Review: Buffy #27, “Retreat Part 2”

After a long hiatus, I’ve decided to star reviewing the issues of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8” again, in part because I’ve been doing mini-comic reviews on AdamNPooZ.com for the past few weeks. This week brings us issue #27, the second issue of the “Retreat” story arc.

COVER TWO
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
What I have to keep reminding myself is that these four-part stories are the equivalent of a single episode of Buffy. Remember, we’re on issue 27, and they’re still calling this Season 8. So, with that in mind, this issue actually includes some relatively big plot developments, with Twilight (the main villain of the season) trying to track down Buffy and the slayers, who teleported to Tibet. If you’ve forgotten what happened in the last issue, they’re hanging with Oz, trying to learn how to suppress their magic to stay off Twilight’s radar. I have to admit, I actually like where this story is going, mostly because it’s the first time it seems like the Twilight arc (not to be confused with the world’s shittiest movie/book series, “Twilight”) is moving toward some kind of resolution. Also, Jane Espenson does a great job writing Oz, so she was the right choice to handle this arc.

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.

Next Issue (#28: Retreat, Pt. 3) -->

Comments

  1. Great review, but I am curious: Are the reviews from 14-26 missing or did I somehow not see them?

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  2. I had stopped reviewing the book on a monthly basis after Issue #13, then decided to start up again with Issue #27 (a random place to pick up, I know, but the inspiration just sort of struck me).

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