Buffy the Vampire Slayer # 3
(Volume 1) (Dark Horse, 1998-2003)
Creators: Andi Watson (writer), Joe Bennett (penciller), Rick Ketcham (inker)
Setting: Season Three
T.V. Character Appearances: Buffy, Joyce, Xander, Willow, Cordelia, Oz, Giles
Major Original Characters: Selke (vampire)
Summary: Thanksgiving has rolled around, and its up to Buffy to buy all the ingredients for her mom's turkey feast. Finding the stores too crowded during the day, Buffy resolves to hit the All-Nite-O-Mart in the wee hours of the morning. On her way back, however, she's ambushed and knocked unconscious by Selke, the vampire who managed to limp away alive at the end of last issue. Even with her hands and feet tied, however, Buffy is more than a match for a single vampire and manages to knock Selke into a fire pit. Thanksgiving dinner is saved!
It's clever how Dark Horse planned issues of the monthly comic to fit nicely into the Fall/Spring run of the show, and used the comic to hit some of the holidays that the show skipped in Season Three (Halloween last issue, Thanksgiving here, and Christmas next issue). Scenes of the Scoobies bantering in Home-Ec class are fun (Willow makes a terrible cake), and the comic maintains an amiable tone throughout. I'm not spoiling myself by looking it up, but I remember Selke having a larger role to play in these early comics--perhaps she survives the fire pit? Her revenge plan on Buffy was kind of a let down.
* Buffy and Giles have a really fun scene, part of which includes Buffy flipping through "Medieval Survivalist Monthly" and trying to get Giles to order her more obscure weapons. Giles rightly points out that his office closet is full of such weapons, and Buffy never actually chooses to use them.
* Not sure what the deal with Selke is: she's depicted as a completely monstrous, dessicated corpse with glowing orbs for eye sockets--completely different than the usual "game-face" that vampires in the show adopt. Is she still supposed to be recovering from the knife stab wound she received weeks ago (in comic time)? Vampires are hardier than that, at least from what the show tells me . . .
* Those of you hoping for some Xander/Willow bondage action based on the cover art will be sorely disappointed--they never get kidnapped in the comic itself.
* The winner of the "Name-the-Letter Column" contest is Frans Jansen with Slay the Critics. The page also includes a funny/snide letter from the editor's ex-girlfriend.