Box Four 11/05/09
the Vampire Slayer #30
brought to you by Illusive
Comics and Games of Santa Clara
writer: Jane Espenson
artist: Georges Jeanty
The advantage of taking Buffy over to comics has long been
obvious. If the series had gone to an eighth season, there's
no way the CW would have sprung for giant Chinese goddesses.
Nor likely all the werewolves, and the disturbing presence
of skinless evil genius Warren.
In bringing all these to life on the comics
page, artist Jeanty absolutely shines. The battle scenes
have a strong sense of scope, with carnage (relatively tasteful)
spread far and wide. As a horror artist, Jeanty has a thick
line delineating the inhuman well.
Unfortunately, that also reveals his weakness,
or perhaps a weakness in moving Buffy to the printed page.
Only one of our heroes really has a distinctive visual look,
and that would be Xander, black-haired and eye-patched.
It's not quite as big a problem with the men, as there are
very few in comparison to Buffy's army of Slayers, but take
a look at a panel with Andrew, Oz and Riley all together.
It's a little hard to tell which is which.
And that becomes really annoying when Jeanty
draws women. I can't be sure, but I think Faith (Eliza Dushku)
was among them for a moment, but it may have been Buffy.
Or maybe it was Dawn. There's a little soap opera/potential
love triangle going on which is almost impossible to track
because Espenson leaves it to Jeanty to show us who's hugging
who, who's jealous, etc. - and we just don't know who these
Oh, we know; we just can't recognize
them. The scripting isn't at fault. The plotting is great,
the dialogue crackles and if you're a hardcore fan, it's
easy to hear the original actors saying the lines - if you
can tell which character it is. Again, at least Xander and
Andrew have a similar snark, and Oz has his usual terseness.
The girls? An all-purpose sarcasm.
Still a worthwhile book and always an enjoyable
read, Buffy the Vampire Slayer just comes with this
little bit of frustration. It's a small price to pay.