As always, there are two covers to this issue -- the Jo Chen poster-style cover and the Georges Jeanty cover. Disappointingly, for a book called “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, neither cover features Buffy herself. Jeanty gets points here for at least putting Oz on the cover, since he is the primary focus of this issue. Also, I miss when Chen and Jeanty would work the logo into the artwork. I’m not sure if it was a mandate from Dark Horse, or just a creative choice, but over the last few issues, the logo has just been slapped on as an overlay.
THE WRITE STUFF
There’s also a lot of great dialogue about a “spike” in magical activity, and multiple characters respond to this information with just the question “Spike?” like they’re asking about the character. It’s a nice little shout-out from Espenson, since she can’t use Spike himself right now.
THE ART STUFF
Jeanty’s style has grown on me, and I’ve gotten used to his character models for Buffy/Willow/Xander, etc, but there’s still something that bothers me, and it’s very noticeable in this issue. When he draws large/distant group scenes, he reverts to this faceless style that just looks weird. I understand that with five or six people in a panel, they can’t look photorealistic, but are eyes and mouths too much to ask? That nit-pick aside, Jeanty does a good job drawing Oz (who I recognized as Oz right away in the last issue -- something I couldn’t say about some of the other characters) and handles the werewolf action scenes very well. I also love the perspective he chose to use on the last image of the book. It’s hard to describe, so I won’t, but I’ll just say I like it (also, there are 16 characters in the shot, and all of them have some form of eyes and mouth, so he shows he can do it).
WHO IS TWILIGHT
OK, this issue, again, doesn’t actually reveal that, but over the past few issues, we’ve been able to rule out Riley and Oz. And, let’s be honest, we can rule out Andrew too (I’m still convinced he’s working with Twilight in some way, but it’s obvious he’s not him).
In this issue, Twilight does reveal that he knows Buffy, at least more than just as an adversary. Plus, now that we know Riley is working for Twilight, we have to assume that Twilight is someone Riley would trust. Someone on some forum I read threw out the possibility of Graham, Riley’s former Initiative colleague, and that doesn’t seem too far fetched. I’m not willing to throw all my eggs in the Graham basket right now, but he’s as good a guess as we’ve got so far.
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