30 in 30 - Day 1: Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Season 11: The Spread of Their Evil / by Frank Gogol

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I’ve been looking forward to reading Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Season 11: The Spread of Their Evil for some time now. I watched my first episode of Buffy the vampire slayer in 1997, long before I ever read a comic book. In fact, I’d argue that if not for Buffy, I might never have become a comic book reader. But I did become a comic fan, and Buffy, after its television cancelation, became a comic book.

The Buffy books from Dark Horse have, historically, tended to read better when collected. With the Season 11 having just wrapped up, I’d been planning to dive into the series soon. So, I figured what better place to start 30 in 30 than with my first love—Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Synopsis

Title: Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Season 11: The Spread of Their Evil
Storytellers: Christos Gage & Rebekah Issacs
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Year of Publication: 2017
Page Count: 160

Buffy and the Scoobies weren't ready for this kind of disaster to strike San Francisco. When a tsunami and an enormous dragon of storms devastate the Bay area, the supernatural folk in the world--witches, demons, and the like--are blamed as if they deliberately caused the catastrophe. In the midst of San Francisco's ruin, the team is surprised by the action taken by the government: restrictions are placed on the supernatural in the name of safety. Never one to balk at slaying evil demons, Buffy knows that not all demons are evil and in this case, it isn't clear who--if anyone--was behind the disaster…But she has to find out. Buffy must choose a side, find a way for herself and her friends to survive, and not lose who she is in the process.

SPOILERS FOR BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER – SEASON 11 BELOW

What I learned about Comic Book Storytelling in Writing

Whereas past Buffy series slow-burned their way toward big revelations, the overarching plot explodes in the first issue of Season 11. Christos Gage, after a couple of years working with these characters, introduces them all seamlessly in just two scenes. By the end of the second scene, the massive event that acts as the inciting incident for the season arrives. And because of Gage’s quick, strong introductions, the plot moves at a brisk, entertaining pace.

What I learned about Comic Book Storytelling in Art

Rebekah Issacs, now on her third season of a Buffy Universe book, uses panel layouts to enhance action scenes. Generally, Issacs sticks to the traditional page grid as characters are being introduced in first two scenes. As soon as the massive storm dragon arrives at the end of scene two, though, her layouts break the grid. Panels overlap and turn sideways, and the art takes on a more kinetic, fast-paced feel.

Recommendation: B (Entertaining, worth a read)

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