Buffy #13

by Nick Devonald on March 04, 2020

Writer: Jordie Bellaire
Artist: Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
Colours: Raὐl Angulo & Eleonora Bruni
Letters: Ed Dukeshire

We get a bit of a departure from the normal Buffy issue here. You know those episodes of your favourite TV show, where a new character is introduced with only the bare minimum of back story, then later we get a whole episode devoted to introducing them? That’s what we’ve got here, a whole issue focusing on Kendra before she appeared in Sunnydale during the Hellmouth event.

Normally I find those episodes annoying, breaking up the usual story to tell me a story I’m not overly interested in. Not worth dedicating a whole episode (or issue in this case) to anyway. This is one of the exceptions. The Hellmouth event has just ended, and while I’m desperate to discover what’s next for our favourite slayer that story hasn’t begun yet, and I’m quite happy to take a break before it does.

The next shock I had was how much I enjoyed this issue. Kendra has never been amongst my favourite Buffy characters, not by a long shot. That applies to both the comics and the TV show. So I was genuinely, and pleasantly, surprised when I found myself warming to her and devouring this issue. We also get the introduction of something else which has been missing since we met Kendra… Mr. Pointy. A nice easter egg for fans.

The plot is a fairly standard vampire plot, nothing that’ll take you by surprise or you won’t see coming, but that’s not the point. The point is to introduce Kendra’s supporting cast before she joined Buffy. To learn what we can about her before she’s called. To give us an understanding of a character who, while featured quite heavily, is still mostly a mystery. And it works really well, I feel I understand and relate to Kendra now whereas I didn’t before.

It makes it harder then that we have a pretty good idea of Kendra’s eventual fate, assuming they follow the same storyline from the TV series. Up until now I’d welcomed it since it would lead to Faith’s inevitable appearance. Now I’m hoping they hold off a little.

This issue is drawn by guest artist Rosemary Valero-O’Connell who does a great job here. One of the biggest factors with an artist is how well they can draw existing characters but, apart from Kendra, Valero-O’Connell doesn’t get an opportunity to draw any of the Scoobies. Her vampires are all about the teeth and less about the foreheads, but it works quite well and puts her own unique stamp on it. I’d be quite happy to see her continuing on in the Buffyverse in some form.

Raὐl Angulo & Eleonora Bruni’s colours are good as well. They help make the most of Valero-O’Connell’s artwork. They also really help set the scene, whether the glow of moonlight at night, or the vibrant colours in a daytime market. The comic is brightly coloured throughout which helps set the scene as well, and distinguishes it from the normal run of Buffy, which this issue is a detour from.

A nice break before the Ring Of Fire story-arc begins in earnest, readers will find themselves warming to Kendra and understanding her better. It’s a nice change of pace from the craziness of the Hellmouth event and lets readers have a minute to take a breath. Valero-O’Connell’s art is also a nice break from the rest of the series and would be welcome to return later.

Our Score:


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