Even now I find myself floored by this approach to the new Buffy series. Despite a creative team that you could have faith in, there was still reservations about what it would mean going back to the early days for Buffy and the Scoobies. We needed a start that would both grab us and keep us coming back for more. So far? I would say that this creative team has nailed. It took no time at all for me to find myself captivated by the story that they were ready to tell. Nothing I could say has been rehashed. It’s all-new and attracts you with the state of mind that you really don’t know what’s coming next.
I mean, who could really when this is the first time where anyone has been turned into a vampire? It was shocking that they would decide to put Xander in this position, and even more so that they would do this to at the same time put Willow through the ringer. For the early days, there was no better time to establish the bond between these friends, including Buffy. It was the kind of bond that pushed Willow to make the first of many sacrifices for the sake of preserving her friend. I think we all knew that there would be a cost for using the Soul Tie, but it was the details which also get you. You would have never guessed that this would be the beginnings of Dark Willow. For anyone who is a longtime fan of this series, then you know that she is almost as bad as it gets in the Buffyverse. We aren’t there yet, and that is probably for the best right now. Though right now we know that this side of her exists and
What made this slow transformation so chilling is that it involves carving out everything pure that is Willow. From the flip of the first page it was heartbreaking to see this girl who is so nerdy and full of life, suddenly so devoid of it. It was a drastic change, though there was no denying this first opportunity to explore the real consequences that can be experienced in this series.
Now you could say that this was a slow issue because not too much happened aside from exploration this inner-conflict that Willow has been subjected to. However, that would be stripping this issue away from the string character focus that they were able to give to someone who beginning to come into their own. Right now, this is Willow’s initiation into the supernatural world. Playing hero with Buffy and Xander is engaging in that world, but that isn’t the Willow we came to know down the road. This may all be happening pretty fast, but you can’t take for granted pacing like this. We could easily be getting monster of the month issues. That wouldn’t be problematic, but it also wouldn’t do much to attract the attention of people who want something familiar mixed with the new.
I’m not going to lie, this has been my favorite work from David Lopez. I felt choked up from the minute I turned to that first place. I know that I’ve said some expressions from these characters at times seemed off, but there is no ignoring everything that is in fact emoted perfect from them. In the case of Willow, we were seeing someone who has pretty much been hollowed out. I loved that Lopez was able to carry this consistent stone expression from panel to panel, changing the setting, her clothes, everything about her but that face which tells a story of being broken. Would that not be you if you lost something and don’t know how to cope? Sam Milledge handled a majority of the rest of the interiors, but also did a great job in capturing the inner struggle of Willow. The nightmare sequence was what stood out the most because there was so much uniqueness put into what goes through Willow’s mind. Even the panel layouts were a nice touch. As for the colors, I simply welcomed the consistency from them. This was a time where you wanted to get a little tame with this being more of a personal chapter.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #7 brilliantly captures your heart through the direct consequence to Willow giving up half of her soul to save Xander. Both of these character have been through a lot, and for better or for worse we know that these hard times are what will mold them into the pillars of idolization that they will become in the future.