Review – Willow #2 Wonderland Part 2

Script: Jeff Parker
Inks: Jason Gorder
Pencils: Brian Ching
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Cover: David Mack
Alternate Cover: Megan Lara
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

Willow, in a magical wonderland with her new friend Marrack, is in a fight with a big nasty who almost gets the best of Marrak before Willow works her magic mojo. With the nasty inevitably meeting a particularly gruesome end she now has to deal with a snide caterpillar who is quite pissed at the mess she has left behind. Soon into her journey Willow starts meeting some interesting creatures, some of which are good and others that are very bad. Willow quickly learns that she has quite a reputation when she meets up with an old friend. She thinks she has found what she has been looking for but is disappointed in the results. Will she find the answers to restore magic in the world or is the journey hopeless?

I really like this Willow series, she has always been an interesting character and she has always been deserving of a more concentrated storyline. Her voice is captured nicely and the art is beautiful. The story itself is progressing at a nice pace and the extra characters have proved to be pretty interesting thus far. I enjoyed this issue, it is definitely an entertaining read and obviously a must read for Buffy fans!

Release Date: December 5th, 2012

Link: Dark Horse Digital

Story:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★½☆ 

Review – Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 #9 Apart (of me) Part Two

Script: Andrew Chambliss and Scott Allie
Pencils: Cliff Richards
Inks: Andy Owens
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Cover: Phil Noto
Alternate Cover: Georges Jeanty with Dexter Vines and Michelle Madsen
Created By: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

Phil Noto Cover

This issue begins with RoboBuffy, Spike and Andrew arriving at the real Buffy’s house. They find signs of a struggle and Buffy is nowhere to be found. RoboBuffy is having trouble dealing with all of the things she has just learned about herself and that everything she believed to be true, isn’t. As Andrew bumbles along, it becomes clear that he actually did think this through and has put some safeties in place for situations such as these. They get a lead on Buffy’s whereabouts and off they go to rescue her. Meanwhile, Simone is beating and berating Buffy and is having trouble figuring out that Buffy has no idea what is happening. Buffy has no memory of Simone let alone that she is the Slayer. Spike, RoboBuffy and Andrew arrive in the vicinity of where they believe Buffy to be and they separate in an effort to find her. One of them however runs into a surprise along the way that none of them expected. While all of this search and rescue business is going down, Xander, Dawn and Detective Dowling are on their own mission. They are searching for Dowling’s on a rampage, recently zompire turned (ex) partner. Dowling is taking the loss hard and soon appears to be in over his head!

I liked this issue, I really liked the way the interactions between Spike and RoboBuffy have subtlety changed. Andrew’s explanations of why he did what he did seem genuine and it really appears that he thought he was doing the right, good thing. I really enjoyed the dialog in this issue a lot, it felt very real and believable. The art was great and both of the Buffy’s emotions were captured well. All in all it was a solid read and truthfully I was initially unhappy with the direction the story line was going. I decided to suspend snap judgments and gave it a chance and I’m happy I did. It will be very interesting to see how everything progresses from here.

Georges Jeanty Cover

Release Date: May 9th, 2012

Links: Pre-Order | Preview

Rating:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Review – Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 #8 – Apart Of Me Part 1

Script: Andrew Chambliss and Scott Allie
Pencils: Cliff Richards
Inks: Andy Owens
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Cover: Phil Noto
Alternate Cover: Georges Jeanty with Dexter Vines and Michelle Madsen
Created By: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

It’s finally here, after what seemed like an eternity, we finally get answers! Buffy, after losing her arm and finding out she’s not human (?) is not having the best day. She’s pissed and she wants to know what the hell is going on. She and Spike go to Andrew and demand an explanation, there’s some pregnancy talk amongst other things but Andrew in a, “what’s the big deal” kind of way, is not giving Buffy what she needs. After a little prodding, he spills the beans and explains the entire thing! Buffy and Spike are confused, hurt and mostly just mad. There is a little bit of Spuffy action followed by a very angry Spike. We also check in with Xander and Dawn, who it seems like we really haven’t seen for an eternity and all does not seem well there. Finally, a nasty makes their return but as of now their intentions are unknown.

This issue wasn’t bad but it did feel like a couple really complex storylines were wrapped up quite easily. The pregnancy, the Buffy Bot, all taken care of, just like that! There was some mention of the Siphon and not wanting to get too spoilery, the nasty who returns (again) could be interesting especially because they didn’t do what would have been expected of them. Having Andrew in this issue provided some laughs, his goofiness and obliviousness are always great. The art was good and so was the dialog but ultimately it just felt like it was missing something. Obviously, it’s a must read for those of us who were dying at the end of the last issue but don’t expect too much, hopefully this new arc will get everything back on track!

