Dark Horse Comics, undoubtedly the king of tie-in comics, might have lost the license for all future Star Wars titles, but the publisher has not that be an obstacle this year, for it launched several new titles in the first quarter of the year and two of these titles are fan-favourites coming back for another run, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 and Angel & Faith Season 10. The first two issues of Buffy, under the pen and pencil of Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs have been quite fascinating issues that have rekindled my interest in the Buffyverse and the series has quickly become one of absolute must-have titles each month.
Released today, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #3 picks up from where we were at the end of issue #2 and is the tale of Xander and Dawn bringing Count Dracula back to the United States for his help in countering all the new (and powerful) vampires who seem to be everywhere these days. There is a hell of a lot of humour in the title this month, largely because of Xander and Dracula’s interaction, and I loved every moment of it. Nicholas Brendon, who played Xander on the show itself, joins Christos Gage on the writing this month while Rebekah and Dan are still on as artists, and all of them turn out another great issue.
Just as with the previous two issues, Steve Morris’ cover for #3 is absolutely stunning. Featuring Buffy and Count Dracula running out of a book (a plot device that becomes apparent later on in the issue), I’m in love with Steve Morris’ work yet again. I don’t know how he does it, turning out such good covers without fail, but he does it, and that’s what matters. At least, that is all that I care about really.
Issue #3, as I have said, has Dracula return with Xander and Dawn to investigate how all the new vampires popping up everywhere seem to be so powerful, and how they have abilities surpass those of even Dracula himself. Not a pretty picture, when you imagine an army of vampires running around, all of whom are more powerful than the greatest vampire who has ever lived. It creates some really tense moments in the issue, but it also lends itself to some really hilarious moments. I don’t remember the episode where Dracula mind-controlled Xander and everything, but that seems to be the crux of the relationship between these two and Dracula’s dismissive treatment of Xander is certainly very irritating.
And not only that, but it all spills over into the other characters as well since Dracula considers himself to be a high noble leaving among peasants and servants. His condescension for everyone around him is… refreshing in a way and I certainly had fun reading all of it.
But that’s not all that this issue is about because it also sheds some more light on the relationship between Xander and Dawn, as well as Buffy and Dowling. We get to see some really emotional moments between the four of them in their separate scenes as pairs, and I liked seeing that side of all of them. It makes them more… well-rounded, more relatable since we get to see some vulnerable sides to them as well as seeing them be all badass and all.
And speaking of badass, there are lots of great action scenes in this issue, paired with some really good, typically-Buffyverse dialogue. Nicholas Brendon and Christos Gage hit that sweet spot between the two once again, and from start to finish, this is one of the most entertaining issues I’ve read all month, and even all year. It is just that good, and I would really, really recommend that people jump on to this title.
Rebekah Isaacs and Dan Jackson are still on as artists, with Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt providing the letters. Buffy is a comic that I prize for its art and I wasn’t disappointed with this issue at all. Buffy, Willow, Xander, Giles, Spike, they are all drawn amazingly well, and though there was somewhat of a misstep with expressions here and there, overall the art is really solid, and it is entirely consistent with the previous two issues. But, that’s what I expect from this creative team anyway, so not much of a surprise.
I really can’t say how much I loved this issue and how much I’m loving this series. You all really need to be reading this, especially if you are a Buffy fan.