Buffy the Vampire Slayer #23 Review
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #23 finds the Scooby Gang at odds with each other as threats grow. Buffy the Vampire Slayer #23 is written by Jeremy Lambert, illustrated by Ramon Bachs, coloured by Raúl Angulo, and lettered by Ed Dukeshire.
The Scooby Gang have found themselves torn apart as they face not only a threat to the multiverse but also an old friend. Disagreements about what to do threaten to fracture them more than they already are, but Buffy isn’t about to give up on her friends.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #23 is published by BOOM! Studios, and is available from March 3, 2021.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #23 Story
The issue starts with the Scooby Gang in a bit of a rough place. Vampire Xander has returned and seeks to bind Willow so they can never be apart again, giving the gang a bit of a ticking clock and also their major tension. Buffy wants to save her friends, while Faith doesn’t understand why they hadn’t already killed Xander when they had the chance. Even when they do come to some sort of agreement as to what to do this tension continues to bubble underneath, keeping it all flowing together.
Lambert does a good job of keeping the pacing pretty consistent throughout the issue, even as it swaps between multiple locations. My only issue was right before the combat of the issue, the Gang is gathered and getting ready when the enemy suddenly comes out to face them. It isn’t a major issue, I just found it a little abrupt within the overall structure.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #23 Art
Bachs brings great art to this tale. The characters are all incredibly expressive and the action is very dynamic. There’s a lot of energy in the panels and there’s a nice, distinct style to the supernatural elements. There’s a moment or two where it’s unclear which characters are interacting, but that’s a fairly minor thing that may not even be noticed.
Angulo’s colouring is quite atmospheric and helps add a lot to the tone of each scene. It also helps enhance the supernatural even further, giving it colour tones not seen in other places. Dukeshire also does great work on the lettering, especially given this is a fairly dialogue-heavy issue until the fighting. The dialogue never overwhelms or covers up the art.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #23 Conclusion
This is most certainly an issue for people who have been reading along, so I certainly don’t recommend it as a place to jump in. Even a die-hard Buffy fan will have some trouble catching up on everything going on, as most things are more referenced in passing. This isn’t inherently a flaw, but does mean it is almost exclusively for those who have been reading along already.
If you are one of those people then absolutely pick this issue up, things are building and promise to have an emotional pay-off for the characters. If you were thinking of jumping in I’d suggest either start earlier or wait a few more issues for a cleaner place to start.