Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Buffy Comic Project: "The Blood of Carthage" (Part 4)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer # 24

Dark Horse (Volume 1, 1998-2003)

Creators: Christopher Golden (writer), Cliff Richards (penciller), Joe Pimental (inker)

Setting: Season Four

T.V Character Appearances: Buffy, Giles, Spike, Xander, Willow, Anya, Drusilla (flashback only)

Major Original Characters: Hiram (demon henchmen), Xerxes the Blind (demon), Xiu (vampire twin; flashback only), Vraka (demon lord), Allan & Kristine (Watchers), Tergazzi (demon informant)

Summary: The Scoobies persuade Buffy that they should form a truce with Vraka against a common enemy, Ky-Laag. Spike explains how he once promised Vraka a magical tome a century ago in order to gain his aid in rescuing Drusilla, but that Spike then failed to keep his end of the bargain. Buffy and Spike find Vraka and try to deal, but a fight breaks out. Eventually, they come to an agreement and everyone splits up into teams in order to gather the material needed to perform a ritual to stop Ky-Laag. Buffy and Vraka set off to gather two demon hearts. Giles, Willow, and Hiram fly to New York, where they rob the Watcher's Council to obtain an amulet. Spike, Xander, and Xerxes head to the sewer for some feces. Everyone assembles at the quarry to perform the ritual, but there's a snag: Ky-Laag has already escaped, inhabiting the body of Tergazzi, who collapses in downtown Sunnydale.

Review: Decent. We need more info on Ky-Laag and why he's such a threat, as well as on why Vraka is his enemy. It was fun seeing Giles and Willow in New York, as the characters rarely leave Sunnydale at this point in the the show. There's also a really nice moment where Xander laments to Spike that Willow has suddenly become so useful and determined, and that Xander feels like her sidekick--a good reversal of the flashback scenes we saw earlier in this story arc. The story does seem to be picking up momentum, as we'll presumably see Ky-Laag for real next issue.


* Giles goes all Ripper in N.Y., punching out fellow Watchers, holding them at gunpoint, and swiping an amulet. A footnote promises that the implications of this will be followed up on in the then-forthcoming Giles one-shot.

* Anya has another hilarious scene, as she explains to one of Vraka's henchmen the reason why she and Xander couldn't complete the Kama Sutra.

* A handy sidebar on the letters' page explains what's in each of the Buffy TPBs that Dark Horse had released at that point.

* Editor Scott Allie devotes an editorial to praising artist Ryan Sook. A blurb at the end announced Autumnal, "a three month Buffy event ... in which we take the title in a darker, more classic-horror direction."

Next Issue

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