What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Buffy the Vampire Slayer #13! With the conclusion of Hellmouth #5, BOOM! Studios and this creative team nailed their first major event for the Buffy franchise. It was an event which offered a never-before seen experience for The Scoobies at such an early stage in their progress towards becoming the heroes we grew up with. After everything they went through, and everything lost along the way, I couldn’t help but feel anxious for what came next because we are still in new territory.
What made our introduction to this new story arc and chapter in the lives of The Scoobies so intriguing was the fact that we weren’t simply picking up with Buffy’s life afterwards. We jump in missing something. Fortunately, that is for the most part at the back of your head when this issue focuses primarily on Kendra. The newest slayer and how she took the call to action when the world needed to step in for Buffy. As a start I couldn’t argue with this since anyone would want to know where Kendra comes from As far as we know, there can only be one slayer. Yet that has never stopped there from being two existing at the same time when it came to Buffy and Faith. It was worth the issue to step into Kendra’s shows when she is in familiar stomping grounds and doing what she does best without the confusion of the higher calling.
If there was one thing about Kendra which would nag at you more than anything else, it was also wondering how where she came from could make her turn out so different from Buffy. Kendra as we had seen in the crossover event was professional in her work, unfeeling, and uncompromised by anything personal. Her experience had to be very different in terms of the way that she was trained and groomed to be a slayer, and it surely was. Having a different ind of Watcher as well made a big difference too. So much sense was made of the attitude she carried towards her work and her previous Watcher.
Kendra’s experience with the training wheels on was a thrill for the fact that this was a version of her who was still figuring things out. After seeing what kind of world she left behind, and support system, it was much easier to find appeal in what Kendra can offer the Buffyverse. I’m not going to lie that they didn’t do too much to make her a character you quickly latched onto, but it was always appreciated getting a slayer who was proper in everything she did, including how she carried herself.
As a new chapter, I was a bit taken back that they would start things off with a different art team. I didn’t know if this was a permanent change, or just a guest spot. Though I was definitely stuck in a place where it was hard to wrap my mind around the idea that they might switch things up to a style that is so drastically different from what we were getting before. Now does that mean this art team did a bad job? Not at all. It was a unique style that stayed true to the youthful and expressive style that the previous penciler brought to the table. That alone matters a lot when you are looking for engagement from the characters you are investing in rather than anything else superficial. With that said, it also did help having the same colorists. This added some uniformity to the interiors which at some points did make it seem as though there was no changes at all.
Hellmouth is not the end of Kendra’s story, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer #13 should make most of us comfortable with seeing more of her in what’s to come. Once again this is a great time to be a Buffy fan when everywhere we turn there is something new to take in. Surely enough we all want to at some point see Faith introduced, though what’s wrong with shaking things up where there was actually another slayer activated before her?