Buffy the Vampire Slayer # 28
Dark Horse (Vol. 1, 1998-2003)
Creators: Tom Fassbender & Jim Pascoe (writers), Cliff Richards (penciller), Joe Pimentel (inker)
Setting: Season Four
T.V. Character Appearances: Buffy, Willow, Riley, Professor Walsh, Xander, Giles, Spike
Major Original Characters: Baron Samedi (demon); Verona (immortality-seeker)
Summary: Buffy breaks up a vampire attack and saves a young woman named Verona from being bitten. The next morning, while in Professor Walsh's classroom, Buffy and Willow talk about Willow missing Oz when suddenly hundreds of maggots erupt from Buffy's backpack. Riley solves the problem with a fire extinguisher, but after a horde of rats invade the lunchroom where Buffy is eating, the Scoobies turn to Giles to research what's going on. That night, Buffy decides to go on patrol and heads for the nearest cemetery; but lying in wait is Verona, who had hoped to be given immortality by the vampire that Buffy killed, and a horde of zombies summoned by the demon that Verona turned to instead: Baron Samedi, the Voodoo Lord! Just as Buffy is about to be sacrificed by Verona as an offering to Baron Samedi, Spike arrives, and Buffy uses the distraction to escape her bonds. Baron Samedi takes Verona's soul as payment for her failure to kill Buffy and then disappears.
Review: Better. Though still not particularly scary as promised, the use of Voodoo and Baron Samedi was a natural fit for Buffy, so much so that I was surprised it hadn't been used in the show. There's a good twist with Verona wanting to have been bitten, and solid dialogue. The Spike appearance was pretty useless, as he contributed little to the plot and was quickly dispatched by the villain.
* Next issue begins a four-part crossover with Angel.
* The letters page has an interesting, balanced discussion about whether the comic should have more done-in-one stories to appeal to casual newsstand fans or more multi-issue arcs to appeal to dedicated comics fans.
* In one fun scene, Buffy punches her fist through a zombie's head, and when she pulls her fist away, the head comes with . . .