Mirka Andolfo, writer
Siya Oum, pencils
Eleonora Bruni, colors
Giusoppe Cafara, Francesca Follini, and Dario Formisani, inks
Ed Dukeshire, letters
The story begins with Buffy and the team in a cemetery fighting a powerful vampire. Buffy states, “Sometimes it feels like I’ve seen it all.” Within the statement is a foreshadowing of the future, she will see something unexpected. What is revealed is that Mr. Giles, The Watcher, and protector of the Slayers, has transformed into a vampire. We quickly learn that this reality is hypothetical. The story shows Buffy, Xander, and Willow sitting around a table discussing what would happen if The Watcher was evil. Each takes a turn telling each other how they would take them down.
This is a perfect book for newcomers to the Buffy universe because it reviews each major character, and introduces the reader to the characteristics that make each of them unique. Buffy is courageous and a leader, Xander is egocentric but gutsy, Willon wields magic and is crafty. Mr. Giles is depicted as a cleric with immense knowledge which gains him access to powers most could not grasp. Ultimately, the story is about the team, what makes each of them unique, and stronger as a whole than as a separate part. While each of the team member’s individual stories highlights the capacities and weaknesses of each character, they also flush out the dynamic among the characters.
The emotional tension in the story is captured by the value Mr. Giles has in Buffy’s life and how much he has taught her about being a Slayer. The reader is left feeling how Mr. Giles is an unreplaceable and huge asset to the team’s goal of protecting Sunnyside from evil. However, within the emotional connection between Buffy and Mr. Giles is a conflict, which is demonstrated by Buffy’s choice at the end of the book. I encourage readers to pick up the book to see the details, rather than spoil the story.
I also loved the pencil work by Oum in this story. Characters are depicted with a wild, scruffy appearance, and sometimes with deep color in their eyes showing their emotions. The details, lines on clothing to make them appear lived-in, or, names on graves stones, make the artwork stand out and it is what I appreciate in comic book art. My favorite panel comes on page 5 of the digital copy, which shows Buffy in a blue sweater and blazer with Willow and Xander by her side. Her vividly colored blue eyes and emotion-filled face communicate the importance of the moment to the reader without a word spoken.
This story is creatively tackled even though embedded in an ordinary day in the life of this mystical team. I highly recommend this book for individuals that love the Buffy universe. Overall, 9/10