What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Buffy the Vampire Slayer #12! The issue that seems to be the last of the Since the start of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer tie-in to Hellmouth. The plot thickens at this point, and better now than not at all. Buffy couldn’t have left at a worst time, but it is good to know that there are other forces seen an unseen working to keep the balance.
The introduction of Anya into this plot was quite the shocker. You assume a lot of things about this event, but always catches you off guard when it comes to the players involved. It wasn’t too long ago that Anya was one of the first to hightail it out of Sunnydale when all seemed lost. Now here she is as the guardian angel they needed most. What she offered to this team was unique for the fact that everything about her actions seemed predetermined. For the most part it was, and that was something I appreciated more than a lot which unfolded in this chapter. One of the most bold changes they made to this universe was the idea that just about everything has already been foreseen. One could say this takes away from the element of surprise to this story, but there is no denying these creative teams of the effort they have put into the future only meaning as much as what happens in the present to get to that point. Xander as a half-vampire makes enough of a statement that not everything is going to be that straightforward from what you remember.
With that said, when things got truly intense, momentum carried this chapter through to the end. It was a thrill to see everyone really begin to dig into the roles they were meant to play in this battle. Some things they needed to do were directly, other things fairly indirect. It was even welcomed that characters like Cordelia and Rose were relevant for simply being in the right place at the right time without actually
This chapter was unusually heartbreaking. I say unusually because up to this point I did not know what we were really going to get out of this part of the story. Everyone is so consumed by fear, frustration, and teen angst that it was hard to see past these things to immerse in the plot. This was a great time to shake things up where these heroes would have nothing but saving the world in ahead of them. This goes double for those such as Willow and Xander who you would have expected so much more out of. It of course made sense that the soul-tie was messing with them mentally and spiritually, but there had to come a point where they had to truly feel the cost of it. That time was now and this creative team nailed the execution of what we should feel from it. Again as the second to last chapter for the tie-in, they couldn’t have chosen a better point for an overall weight to be felt in the worst of ways.
Hitting the climax for this tie-in, this also happened to be one of the best issues for this art team. I was honestly blown away by the work they produced in this chapter because the expressions were strong, the atmosphere was chilling for what seemed like events which played out of a horror movie, and for the colors which were explosive. Buffy isn’t the kind of book where you expect to much flashy, but you always know that the artists will know how to crank the dial when the story heats up. This was that point with so many men in the town falling victim to the influence of the Hellmother, and that point where the heroes had to pull out the big guns to really have any chance at fighting back an army. The color work for Willow in particular jumps out at you because this is the most powerful she has ever looked despite what this power is doing to her. It also goes without saying that the lettering was great too. Even the choice in text for Willow when she unleashed this power. Some might say they took the easy way out, I would say they added a sense of mystique to her in particular.
To say that the stakes couldn’t be higher would be one heck of an understatement after what we got out of Buffy the Vampire Slayer #12. This is that point where you could really say that this is a tie-in worth investing your time in. Getting a new slayer is cool for the fact that Kendra is new altogether, but that was just one piece of many thing which needed to fall into place when it mattered most.