Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 9, No 18: Welcome to the Team Part 3
Dark Horse Comics
What’s up, everyone! Randall here with the Ungrownups (www.ungrownups.com). Today, I’m reviewing the upcoming issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Season 9, No. 18 “Welcome to the Team: Part 3” published by Dark Horse Comics, scheduled for release on February 13, 2013.
Let me start by saying that this is my first time reading a Buffy comic from start to finish. My opinion is most likely different from a true fan. I think, however, that a truly great comic appeals to all audiences. Sink that shot and you’ve got a best seller!
In this issue, the Siphon has returned and he’s eliminating one magical being after another by absorbing their power (Siphon – get the pun?). Buffy, Koh, and Illyria join forces to stop Severin, before it’s too late!
Part 3 of this 4 part series feels like a rerun I saw six years ago on one of the CW shows. The premise lacks ingenuity, twists, and surprises. We initially find our three heroes in a battle against Severin, the Siphon. No surprise here. This early in the story, it’s predictable that our heroes will slip-up and come close to death…they do. They fail their mission, but find a shred of evidence that helps them understand the villain’s motive. A quick trip to another world, and Severin catches up to them.
If the story is not stopping you from reading more, then perhaps the cheesy one-liners throughout the story will stop you. When I read comics, I’m looking for story, not cheesy fillers. As I read through this story for a 2nd and 3rd time, I found myself saying, “C’mon, give me more!”
More does come…with less. There’s a small twist at the end of this story that I can honestly say leaves me asking for more. I was about to close my electronic copy of this comic during my first read-through. Just as I was about to close the file, the ending caught me by surprise! This ending alone makes the rerun feel forgivable.
While the story felt like a rerun, the artwork felt like it was done with the finesse of a Wal-Mart customer service representative. It lacked in attention to detail. A lot of the panels felt like they were completed quickly and with a looming deadline. Perhaps, I’m being a little harsh, but the artwork didn’t seem to catch my attention. I didn’t want to get lost in the scene. In fact, there were a couple of pages in which the Buffy and Koh’s faces look a bit distorted. I wonder if it was a deadline or funding that makes the artwork feel like a wholesale compilation of the same backdrops and colors.
In an environment that portrays a message without audio, ambience is key to creating the mood for any comic. The distinct underlying tones of the green/yellow feel (it works for the Packers, so why not a comic?) during conflict and blue/grey feel of despair helped to create a soundtrack for the story. This was a very interesting effect. While simplistic in implementation, the effect helps to enhance a lacking story by creating the feeling that the authors wish you to feel.
Earlier, I mentioned that this issue had some cheesy one-liners. Lines such as “I’ll let the sword answer.” and “Why can’t you keep your pointy little stake out of this?!” caused my eyes to roll. I could have written that line! C’mon, Give me something more.! Give me something that tells me more about the character. The dialogue in this comic lacked when it came to grabbing the interest of the reader. I could easily have read this comic without reading a single bit of dialogue. Where the art tells the story, the story does nothing to provide more information that the art leaves out.
Before you dismiss running out to your nearest Comic Store, or purchasing this comic on your supped up electronic device, let me try to convince you otherwise. My review of Part 3 is, simply, the review of Part 3 of a 4 part series. I see a story as a journey from one point to another that has many good and low points. In all the books I’ve ever read, I cannot say that I’ve enjoyed every page, but I’ve always enjoyed the “journey” to the end. Buffy, Season 9, No. 18 offers just one part of a story. It would be a shame to not explore the story more. While I criticized most of the elements of this story (story, artwork, and dialogue), the ending still left me wanting more. That alone says a lot about this story. I am surprised when I say that I would purchase this issue and the following issue. Surprisingly, when I look at the “purchase” button on my Nook, I know that I’m going to hit “Confirm” for this issue and the issue that follows!