And the reason I’ve been anticipating this issue? That would be the Georges Jeanty cover -- the one that’s sitting above my desk in my house since mid-October. Yeah, I have Jeanty’s original artwork for this cover, which is an homage to the pop art of Roy Lichtenstein. Seeing it in color, with the actual dotted style, is a nice touch. While I have an obvious preference for the Jeanty cover on this one, the Chen cover is pretty cool too. Also, I really like that the A cover (Chen’s) deals with the A story, while the B cover (Jeanty’s) deals with the B story. That’s a nice touch that doesn’t happen very often.
THE WRITE STUFF
Counting the Willow one-shot, this is actually the second consecutive issue written by Joss Whedon himself. However, this isn’t a one-shot, but a bridge issue, wrapping up the loose ends from “Retreat” and setting the stage for “Twilight”. Just like with the cover, my preference in the story was in the B story, which focused on Buffy’s reaction to the Xander-Dawn relationship.
Buffy started coming on to Xander, and amazingly, Xander rejected her, knowing that Buffy wasn’t doing it for the right reasons. This actually paralleled Season 2’s “Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered”, when Xander said no to Buffy because she was under a spell. I also loved Willow’s reaction to the news at the end of the issue.
As for the part with the Tibetan Goddessess, I thought it was a little convenient how quickly Buffy took care of them, but a super-powered Buffy (even when it was just Slayer powers) has always been a kick ass Buffy. Plus, that storyline had gone on just long enough anyway. No need to drag it out.
There was also a nice scene with Twilight and some of his captives (including Giles and Faith), but it’s hard not to read that completely differently now that I know who he is.
THE ART STUFF
Aside from my love for the cover, I adore Page 2 (the first full page of the issue), which is 75% a huge picture of Buffy flying. I love her facial expressions throughout her flying scenes, and Willow’s reactions to getting her powers back are drawn beautifully.
For some reason, it took me a little while to figure out that Buffy was was talking to Riley in the first scene among the injured soldiers, but that’s mostly because we haven’t seen him out of uniform that much, so I’m not used to Jeanty’s character model for him. I finally figured it out thanks to the hair (very Blucas-esque).
Jeanty still does a great job with the little things. I loved the Domo shoutout on Kennedy’s shirt, and the detail on Dawn’s shirt was very well done. Also Dawn’s shirt sleeves had the number 18 on them. I wonder if that was a subtle shoutout to Dawn’s age, so we wouldn’t think Xander was a “disgusting pedophile” (Buffy’s words, not mine).
WHO IS TWILIGHT
This is now public information. I’m not going to repeat it here, but let me just say that the dialogue here from Twilight might have pushed me in the direction of who it was. I won’t say more, in case you still don’t know.
I’m giving this one a 5. This was WAY better than the Willow one shot. I loved this issue, and now I can’t wait for the “Twilight” arc.
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