Release Date: April 11th, 2012

Links: Pre-Order | Preview

Story:★★★☆☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★½☆ 

Review – Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 #6 On Your Own Part 1

Script: Andrew Chambliss
Pencils:: Georges Jeanty
Inks: Karl Story
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Cover: Phil Noto
Alternate Cover: Georges Jeanty with Dexter Vines & Michelle Madsen
Created By: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

Phil Noto Cover

This review will largely have me fawning over Spike. I try to act impartial but when it comes to the awesomeness that is Spike, it becomes very hard to do. This issue has Buffy dealing with the aftermath of the news that she learned at the end of the last issue. She seeks advice from someone who has first hand knowledge of what it’s like to fall into an impossible situation where the answers aren’t so easy. As Buffy is getting advice and trying to figure out her future, Spike is on a ride-a-long with Officer Dowling. Spike is trying to teach him about the subtleties of zompires. As Spike is explaining the enigma that is Buffy, he receives a S.O.S call from her and without hesitation he’s on his way (swoon). Buffy spills life changing news to Spike, who does nothing but listen and be supportive. As Buffy asks Spike for help, Spike again, without missing a beat is there for her.

This issue is very good and very sad. Spike is amazing, from his very concise summary of his and Buffy’s “story” to his right into action chivalrous behavior. The art is fantastic, the somber tone is captured extremely well. I love the cover, it is irrefutable that Spike has Buffy’s back (without judgment) both literally and figuratively and this is what makes him the best. This issue is the first in a two issue story arc which hopefully will conclude in a not so easy wrap-up in the next issue. Hopefully, I didn’t fawn too much, but I think once everyone reads the issue my Spike love will be understood!

Georges Jeanty Cover

Release Date: February 8th, 2011

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Review – Angel & Faith #6 Daddy Issues Part 1

Script: Christos Gage
Art: Rebekah Isaacs
Colors: Dan Jackson
Cover: Steve Morris
Alternative Cover: Rebekah Isaacs with Dan Jackson
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

Steve Morris Cover

This issue begins with Angel following his highly trained nose which is detecting the smell of blood. He knows that smell is never good and in this particular case it’s beyond not good. Flashback to Giles as a youth who is attempting to pass his Watcher final alongside a group of kids gathered together expecting a powerful vampire who, instead meet a crazy dangerous and powerful Lorophage demon with disastrous results. Meanwhile, Faith is knee-deep in her own problems as she continues to work with her small group of Slayers. As one of the Slayer trainees almost stakes a human (he claims he’s a vampire) Faith begins to see a pattern and a potential problem. A vampire named “Mother Superior” seems to be going around town wreaking havoc, however she’s not actually killing or siring anyone so there’s not a lot of justification to slay her. Faith takes her concerns to Angel. Angel who has been reading the Watcher Files, begins to wonder if the Lorophage demon is rearing its ugly head and takes his concerns to Alasdair Coames. Angel and Faith search for “Mother Superior” and end up finding her in a church/vampire club (what town doesn’t have one of these?). I won’t reveal who she is for the sake of the three people who have tried to stay spoiler free. Faith also has a surprise waiting for her when she meets up with her Slayers!

The Giles flashback is great, he’s such an awesome, interesting character and getting these little glimpses into his past is always intriguing. Giles’ flashback really provides some insight into how he evolved into the Giles we know and love. This entire issue was fantastic, “Mother Superior” will definitely provide some great storylines and she’s always a great addition. The somewhat lost in the shuffle Faith visitor (because of Mother Superior) will be super intriguing and it should give us some unexplored insight into Faith. Everything about this issue was spot on, the art as usual is wonderful, the dialog is great and the story is really shaping up to be amazing. I love where this series is going and I can’t wait to get there!

Rebekah Issacs Cover

Release Date: January 25th, 2012

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #4 Freefall Part Four

Script: Andrew Chambliss
Pencils: Georges Jeanty
Inks: Dexter Vines
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Cover: Steve Morris
Alternate Cover: Georges Jeanty With Dexter Vines and Dave Stewart
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

Georges Jeanty Cover

We begin this issue with a short flashback that gives us even more insight into Severin and his motivations.  Is he genuinely bad or does he think what he’s doing is just?  Who’s “leading” him? Most importantly, will he succeed in his mission to kill Buffy?  Chances are, probably not, but it is a safe bet that he will keep trying until someone or something stops him permanently.  This issue really highlights the huge mess that is Buffy’s life.  Her friends are keeping their distance (except Spike of course), her roommates may stumble upon some very questionable things that Buffy keeps in her room, and finally Buffy is placed on the police’s most wanted list.  For any of us this may seem like a hole that no one could climb out of; but, this is Buffy.  Very little phases her, she has learned to take life’s little (little for her anyway) obstacles as they come and eventually she will get everything sorted out. As she begins to get everything back on track we learn that Severin is not working alone and really seems to be  manipulated and used as a pawn by someone we have met before!

