Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 #32

I haven’t reviewed a graphic novel for Daemon’s Books before, but issue 32 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is just so awesome that I couldn’t resist. It’s the first issue written by Brad Meltzer and the first in the Twilight arc, a four-issue arc in which we will finally learn the identity of the mysterious big bad of Season 8. The big reveal will take place in the next issue, though it’s been nearly impossible to avoid the spoilers so I think most of us already know who it is. For now though it’s still a secret and in this issue, Buffy explores her newfound powers of flight and super speed. Meanwhile, Willow realizes that Giles, Andrew and Faith are missing, and while trying to find them she discovers the source of Buffy’s superpowers.

This issue and all it’s Superman/superhero references (Buffy’s faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive) were a whole lot of geeky fun. The raging battle and slayer deaths of the past few issues have made them kind of dark, so a more lighthearted story was welcome. Unfortunately for Buffy, the fun comes to an abrupt end when she realizes where her new powers are coming from. It’s a twist I didn’t see coming and I’m interested to see where they take the story from here.

I feel like Meltzer really gets Buffy and he did an amazing job of capturing each character’s voice. The banter between Xander and Buffy, for example, was just perfect. Meltzer (in keeping with the superhero theme, I think) includes captions to introduce each character, for example: “Xander. Buffy’s best friend. One eye. Funny. Mostly.” You don’t find out who’s saying the introductions until about halfway through, which was a little confusing, but I’m willing to overlook that because they were so hilarious.

I continue to enjoy Georges Jeanty’s art and I think he captures Buffy and Willow particularly well. Between that and the spot-on dialogue in this issue, I almost felt as if I was watching an episode of the TV show. To me, it just doesn’t get better than that.

Overall, I think Brad Meltzer’s first issue was a huge success and I can’t wait for the next issue. I haven’t been this excited about Buffy for a while and I have high hopes that Joss Whedon is going to wrap up Season 8 in an unforgettable way.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars | Writer: Brad Meltzer | Pencils: Georges Jeanty | Inks: Andy Owens | Colors: Michelle Madsen | Publisher: Dark Horse Comics | Pages: 40 | Source: Purchased

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