Buffy the Vampire Slayer # 5
(Volume 1) (Dark Horse, 1998-2003)
Creators: Andi Watson (writer); Hector Gomez (penciller); Sandu Florea (inker)
Setting: Season Two
T.V. Character Appearances: Buffy, Xander, Willow, Oz, Cordelia, Giles
Major Original Characters: Nathaniel Filmer (cursed Puritan); Mariana and Ben Johnson (witches)
Summary: After werewolf Oz escapes lockdown, Buffy has to get rough in order to get him back in the cage. Willow thinks Buffy overreacted and gives her the silent treatment, but the grudge has to wait when Giles reports that the school library has been broken into--it seems someone is searching for something in his collection of occult books. After a gigantic hound attacks and is narrowly driven off by Cordelia's well-placed crossbow bolt, investigation reveals that the hound has been hunting a man named Nathaniel Filmer for centuries, because back in the colonial era, Filmer (accurately) accused two his friends of involvement in witchcraft--and as revenge, the two cursed Filmer's dog. Realizing that Filmer had broken into Giles' library to find a way to lift the curse, the Scoobies track him to the top of a high clock tower. When the hound arrives, it launches itself at Filmer and the two plummet to their deaths. Buffy, however, saves Willow's life and the two friends make up (or out; see below). Everyone celebrates the New Year's countdown.
Review: The stuff with Filmer doesn't make a whole lot of sense--why would the witches curse him with more or less eternal life and then send his dog off to kill him? Otherwise a decent issue, and I liked the idea of showcasing some friction between the Scoobies, even if it gets resolved at the end. Speaking of the end, we have an unusual one for a Buffy story--Buffy doesn't kill the monster, nor do the Scoobies really have much of a role to play in what happens.
* An ironic bit of dialogue between Xander and Cordelia in light of the Season Four episode Earshot, which wouldn't premiere until almost a year after this comic came out. "No one deserves to be ripped apart by a vicious monster." "No one except the sadist who cooks the school lunches."
* A funny letter from John Hefner, arguing for vampire rights, that would fit in well with True Blood.
* A note from editor Scott Allie, acknowledging the reader complaints about the quick resolution of stories and announcing a two-part story starting next issue.
* The scene that launched a thousand Buffy/Willow slash stories.