Steve Morris Cover

There is some good action in this issue along with some very good banter/dialog.  As I said in a previous review, Buffy and Willow’s relationship is definitely on the mend and it was nice seeing them interact with what appeared to be only a slight feeling of animosity.  The issue was very good and really seems to be keeping a nice pace with adding a few surprises here and there!

Release Date: December 14th, 2011

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

 

Review – Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 9 #3 Freefall Part Three

Script: Andrew Chambliss
Pencils: Georges Jeanty
Inks: Dexter Vines
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Cover: Steve Morris
Alternate Cover: Georges Jeanty
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

Steve Morris Cover

Freefall part 3, where to begin? This issue really drives the story forward. We learn a lot in this issue, and along the way there are some very shocking twists and turns. In Freefall part three we meet a new type of Slayer who has a very hands on approach to slaying and undoubtedly will raise some questions about what it means to be a Slayer. We learn a great deal about his past, what got him to this point and what his intentions are. Unfortunately, with the exception of Spike (yet again), this new character is the only one helping Buffy as she is still on the lam from the police. With the seeds destruction still looming, we learn that there are even more consequences than previously imagined. Vampires seem “different” and not just in that, ve vant to suck your blood kind of way. The one good thing that does come out of this new revelation about vamp 2.0 is that it appears Buffy and Willow’s relationship is finally on the mend. The police are still searching for Buffy claiming that they “just want to talk to her” and we find that Xander and Dawn are still having domestic issues, to which I say good, end it already! Spike being the dashing, debonair hero, is on his own mission attempting to find out who and or what is after Buffy. What he finds out is far beyond what he initially imagined and is critical to Buffy’s survival. The only question becomes, will he be too late? I think we can safely say, probably not, he’s Spike, I mean really, as long as he isn’t on a platform trying to save Dawn, what can’t he do!

This issue was very good, easily the best so far of season 9. It feels like everyone is hitting their stride. The story is moving along nicely, the dialog is good, however missing some of the snark, and the art is amazing. The ending is fabulous and has a great cliffhanger that will definitely have everyone chomping at the bit for #4. I think it’s obvious that I would recommend this issue without hesitation…Go. Get. It.

Georges Jeanty Cover

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 
Release Date: November 9th, 2011

Review – Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 9 #2 Freefall Part 2

Script: Andrew Chambliss
Pencils: Georges Jeanty
Inks: Dexter Vines
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Cover: Steve Morris
Alternate Cover: Georges Jeanty
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse Comics

Steve Morris Cover

A quick recap of Freefall Part 1, we find Buffy attempting to start a new life in San Fransisco as she tries to find and understand her place in the world.  Buffy is also battling some of her fiercest enemies yet, bill collectors!  Most importantly though, she is struggling with the destruction of the seed and the repercussions that it is having on the world and her friends. In issue #2 Georges Jeanty’s artwork is superb and captures the nuances of the characters in a remarkable way.  His work really helps to put the final touches on the emotions that Buffy and the Scoobies are feeling.

In Freefall Part 2 we find Buffy still struggling with her place in the world and what she wants to do with her life.  Still seeing the ramifications from the lack of magic in the world, she is still doing her best to not deal with it.  Buffy is at a crossroads wishing that she could just be normal and not have to be the defender of the world.  This time though she not only has to deal with demony types trying to get her, she now has regular old humans after her too.

We have appearances by the whole crew and have Spike doing what he does best, being sarcastic and, above all, having Buffy’s back.  We also see Xander and Dawn being kind of thoughtless and downright jerky to Buffy, especially considering that they would be dead many times over if not for her.  I really hope this entire Xander and Dawn dating storyline wraps up soon, I for one am not a fan of it!  Finally, we are left with a very interesting, can’t wait to see what happens, “twist”(hint, hint).  Depending on how this new storyline plays out it could be really different and awesome.  I would definitely recommend reading this comic, it is moving the storyline along nicely and is a must read, I already can’t wait for the next one.

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★☆☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