Comic Book Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 12: The Reckoning #1
Once more into the fray with Buffy and the Scoobies. This is a point in their lives to look forward to exploring when the events of the Safe Zone rocked everyone’s world. A year before this new chapter, no one was even sure if magic would ever be welcomed again on the Earthly plane. Of course part of me is a little torn that this is the first season of Buffy that is a mini series. However, that is only part of me when there is no arguing the fact that we are lucky that this series has made it at all to season 12. It doesn’t take much these days for a story to cut off without continuation or resolution, and fortunately neither Dark Horse or this creative team have never let us down with Buffy.
This story started off different from most others. It would usually take time for us to know who the big bad is or what game they’re playing, but this time around they chose to shake it up and jump straight into what is going to be dealt with. Well more so who will be dealt with. Personally I found myself looking forward to what this will turn into because sad to say I did not recall much of the future craziness. This was that chance to see what the future is like for the supernatural world.
Catching up with Buffy and the Scoobies was a bit of a shocker. Of course there would be some changes after a year, but these changes could not have been foreseen. Their family has grown by one, and we learned that some things as well just don’t last, while others have really stepped up from past experiences. Dawn and Xander really took a big step forward into adulthood, Giles seems to have figured out what he really wanted, Willow found a greater purpose, while Buffy and Spike on the other hand just keep keeping on. I’m still kind of floored that I never realized how Buffy is actually 30. That puts everything into perspective when it comes to the growing pains they all go through. There was not one person at that housewarming party who did not develop in some way between that gap in time. Truthfully, I appreciate the growth. If these characters aren’t growing, then this story loses its purpose aside from the appeal of fighting the forces of evil. This is definitely what you would call eventful on the human side of life.
Dawn and Xander’s housewarming party was crashed by some familiar faces with news of an amassing force, and it was surprising who that would be. I was half-expecting this to be the cliche normal moment where the enemy springs in randomly, but how they approached this worked so much better. It was also how they proceeded with the information that was exciting because you could see that everyone was ready to get back to doing something they all are good at. Facing Wolfram & Hart, a legion of demons, and Harth was quick, action-packed, and intense for a first encounter. For even this group to face off against forces that would make them think outside the box was the wise decision.
The art team of Georges Jeanty, Karl Story, and Dan Jackson was different for this new volume. They aren’t new to working in the Buffyverse, but you do find yourself at times used to the idea of Rebekah Isaacs as main penciler. Now with that said,great work from Jeanty and Story who work very well together between pencils and inks. Both perfectly captured the supernatural terrors of the Buffyverse, while at the same time nailed the drama of it as well. Lets start with the drama, there’s one thing you have to give credit to Jeanty for, and that is the strength of his expressions be it through body language or face. Even if half of this issue was catching up with these characters, there was no shortage of ways that they reacted or responded to one another. Excitement, frustration, fears, but mostly anger when it came time to fight evil once more. The action was as well satisfying when this is an art team that doesn’t pull punches either. When they go swinging, it’s for the kill, and there is no gory detail left out, especially the reds. This was also one of the more colorful issues that Jackson has done. With so much going on at the same time, many different characters, and supernaturals, there was nothing you were looking at the same way. Especially when the settings changed.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 12: The Reckoning #1 was everything that you could have hoped for it to be. This was a welcome back into Buffy and the Scoobies world, and it warms the heart to see how growing up has really defined who they have become. Now normally things dealing with time travel wouldn’t interest me, but this here is what you can produce when the plot is done right in a supernatural world.