Joss Whedon, creator
Jordie Bellaire, writer
Jeremy Lambert, writer
Eleonora Carlini, illustrator
Chris Peter, colors
Ed Dukeshire, letters
In the previous issue, Buffy, The Slayer, and Angel, The Vampire, locate Drusilla in Hellmouth. However, they learn that The Hellmother is pulling Drusilla’s strings. She seeks to have Buffy’s blood and Angel’s body to become even more powerful. This issue begins, Angel begs Buffy for another chance, telling her that he is different and not like other vampires. Drusilla contradicts Angel’s pleas, and Buffy questions why she ever trusted him while The Hellmother tightens her grip on them both. It appears that she will find the weakest link. One question remains. How will Buffy escape this seemingly impossible challenge?
The highlight of this issue is the triangle between Buffy, Angel, and Drussilla who are fundamentally at odds with each other but all have the same goal: To destroy The Hellmother. The story becomes more complex, considering that each has a different motivation for defeating Hellmother. Angel wants to prove to Buffy that he is not a heartless killer like other Vampires. Buffy wants to prove that she can trust other people to help her save Sunnydale. And, Drussilla wants to be all-powerful, like The Hellmother. The writer makes the narratives easy to track and believable.
The art is solid capturing the dark aesthetic of the underground Hellmouth environment. The Hellmother is skeletal, empty, yet filled with evil. The rage on the face of Angel and the conviction on the face of Buffy can be felt. The haunting shadows of evil beings can be felt throughout as the story unfolds.
This story is unfolding to be an epic crossover for the Angel and Buffy universes. The idea that a vampire and a slayer could work together to defeat evil is far-fetched in many ways. The idea that Buffy can defeat The Hellmother by herself, due to Angels seeming transformation at the end of the book, seems even more daunting. I highly recommend this book for fans of Buffy the vampire slayer. Overall 8.5/10