Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 12 #3

Writers: Joss Whedon & Christos Gage
Pencils: Georges Jeanty
Ink: Karl Story, Andy Owens & Dexter Vines
Colors: Dan Jackson
Lettering: Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt

To me there is nothing more comforting than the Buffyverse, I love spending time with these characters that have been by my side for 2/3rds of my life. News about the Buffy reboot made it obvious why the Buffy comics were being wrapped up. It’s time to create a brand new Buffyverse, so that every teenager has a shot of growing up with Buffy and her gang. But considering the 20 years of continuous stories from this current universe and its stories, I am anxious that it gets the ending it deserves.

I am not sure issue 3 of this final 4 issue arc delivers on this front. Issue 1 set up the plot of this arc, it showed us where each of the characters were, and introduced the main plot. Issue 2 allowed for some fun cameos and was about the Scoobies getting together and plotting and rallying the troops. Issue 3 then obviously covers all the emotional pep talks, all the pre-battle goodbyes and all the talk of duty and fate. It also includes said battle. And it’s comfortably familiar, and it doesn’t cover any controversial new ground, as is to be expected from a penultimate issue. And partly because the characters are so incredibly worked out over the last two decades, it isn’t necessary for them to have long talks, they all already know how everyone feels and what they want to say. But knowing the end of these characters is in sight, it feels unsatisfying to have their relationships summed up in less than a page worth of panels.

Overall I feel like I’ve seen this exact narrative arc of this issue in each of the post-TV show seasons of Buffy. It’s an understandable narrative choice given the finality of the season, but it feels unexciting, and lacks in nostalgia for that to not be problem. I have hopes that this issue was deliberately a bit flat to ensure the final issue makes a bigger impact.

6/10

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