Buffy #23 Review

by Nick Devonald on March 02, 2021

Writer: Jeremy Lambert
Artist: Ramon Bachs
Colours: Raúl Angulo
Letters: Ed Dukeshire

There is so much juggling going on in Buffy at the moment, and the endgame is still unclear for the reader. Jeremy Lambert has taken over solo writing duties here, and he’s moving all the pieces into position while keeping enough secrets from the reader that this series really could go in any direction. The vampire Xander storyline has been going on for a little while now, and he’s entered a morally grey area where it’s unclear whether he’s been manipulating his friends, or whether something of the old Xander really is in there and steering him in a good direction. This issue takes steps to clarify that by making a portion of the narration from his point of view. A casual comment from Anya really clears things up for fans of the TV series, but new readers will need to wait to find out what it means.

As the Scooby gangs’ roster has increased it’s meant more internal conflict between both Slayers, Watchers, and everyone else. To combat this enlarged cast of heroes, even with the infighting, Lambert is assembling a roster of villains to confound them. Except this isn’t a united front they’ll be facing, as everyone has differing goals and motivations. We have vampire Xander who is obsessed with Willow. Anya and the slayer who came before, who have a vendetta against the Watcher’s council, who are on a collision course with Buffy and Co. Then there is another, familiar to long-time fans, character introduced in this issue. She has been teased throughout the series, but her appearance here is bound to delight fans. A lot of spinning plates yet Lambert manages to give everyone just enough time that readers understand their motivations, even if some of their endgames are still shrouded in mystery.

After the slower pace in the last issue, which gave us some excellent character development and pacing, this issue speeds things along a little towards the confrontation which has been promised for a while now. Whether it’s the confrontation that readers were expecting, or merely a smaller step on the way to the bigger fight, it feels like we’re building towards some big developments, with some things that have been teased throughout the entire series coming to fruition.

Ramon Bachs’ does a good job with the action in this issue, he manages to make it both dynamic and fluid, and it looks great. There is an energy in each panel which makes it feel kinetic and alive. His style makes most of the cast look quite young, but that’s in keeping with them being at High School. It is the villains of the piece which really look fantastic though, it’s clear that Bachs’ has had a blast drawing them. Raúl Angulo’s colours are a great match to Bachs’ style, the bright colours contrast nicely against the duller backdrop which makes up a series set mostly at night.

A large ensemble cast of both heroes, villains, and those in between, each with differing motivations, makes for interesting reading. The conflict that has slowly been building is coming to a head, and it’s difficult to guess where all the pieces are going to end up. There are plenty of mysteries still to be explored here, and that’s without mentioning the multiverse which has been slowly teased recently. Buffy fans are sure to love this issue.

Our Score:


A Look Inside