Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Buffy Comic Project: "Note From the Underground, Part 1"

Buffy the Vampire Slayer # 47

(Dark Horse, Volume 1, 1998-2003)

Creators:  Scott Lobdell (story); Cliff Richards (pencils); Will Conrad & Joe Pimentel (inks)

Setting:  After Season Six

T.V. Character Appearances:  Angel, Cordelia, Faith, Gunn, Groo, Fred, Buffy

Major Original Characters:  Steglar (demon drug dealer), Marget Brown (judge)

Summary:  Angel and Cordelia go undercover as drug dealers to infiltrate a demon nightclub named Dante’s Inferno.  There, they discover that a demon named Steglar, who carries his head on a pole, has been trafficking in a new drug called Soul Drops, harvested from the souls of the unborn!  Steglar reveals that the source of his supply is Sunnydale, leading Cordelia to have a vision of terrible events happening in the city.  With their cover blown, Angel and Cordelia are forced to fight and kill the demons.  Angel then calls in a favour with a judge he’s helped in  the past, Marget Brown, to get Faith temporarily sprung from prison.  Over the objections of his employees in Angel Investigations, Angel takes Faith with him to Sunnydale.  Meanwhile, Buffy lies unconscious somewhere in Sunnydale, while a mysterious figure putting on clothing from Riley Finn’s locker vows to help.


What a fantastic debut for Scott Lobdell as writer.  I enjoyed this issue as much or more than any other so far in the series, and it feels like the series is finally getting the right (darker, edgier) tone.  Buffy hardly makes an appearance (one page where she’s unconscious), but I honestly didn’t mind: Angel, Cordelia, and Faith steal the show, with the combat against the unique head-on-a-stick demon a highlight for me (some panache on display for once in a Buffy comic!).  I’m quite legitimately looking forward to reading the next issue.


·         *  Angel and Cordelia undercover as mobsters is bound to be fun!

·         The headless Steglar.  Things don’t end well for him.

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