Buffy the Vampire Slayer # 12
Dark Horse (Volume 1, 1998-2003)
Creators: Christopher Golden (writer); Christian Zanier (penciller); Andy Owens (inker)
Setting: Season Three
T.V. Character Appearances: Joyce, Buffy, Cordelia, Oz, Xander, Willow, Giles,
Major Original Characters: Brad Caulfield (bully); Sandy Shipman/Ylisandroth (high schooler/demon)
Summary: Buffy is being bullied by a jerk named Brad Caulfield. Brad's girlfriend, Sandy, is sympathetic to Buffy and strikes up a friendship. When Buffy overhears Brad talking about a ritual of some sort, she thinks that maybe loser-Brad is using black magick to entrance super-cool Sandy. Turns out, however, that Sandy is really an ancient demon named Ylisandroth and she's sucking power from Brad and his friends! Ylisandroth gets the drop on some of the Scoobies, but Buffy saves the day by decapitating the demon with a ceiling fan. Yuck!
Review: Buffy's new friend, never seen before or after this issue, turns out to be evil? Whaaaaat! I can't actually blame guest writer Christopher Golden if this twist can be seen from miles away, because there's a limited number of stories that can be told if the characters, setting, and basic concept of the series can never change until the t.v. series allows them to. Anyway, next issue we're back with the regular creative team as the Selke storyline allegedly heats up.
* It's amazing how quickly the changing pace of technology can make stories seem dated. In this ish, Buffy's beeper goes off and she has to go hunting for a payphone in order to call Giles to learn that Sandy Shipman is really the demon Ylisandroth. I have this huge Buffy poster hanging in the guest room with the tagline "If the Apocalypse comes . . . beep me", which was once pretty cool but now seems kinda goofy. This issue came out in 1999, so cell phones couldn't have been too far off . . .
* In addition to the normal art and photo covers to this issue, there was a "Dynamic Forces Exclusive Limited Edition Gold Foil Cover with certificate of authenticity and limited to 3,000 copies." Basically, the photo cover with a different color logo.
* This has nothing to do with Buffy, but I've always loved this ad that ran in the issue. The idea of Thor standing around in his torn undies ironing his cape always brings a smile to my face.