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.
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.
From Fabletown With Love #1
writer: Chris Roberson
artist: Shawn McManus
Speaking of kick-ass women who cover for
it by pretending to be shallow and useless, we've got another
spin-off in Vertigo's hit Fables franchise. (It qualifies,
people. It's got two regular ongoing series, a novel, occasional
specials and now this.) Just when the main series has started
to drag down, along comes Cinderella to remind people that
what really sold this concept was its mix of fun and adventure.
Somehow I'd missed that Cinderella was
like the Batman of Fabletown. Posing as the flighty owner
of a shoe store, naturally called The Glass Slipper, she
has one put-upon employee with dreams of his own. Thanks
to her double life, she also has the rumor that she's having
an affair with the Sheriff of Fabletown, Beast, as in "Beauty
If we're to follow Fables continuity,
this must fit in a pretty narrow window of time, but it
feels like a reminder of better times. Certain magical items
are showing up in the Mundy world, and Beast dispatches
Cinderella to track them down before they lead to the exposure
To prepare for her journey, she needs the
help of Frau Totenkinder (the witch who tried to fatten
up Hansel and Gretel), and hints at some tension involving
Fairy Godmother. Just to make it all complete, writer Chris
Roberson also sends her up to "the Farm," where those Fables
that can't pass for human all live.
All of it is cleanly delineated by Shawn
McManus, in a style that complements the other two Fables
But you can ignore the continuity. If you
haven't read Fables, you could still pick this book
up and jump right in, as Cinderella herself gives the reader
all the information she could need. Roberson even references
the lore that certain Fables are more powerful due to the
popularity of their stories among us. It's a great jumping
on point, with hints of sex and violence for those who refuse
to be charmed on the whimsical notion of a lovely princess
turned super secret agent alone.