Comic Book Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 11 #10
Out of one danger and into the next. That is the life of Buffy and the Scoobies now that they have escaped the prison that is the Safe Zone, and now look to move against this end game of the government. It was wise that they didn’t waste time with Buffy and Willow getting their powers back when it wouldn’t have been too believable how far they could get without that strength on their side.
For the sake of pacing, they made the right choice in where this issue of Buffy picks up. The last issue set us up for what this group has to do next to put a stop to the machine being built, but easily this story could have fallen into the trap of dragging out the journey to their destination. Especially with how long it was that they took before making this move. Just the approach felt right for the fact that we are seeing more of what there is to fear about the government making use of magic for their own goals. We saw exactly what we should have expected which is magic being weaponized. Every step of the way solidified what exactly this group is standing up to. The slaughtering of that town near the Safe Zone was bad enough, but the things they are doing to this animals? That right there sent the message loud and clear. The cover to this issue made the idea of mixing science and magic a little mesmerizing, but the scene itself set a different atmosphere when there is context to what you are seeing.
Understanding what’s going on right now versus in the past was smart. Easy to say that this is something that we have seen before, but there are key differences and on a bigger level this time around. Clearly the government has grown smarter over time with the lengths they are willing to go to in order to harness magic. Before, the emotion they tapped into came from what happens when you find yourself powerless and vulnerable. This time around they took the opportunity to capture the despair in learning how low humanity can sink for the sake of goals we still aren’t truly aware of yet.
The suspense for this issue is great a well. Not knowing who the Big Bad yet kept everyone feeling uneasy about what they are truly bracing for. We use the word government as a generalization, but there is always that one person with true motivation pulling the strings in the background. This person at the top is definitely not someone to be assumed, though still a person in position to have put this project into motion from the looks of it. I’m just glad that they aren’t giving up anything that would ruin the mystery till the point of reveal comes.
Visualization plays a key role in this issue. Megen Levens at first I do admit I was a bit skeptical of at this stage of the story, but she quickly changed that attitude once we got into the thick of this chapter. It was more that things were a tad shaky on the characters at the start, but everything did come together in the best of ways. Where her artwork helped most is when it came to showing just what the government has in store through their experimentation with magic and science. You felt something when you saw the way they twisted these animals into weapons, and it was pretty cool to see the way they approached integrating magic into suits and what not. Levens didn’t skip out on the details that mattered when it came to materials and rune sigils to represent the magic side of their exploitation. When it comes to inorganic objects, you give her credit where it is due that she gets into the most detail which is necessary at a time like this. The color work from Dan Jackson was a perfect fit for the destination this story takes Buffy and company. These tame and organic colors worked well when blending in this mix of magic and technology. More so when capturing the horror of what happens when you tear a human body apart to do so. Buffy’s expression said enough about the way that should make you feel.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 11 #10 is a wake-up call to why stopping the draining of magic from the world is now more urgent than ever before. Giving us a taste of what magic looks like in the hands of the government is a step in the right direction when the worst is yet to come, and what has already is terrifying.