Buffy the Vampire Slayer #7 // Review
In its first six issues, Boom! Studios’ Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot has built a familiar structure and rhythm, with a focus on a larger ensemble and a day or two in their relatively decompressed adventures living above the Hellmouth. Buffy the Vampire Slayer #7 from Boom! Studios takes a break from the ensemble-based format of the first six issues to focus entirely on one character.
In this issue, Willow has difficulty coping with the effects of splitting her soul to save Xander’s. Also, a dream sequence/vision brings her into direct contact with an entity BtVS fans will immediately recognize as Dark Willow.
Jordie Bellaire’s entry into Willow’s doubts and fears makes this a great one-and-done issue. Bellaire has an excellent handle on who Willow is and what she needs. Even more, she’s able to use Willow’s supernatural predicament as an outstanding metaphor for the trials of depression and anxiety, in the classic Buffy fashion.
Penciler David López and colorist Raúl Angulo use rigid panels to depict the monotony and depression of Willow’s everyday life. And artist Sas Milledge uses chaotic and irregular borders for the dream sequence. The contrast works well, and the shift between artists isn’t at all jarring, partially thanks to Ed Dukeshire’s lettering.
On its own, this issue is a great character study and a nice change in structure. Unfortunately, it also exacerbates one of the biggest problems this series has shown so far. Which is that it’s so decompressed that it feels like nothing happens issue to issue. Here’s hoping the title can pick up the pace overall while still finding time for moments like these.