What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Willow #2! Nothing quite like the mood shift when a witch runs into a town full of people just like her. Though is this too good to be true? That’s pretty much what creates most of your investment in this story, aside from Willow finding a way to begin healing after the losses from the opening of the Hellmouth in Sunnydale.
This book continues to be a breath of fresh air from the Buffy series because this is like stepping into a story with a whole different atmosphere to it. No matter how this story takes its turn or changes by the end, it has been a nice change of pace for someone to actually find some real help for what they have been going through after Hellmouth. The Willow we are used to never got this kind of opportunity in previous stories. Not to be able to venture out and interact with witches who knew how to channel their pain into something positive. It was something to get used to seeing Willow get this taste of magic which didn’t seem corrupted in contrast to the darkness she was once always on the edge of falling prey to. Right now it is my hope that this is going to be one of those memorable stories for Willow where they push her powers in a different direction. I mean, with Willow’s soul intact, could she tap into a different force if things take a turn for the worst in Abhainn?
Something else I appreciated about this book is the exploration of magic that we have with Willow. Very often when it comes to magic in the Buffyverse, it’s never this intune to a natural source. Normally there is some sort of source that they had to tap into, and normally it came with a cost. Even if right now this magic feels too good to be true, it mattered that Willow had someone trusted in Aelara to understand that not everything is as it seems.
Aside from this, it was another thing to note how enjoyable it is to have a main character who really thinks before getting themself into something which seems questionable. I don’t want to call Buffy dumb or anything, but sometimes the plot makes her too much of that person who has to jump into a situation without considering every variable. In other words, she has a bad habit of being too negligent to the details around here, especially the red flags. Willow shakes things up because she actually walks in and asks the big questions off the bat. If anything, this issue proved that despite everything which Willow has been through recently, nothing has changed about the way that her brain works. If something is off? The wheels are going to start turning.
When it came to the interior work for this issue? There was a warm sensation which washed over from Willow’s exposure to magic in Abhainn. The pencil work was for the most part consistent, though you certainly would take notice of the extra work which went into the emotional exploration of Willow. The feeling of bewilderment, of feeling lost, amazement. All these things and much more engaged you with Willow as she struggled with putting her guard up versus letting it down. Now with that said, it was the colors which made the biggest difference here considering how welcome this place was trying to make Willow feel. The natural colors of the outdoors, the pink-ish glow of the magic in the woods, the combination was excellent for setting a serene tone.
Overall, another solid issue of Willow. This isn’t a story to sleep on if you’re looking for something from the Buffyverse right now that is genuinely its own thing.