy feels the darkest of moments are worth a fraction of the love she felt from what she sees in Spike. There seems to be this new maturity about the two that allows for open communication between the Slayer and Vampire that has been strained for both in the Buffyverse. A small, but critical moment takes place afterwards, when Buffy makes an offhanded remark about being in love with Spike, which he catches after a slight delay. The writer (Gage) has laid the tracks to setup an authentic relationship between Buffy and Spike, after going through extreme highs and tragic lows. They both are willing to overcome obstacles and fight for the connection they feel, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t warm my heart in every way. Of course, this is a Whedon title so I am smart enough to brace myself for more pain and heartbreak at any possible moment, I just would like to see the two have substantial happiness…with each other only.
Besides the romantic progress, major plot points were blended in effortlessly and Gage managed to provide awareness to the vampire mythology that went un-addressed throughout the series seven year run; as it turns out, the demonic force that inhabits the human stems from the same vampire conduit. This indicates that Spike, Drusilla, Darla, Angel, and the Master all have an influence by an old one who is revealed to be named Archaeus. I can’t say I would have ever expected them to make a connection to siring, which is what makes this new Buffy revelation more effective. It only seems natural to transfer a demonic source as opposed to creating one, and merging it with a human shell. Not only is Archaeus in play, but his influence over his descendants leaves potential trouble for the core, and poor Spike is once again in jeopardy.
Introducing an ancient evil with such deep connections makes it distinctly possible that Angel (and possibly Drusilla?) will make returns to the Buffy title, to provide more complications for the characters survival, and the current Buffy and Spike kinship. What does Archaeus have planned, and what are his current reasons for influencing Spike? As we hit the halfway mark next moth we can expect more answers to emerge from the series.
Overall this issue contains everything a Buffy fan can hope for, setting up for a promising story in the months to come.
Overall Grade: 10/10
Aedan’s final Thoughts
– Rebekah Issacs returns as the artist, and gives some of the best panels of her involvement with BTVS, supplying familiarity and conveying emotions effortlessly.
-Buffy and Spike become more enchanting with each interaction they share.
-Christos Gage brings such life to this issue, with a heavy task of exploring the mind with a limited amount of pages
-A new dynamic to the Buffy mythos is impressive, and unexpected.