Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 12: the Reckoning #1 - Review. Feels Like Old Times
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 12 - the Reckoning #1
Story: Joss Whedon & Christos Gage
Pencils: Georges Jeanty
Inks: Karl Story
Colors: Dan Jackson
This was a different week of pulls for me. I didn't read anything from Marvel. And it's the first time since my return to reading and reviewing single issues that I spent a significant chunk of my time reading things from publishers other than the big two. Thank goodness or that serendipitous occasion of timing, as it allowed me to read Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 12 - the Reckoning #1. Yeah, say what you will about the title being a mouthful. The issue earned every word.
If you are a long-time fan of Buffy and Joss Whedon like I am, you're going to feel right as rain reading this issue. It is like classic Buffy, to the point where you would have sworn that David Fury wrote the episode's script himself. It has all of the hallmark dialogue and character pinwheels of the signature series. Dawn and Xander are married and have a kid. Buffy, now 30 years old, does part-time work for the local police force. The Scooby Gang is all at the Harris house for the house-warming, when Angel and Illyria show up and let them know that impending doom is on the way, courtesy of Wolfram and Hart. It's time to saddle up. One. Last. Time.
Supposedly, this is the swan song for Buffy and her crew. The last Buffy tale to be written ever. At least with Whedon directly at the helm, I assume? If so, it is off to a raucous start. While Jeanty's style is not one that particularly suits my tastes, it is not bad work. Jackson does a great job on colors. Buffy and Angel comics always provide a great opportunity for colorists to play with deep reds (because, ya know, vampires), and Jackson does a superb job with the various shadows being given off by multiple explosions or just demonic fire. One thing I do like about Jeanty's style is that he is doing the original work. Meaning that characters clearly look like their actor or actress counterparts, but not photo-realistic to the extent that some other comics are doing it; the ones that make you question whether or not the face is a scan of the actor/actress and not original artwork.
If you are going to write the outro of the most important female protagonists of the modern era, and you don't have time to script every issue yourself, Christos Gage is not a bad person to mount up with. As I mentioned, all of the voices are here. All the lines. "Buffy! Are you wearing your scythe around the baby again?" There's a bit here where Buffy and Spike tell Angel and Illyria about their breakup and they say the exact same thing in sync, indicating how much they rehearsed what they were going to tell people. And Illyria is written such that this comic proves that she is the best Buffy-verse character that we got to spend the least amount of time with.
This is my last review of the week comics shipping 20 June 2018, and so far, Buffy Season 12 #1 was the best thing I've read. There is a lot in comics these days of creative teams and books and publishers trying to settle on the identity of a thing. Trying to find their voice. What is the League? What do the Avengers represent? Or the X-Men? Who is Hawkman? None of that here. Buffy has a firm legacy and Whedon and Gage own it, wield it, admit to it where it is rough around the edges, and use it to its fullest. This is gonna be a fun ride. And I'm on it until the end. Bravo.