Buffy Season 11 is racing toward its conclusion and at this point, pretty much all of the cards on the table. The Slayer and her friends are gearing up for a fight. The plot has pretty much completely been revealed. We know what happened, we know who engineered it. It’s a fitting story line, it definitely works and resonates in the way that I think the creative team hoped it would. But at the same time, there aren’t any surprises. At least not in terms of who has been siphoning magic and what they’ve been using it for.
What we’re seeing is, essentially, someone who is jealous of the magical/supernatural world and feels like they have no place in it. So they try to take it from everyone to give it to themselves. They’re scared and powerless and all the money in the world won’t change that, but if they can suck all of the magic out of the world, then only they will be special. It’s the most drastically self-motivated villain we’ve seen since Buffy’s fifth season, when Glorly just wanted to destroy the barriers between dimensions so that she could open a portal home.
From here, we’re going to get into spoiler territory, because that’s really the only way to address some of the major things that happen in the issue. In order to combat this new threat and the much larger one that comes at the end of the book, Buffy makes the decision to reverse the spell made at the end of the television series and draw all of that energy into herself. For added effect, she makes this decision with Faith standing directly beside her.
At this point, this kind of does start to seem like a greatest hits collection of Buffy’s season finale adventures, as she’s now infiltrating a government facility and turning herself into a super-slayer, which is exactly what happened at the end of season four. It’s not a bad thing, though. I honestly think that, intentional or not, that’s a nice touch. It’s hard to say if this super slayer spell will have a lasting effect. But looking at the way the last three comic book seasons have ended, I would say it probably will.
Season eight ended with the destruction of magic, season nine ended by literally changing the rules of magic, and season ten ended with Buffy taking a spot on the Magic Council. With the emphasis on a smaller, back-to-basics approach of late, it’s definitely not out of the question to suspect that season eleven could end with Buffy once again becoming the one and only slayer.
This would be a very drastic move, though I understand why they would do it from a perspective of making the comic feel a bit more like the show. Even still, Buffy has always been about moving forward, not backward. We’ve seen several great new slayers come about since season eight began. Sure, the comic’s battled with the importance of Buffy if she’s not the only Chosen One, but that’s still an interesting subject. There’s more to explore.
Buffy sharing her power with every girl in the world who could be a slayer was such an important message for the show to go out on. It was a perfect final statement for the series and everything we’ve seen in the comics since has been about honoring that statement. I really hope that they don’t simply go back on that and everything that meant for the sake of drawing in new readers with a book that’s a little more in line with the show. These characters are still growing.
If you’ve tracked their development through the series and into the comics, most everything makes sense. While I agree that taking Buffy back to being the only slayer, having to hide her identity, all of that would make for an interesting change of pace. But we’ve also seen all of that before and to take the power from every other slayer, drastically going back on the ending of show, would be an unsettling and weirdly anti-feminist move that would be doubly noticeable if it came at a time when the show’s creator is under fire for not being much of a feminist to begin with.
This is all speculation, of course. The issue itself is solid and the plot is poignant and makes a lot of sense. I simply can’t help but see Buffy’s new surge of power and read too deeply into it. All we really know going into the season’s final issue is that Super-Buffy is about to fight a giant dragon and you better believe I’m gonna be there for that.
WICKED REVIEW: 7/10