Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Buffy the Vampire Slayer # 58 (Dark Horse, Volume 1, 1998-2003)
Creators: Scott Lobdell & Fabian Nicieza (story); Cliff Richards (pencils); Will Conrad (inks); Dave McCaig (colors); Clem Robins (letters)
Setting: Between Movie & Season 1
T.V./Movie Character Appearances: Hank Summers, Buffy, Giles, Quentin Travers, Joyce, Dawn
Major Original Characters: Dr. Primrose (psychiatrist); Dr. Stone (asylum director); April Levine (patient; flashback only); Rakagore (demon)
Buffy continues her therapy sessions with Dr. Primrose, and tells about her earliest childhood memory: reading Alice in Wonderland with her father. After going through a word-association exercise, Buffy concludes that she's not really the Slayer. The next morning, however, she learns that April was supposedly released from the facility; Buffy knows that shouldn't be, since April was far from cured. Another patient talks to Buffy about the "Brides of Rakagore." Meanwhile, at the Blackshed, Giles doesn't actually kill Ripper--instead, he decides that instead of destroying his more rebellious and angry impulses, he needs to accept them and make them part of who he is. Back at the asylum, April's father storms in and confronts Dr. Stone, claiming that April committed suicide shortly after being released! After another meeting with Dr. Primrose, Buffy is told that she'll be released in the morning. Instead, however, she secretly follows the other female patients down to the building's basement and sees them worshipping a huge demon named Rakagore!
I really like the beginning of the comic, where we get to see a nice moment between kid Buffy and her father--99% of the time, when we hear about Hank, it's in the context of the divorce with Joyce. The storyline about the demon operating in the basement is uninspired, but I will say the artwork for Rakagore is pretty awesome. The resolution of the "Giles in Blackshed" storyline was pretty well done, and offered some additional insight into why Giles isn't your average Watcher. There's one issue left in the storyline, and the ending seems rather predictable.
* Artist Cliff Richards has figured out to draw the perfect Sarah Michelle-Gellar likeness.
* This issue features an ad for the Buffy video game Chaos Bleeds. I spent *hours* playing that game, but always got stuck on "evil Giles."
* The letters page indicates next issue will be the last one written by Scott Lobdell.