Comic Book Review: Buffy Season 11: Giles #3
This miniseries is beginning to finally embrace that which is this younger Giles. At this point you could say that he is a new person for the most part since this is his second chance to do things differently. Not to mention the world turns a bit differently from when he was a dabbler in magic or a watcher. Proof of that is the very idea that he could forge a relationship with a vampire on an intimate level. Nothing new for Buffy, though new territory all the way through for Giles.
For me, Giles #4 was anticipated because I couldn’t help but want to figure out who Roux really is. For as much as we do know about her, there’s so much more hidden in her past, as is the case with most vampires. Roux’s story was pretty sad. It had impact for a vampire who was created during times where it wasn’t too welcoming to be black. It was easy to forget this fact until jumping straight to that point in time where everything went wrong for her. Now while that scene was crushing, what came after was interesting for how she survived up to this point. That was about two-hundred years of hardship endured because the world was still a pretty backwards place in more ways than one. I could believe what her situation was to getting through it all.
My only problem with the way they approached us getting to know Roux, was the lack of consistent focus on just her story. When someone takes you through a flashback of their past, you want to feel immersed in their experiences. There was too much going on at the start whether it was side commentary or changing the setting. It would have helped if we were able to follow her story from start to finish, and then get our reaction. That or maybe just leave it to thought bubbles on the side.
That aside, the other focus for this issue was addressing this relationship between Giles and Roux. This was their time to figure just what this is. It helped that this version of Giles has an open mind to seeing things from a different perspective of demons, monsters, vampires, and so on. I think he felt the same way most of us would when exposed to her story. This wasn’t one you simply force someone to tell unless you were ready for the things that were cruel. Not every case for vampires is the same. Especially when you are again a vampire of color and the other gender. How this turned into seeing Roux as a different kind of vampire as well was refreshing. Some of them can become more than the mold, and she was a great example of this. There still might be more to her than what is reveal so far, but for now I appreciate the idea that not all vampire can be judged for what they are in nature.
The artwork for this third issue is some of the best work that this art team has done. The pencils and colors were clean and distinct. Maybe it is because the focus was mainly on just characters over action, but nonetheless it looked great. Aside from that shaky start to the story, they nailed the impact of being able to see Roux’s story and travels in a world that wasn’t too welcoming to someone like her. It never gets easier to understand what those like Roux went through during those times. You could see the pain, sorrow, anger and much more that she experienced whether it was from things done to her or others. I think what I liked most was the few special features of Roux that were not common at all for a vampire. This issue was set-up to show that she was much more than another monster, and they did not miss the opportunity to drive that home through a change in physical features.
Buffy Season 11: Giles #3 was the strongest issue of this series so far. The plot may not be straightforward or too captivating of your attention, but the character exploration more than makes up for that right now. This issue was a good reminder of how rich the Buffyverse can be when you’re not focusing on the usual Scoobies or familiar faces.