Written by, Jordie Bellaire and Jeremy Lambert
Pencils by, Valentina Pinti
Cover by, Frany
Colors by, Raul Angulo
Letters by, Ed Dukeshire
In the previous issue, Willow opens a gateway to another universe to pursue Xander. This issue begins, Buffy and her team pursue Willow; they learn that Willow traveled back in time to the wrong universe. Meanwhile, Willow and Cordy meet the principal of the local high school and two police officers who accuse them of trying to open up Hellmouth (See the Hellmouth series). Buffy’s team is disoriented by the presence of two versions of themselves because they traveled back in time to the ’90s while being chased by Lurkers, which are Ghost Dogs that can smell human flesh.
Artistically, the cover is the most appealing and original part of this book. The artist utilizes a water-color look, with washed-out colors, and dark lines to create a textured appearance. The interiors accurately capture the characters, flow smoothly, and support the pace of the story. However, there are no panels that stand out artistically and no wow moments.
The story is similarly void of excitement or intrigue. It is basic time travel while being pursued by evil entities, a story with very little originality. While the story is not boring, and there are no blatantly stupid mistakes in the narrative, it doesn’t break any new ground for Buffy or her team. Buffy feels stagnant as a character. She is the protector, and also the one the team accuses of needing to be the savior. However, this is an old narrative and it doesn’t add to Buffy’s character at all. This story would benefit from some dilemma or struggle centered around Buffy as a person or some challenge to stated values or a double-bind that would force her to make a difficult decision. As it is, Buffy simply emotionally supports and leads her team the way she always has.
The cast of supporting characters also feel very familiar and this will no doubt be appealing for the fans of this series. Willow gets a little bit of the spotlight which feels different. However, I would love to see this character have a larger or more elevated motive than simply pursuing her friend Xander.
This book is a straightforward ghost story with an added layer of the complications that come from going back in time. However, the plot does not feel that complex and it does not advance the main character or the shared narrative for Buffy and her team. 6/10