As sweet as things got when Buffy and Spike finally managed to put the past behind them and communicate effectively with one another, Buffy the Vampire Slayer #21 makes it pretty clear that this couple is not going to last. The vampires they’re teaming up with—Harmony and Vicky—are trying to split them apart and it appears to be working pretty well. In a surprising twist at the end of the issue, Spike even meets up with his love interest from his spinoff graphic novel, Into the Light.
While the trial by combat at work in the bulk of the comic is pretty hokey, it still works. The idea of slayers and vampires working together isn’t new, but I don’t think we’ve seen it before on the scale that we’re about to. There’s something interesting being set up here and I’m excited to see where it goes, even if it’s all being set up pretty suddenly.
There are a few familiar faces that pop up in issue #21 as well, which is always exciting for me. It’s nice that even characters like Graham—who had brief and fleeting appearances in seasons four and five of the show—get to come back in the pages of the comics.When it comes to returning characters, even with Harmony taking over the issue, the big draw for me is Satsu. This was a character created for the comics back when Whedon first kicked off season eight. During that season, there was some controversy that went surprisingly viral when Buffy and Satsu slept together, providing Buffy with her first same-sex experience. Satsu was a great character who sort of disappeared after that and I was beginning to worry that we’d never see her again, or really see her come into her own as an original character.
But she appears to be sticking around at least for this particular arc, which I would guess has to be the penultimate arc of the season. Interestingly enough, none of Buffy’s supporting cast appears in this issue. With Buffy and Spike going away on their own side mission, the rest of the scoobies are probably going to be sidelined. But that’s understandable given that this particular storyline is clearly centered on the Buffy/Spike relationship.
I’m interested to see where this is going. They introduced Vicky the Vampire as an interesting potential Big Bad early on and then didn’t really do anything with her, so this has definitely piqued my curiosity.
From what I’ve seen so far, I think this might be it. Christos Gage definitely seems to be setting up this issue as the beginning of the end of the Buffy/Spike relationship. It’s probably going to come to its end within this arc. I’m interested to see how it happens and I can only hope it’s handled with respect for both characters. But with how well Season 10 is handling the character development, I don’t think I have too much to hope for on that front just yet. You can pick up your copy of this issue November 18th.
WICKED RATING: [usr 7]