I thought it was a little strange to take such a short gap between the end of season 10 and the beginning of season 11, but I’m not really ever gonna be the guy to complain about more Buffy. The reasons behind the decision make sense. Season 11 will be the shortest comic season yet, numbering only twelve issues. To take a short break before jumping into a story that’s technically smaller but larger in scope makes a lot of sense.
I will not spoil anything about the issue itself, as it doesn’t hit the stands for about another week, but I will do my best to say what I can about it. And the first thing I think I can state with some confidence is: it’s good.
This is a strong, strong opener. We pick right back up with every character, understanding that a few months have passed but also feeling like we barely left. This is clearly a season that’s going to play out like a Marvel/DC-ish event series, and I’m fine with that. Knowing that going in, I was expecting some kind of inciting incident. Rest assured, we definitely get one of those, though I won’t say exactly what it is.
It works on a lot of levels. In the most basic way, it sets up a bigger story with higher stakes. The scene itself is very dramatic and realistic, feeling somewhere between the scope of a modern-day superhero movie and a comment on the destruction those films tend to wreak.
But it also works because we haven’t seen huge, large-scope comic book-ish action since season eight. That comic was criticized a bit for the fact that they went so crazy with the fact that they weren’t limited by budget, so Buffy fought all sorts of giant creatures. Now, the comic has settled into a routine that—while it shows growth—feels very similar to the TV show.
The fact that the comic moved away from the scope of season eight does not mean that those large-scale threats are not still out there. I think the events of the issue serve as a very effective, dramatic reminder of that.
It also works because, after being so torn up inside and internally conflicted through much of season ten, the gang have found a sense of balance and normalcy in their decidedly abnormal lives. When the big thing hits, they’re all doing great for pretty much the first time. Then this event comes that shakes their world to their core, and I think the bulk of the season is going to be reactionary.
The events of this issue set off more than a ripple through Buffy’s world. It’s more of a tidal wave. Everything is going to change, and I’m excited to see what that change entails.
WICKED RATING: 8/10