Monday, July 21, 2014

SEASON 10: MAN SLAVES // Issues 3 & 4

Previously on the last Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 Review......

Dawn and Xander head to Transylvania to see Dracula. The actual Dracula - by Bram Stoker. Xander and Dawn go over to see what is up with the Vampyr book and how the book is being rewritten since Magic is now being reestablished. Xander becomes Dracula's man-slave. Man-Servant. What have you. It's been awhile since I saw the Season 5 episode starring Dracula. But I do remember Xander falling under Dracula's spell and that bordering on being kinda gay (in the best way of course).

Issue 3

Nicholas Brendon is collaborating (writing-wise) with Christos Gage on this story arc. I think it is an interesting choice to have a star of the show help write the comic. Having someone like Drew Goddard, Jane Espenson or David Fury help out on the comic is old-hat by now. Now, retaining some of the voicing of the show through its' actors is a new selling point. I can see the influence of Nicholas Brendon in this comic. Judging from his persona on twitter, the writing tends for the jokier and the hornier. The "Tuesday Night Orgy" joke, for instance.

However, as the issue stands - it is still an enjoyable read. So far, I am on board with the new team of Gage and Rebecca Isaacs. Their collaboration retains the voicing of the show that I enjoyed. This particular issue has a similar feeling to that of an earlier season. It feels serious but silly. The framing of characters seems very human and humble in this new season - thanks to Rebecca Isaacs. Gone are the Jim Lee-esque (you know who I am talking about?) poses and shots of Season 8 and 9. Isaacs is certainly a master at capturing the tone.

In Issue 3, Dracula comes back to San Francisco and visits with the Scooby Gang to hear about the new breed of Vampires. The kind of Vampire that can change shape in the sunlight instead of running back into the dark. Xander and Dawn are experiencing some trouble in paradise. Xander still suffers from some guilt about not loving Dawn enough - from their experiences in Season 9. Buffy and Willow bond and have some girl-talk. Andrew becomes a fun Dracula man-slave. At the end, a fight ensues when Dracula wants to rewrite the book of Vampyr in his vision and he successfully nabs the book from Kid Giles, Spike, Dawn, and Xander.

Issue 4
Dracula is on the loose - rewriting the book or having Xander rewrite the book. Dawn has a tear soaked moment explaining to Buffy that since she doesn't exactly feel that she LOVES Xander, which is actually rather touching. Xander meanwhile is giving Dracula baths and pedicures. We get a little peek at Kid Giles' burgeoning sexuality, which is funny. At the end, Dracula has rewritten himself to be the biggest, baddest Vampire. A lot of fighting ensues. I know I've left Spike out of my recap thus far. But he is definitely around as comic relief and helping the fight against Dracula.

Also - I particularly liked Xander's flashback to a prehistoric time when monsters ruled the Earth.

Overall - I am really liking the new season of Buffy comic. Again, I got used to the style of Seasons 8 & 9 - I assumed that was the new normal. Isaacs' drawings have always been good, I just wasn't sure if I was ready for them here. But I can see that I am growing with this new season and I am growing to really love her work here. Gage's writing seems to really tap into the voice of the show that I really loved. He is really nailing the balance of action, drama, and comedy that the show on the WB had. You can still hear the actors speak when you see them with word balloons. Also helps when you have Nicholas Brendon on staff.


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