Comic: Buffy The Vampire Slayer – Season 11 (Issue #3)
Release Date: January 27, 2017
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Buffy The Vampire Slayer has proven to be a cultural phenomenon for more than two decades, with the comic book series allowing Joss Whedon to continue the ‘Buffyverse’ all the way into Season 11 (the fourth season in comic form). As always, the series has explored topics and societal issues that have given them a platform through exceptional storytelling, and this season is no different. With tensions arising between humans versus supernatural beings, a worldwide divide is sparking, causing animosity toward one another.
Buffy and the Scoobies come to face the issues immediately, as the core group realizes slayers are given an opportunity to be enlisted by the government to round up the supernatural entities and force them into the “safe place” that sounds more like population control and surveillance of those they fear they can’t control. The issue provides Buffy with the opportunity to see what has come of some slayers through the chaos of being called 'twilight,' the rebellion of Simone, loss of magic and rebirth of a seed (slayers have really had to keep up with Buffy or get lost in the shuffle). It is clear that not all have used their slayer-ness to do what was intended, but Buffy stands firm on her beliefs and morality, a beacon in the Buffyverse that is always welcomed.
A change of power for Spike and Buffy becomes a large part of the ongoing plot by being forced into a situation, Buffy making the choice on her own accord to become vulnerable but stay strong in the face of adversity. Spike, on the other hand, offers himself as a means to end a battle in the vein of growth and compassion the former villain wasn’t always known to have. That growing connection between Spike and Buffy is a large part of the proof that these characters continue to progress personally and evolve from their past, making Buffy the truest form of a series continuation possible. The relationship doesn’t feel remotely forced and is a perfect way to remind us that, after all that they’ve gone through (since Season 2), they may understand each other better than any other characters in the Buffyverse.
Willow and Buffy find themselves on the same page for the first time in quite awhile after having polarizing opinions on how to deal with issues stemming from magic and Big Bads over the years. With so much at stake, the timing is crucial for them to be on a united front, and I can now see why it was stated that Buffy, Spike and Willow would be a focal point for the season. Willow has become a mother-like role model to many Wiccans in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so, when her students become targeted by this mystical discrimination, she prepares herself to fight for their safety and security -- Willow is still considered to practically be a goddess in terms of her continuously changing power.
Even though these characters aren’t exactly the same people they were years ago, the things that make them tick individually are still clearly present, and, if anything, everyone has fallen into a place in life where they feel a larger responsibility than they have had to face and how to handle things they didn’t foresee becoming an issue. With Christos Gage, once again, capturing the livewire energy of Buffy and Rebekah Isaacs bringing her wonderful view of the Buffyverse to life, Season 11 is a comic must-read.
Overall Score: 8.5/10
Aedan’s Final Thoughts:
– Even when Buffy is placed in the spotlight, she finds a way to be relatable and unprepared for what life throws at her -- but never have any doubt that the true chosen one can handle what comes her way.
– A military presence when it comes to the supernatural/Scoobies doesn’t always end well ... hopefully this “safe place” isn’t what we are all expecting it to be.
– Spike and Buffy being a true partnership is one of (okay, number one) the healthiest dynamics we’ve seen in the series.
– It seems like Giles may be ready to go through his own growth, as he tries to find a balance between who he was and who he is now.
– Giving Dawn a break from the madness is a nice touch after a tumultuous experience last year.