Comic Book Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 12: The Reckoning #3
Last month’s issue of Buffy was one heck of a roller coaster of emotions as these heroes are faced with what they know happens and what they are willing to do to defy destiny. When we are bracing for the end of this series, you really have to ask yourself. Is this the time to open ourselves up to happy endings? Is that truly possible? As they said, the Reckoning is now, and if the future can be changed, it will take everything that Buffy has to save the Slayers and our world.
Knowing the future was a big blow to all of us. There were some details of this reckoning that we were already aware of by the state of Fray’s time, but there was plenty of specifics to be caught up on when wondering where things went wrong for Buffy and the Scoobies. That was the real kicker which set the tone for what’s to come. This issue immediately picked up on this through a heartwarming progression of set-up for the events to come. It was both heartwarming and heartbreaking to see the way each one of these characters proceeds to prepare for the worst case scenario. At the same time it was uplifting when nothing of the knowledge they now have really changed anyone’s minds on pressing forward. After everything these characters have been through, this creative team has put them in a position where there is very little that can shake them beyond what they do to each other.
I have to say that it was the moment shared between Buffy and Spike which grabbed my attention the most. There was no pill tougher to swallow than a time-skip which revealed that their relationship did not last. It made a big difference to see that it was no bad blood between them. That would have only taken us steps back where these two couldn’t be in the same room and share some heartfelt words.
The way we jumped straight into the big battle left very little room to process the emotions expressed before by the Scoobies during preparations. The fight itself was worth the wait when it was every bit as gruesome as you pictured it would be having demons and humanity clashing over what will determine who rules. Every little victory was felt, the small losses, and nothing could have prepared you for the one choice that would change everything. I like that while all of this still came down to one person making the heroic decision that you know she is capable of, the execution was nothing short of captivating. While I was saddened by the outcome, at the same time I was impressed all the more by this being another big moment where this character, and all of them in general, found themselves able to step up to the plate where no one else could in this position. With that said, I also loved how a certain other character was also willing to make the sacrifice, which showed a lot of growth for her as well.
What twist they threw our way was as creative as it gets to have kept things interesting. We were all paying attention to the things we knew would happen, that we forgot the one thing that made this battle problematic from the start.
The artwork for this issue was great between the standout character moments and the capturing of the “Reckoning”. Through this third issue I found much more appreciation for the work of Georges Jeanty and Karl Story as they had a stronger hand in the quality that went into the expressive side to these characters. They nailed the very things we needed to see as they processed the events to come. The depression, the affection, love, and understanding shared between them all when there was nothing in front of them but each other. With more objects with better perspective, there was nothing too out of focus that you couldn’t get the full detail out of Jeanty’s pencils. I feel he always does his best work when not working with too much going on at the same time. The battle itself still had quality to it with that said. With so many slayers, people, and demons clashing, Jeanty put in the work for us to be able to see clarity in it all. That meant the pretty brutal deaths as well. Above all, I’m glad they didn’t hold back there since the losses have to mean something for this to feel all or nothing. The colors were very good as well. Nothing too over the top that would overshadow the action, but just enough to make it all pop.
Through the events of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 12: The Reckoning #3, it seems that destiny is not written in stone, but was it the twist you were prepared for? That is what shook up a story that really would have played into the concept of fate a little strong if this issue ended any other way. I’m glad that they found such a crushing way to keep readers on their toes. I’m sure that there is no one who isn’t dying after putting this issue down to see what comes next.