What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Buffy the Vampire Slayer #16! From one problem, right into the next. Shocking more than anything else that this problem would actually turn out to be Xander. You know, the guy who we all thought up to this point was dead.
Once more I found myself open to the role which Kendra plays in this story. You would think that she might go off to do her own thing, like Faith usually would have. Yet here she is still in Sunnydale and offering a different perspective towards being a Slayer. Right now I welcome the argument she brings to the table. When we got our issue which gave us an origin for Kendra, it was heartbreaking to see the kind of life she was denied because of her training. Though at the same time it was hard to ignore the fact that Kendra tends to be of a more sound mind for it. Buffy lives a life where she creates just as much trouble as she stops because she has not been taught how to be in control of herself. The teenage years can be the most grueling, but they are also the time where you learn the most about responsibility. So it was interesting to see who Kendra put the weight of that on.
With that said, I was interested to see where we would go from this problem they had with each other to them putting aside their differences to confront this person who took this beloved teacher from their school. This could have turned out very predictable knowing the type of person Buffy is. Fortunately, they tried to be pretty genuine about these two being able to care more about others than their own personal problems. I mean, Kendra probably had every right to refuse working with Buffy considering everything which she has done wrong or that isn’t agreeable.
Speaking of this person who obviously had something to do with the missing teacher, I can’t say I was too surprised by the identity of either person. You pretty much knew who this teacher had to be before flipping open to the first page. You also didn’t have many suspects to run through who would go after this teacher of all people in Sunnydale. So what mattered here was how Buffy, Kendra, and Giles reacted to this.
That brings us to the interior work for this issue. It was solid work for an issue which visually focuses on character moments over other things. What we had to get used to at this point is pencil work which isn’t as expressive or detailed like what we were used to from those first issues of this book. Not a problem, but also not as engaging. I should say that it’s not as if I’m trying to be hard on this art team, but for a book like this it tends to be crucial that there is consistency with the art team. Especially if you consider the one previous to be better than what you have currently.
All in all, Buffy the Vampire Slayer #16 was well-done for the bold move they made to already set things in motion with this supposed big bad. This is one that gets you asking some big questions, because how in the world is Xander still alive? Does this have something to do with the Hellmouth still? Only time will tell!