Monday, April 17, 2017
Buffy the Vampire Slayer # 59 (Dark Horse Comics, 1998-2003)
Creators: Scott Lobdell & Fabian Nicieza (story); Cliff Richards (pencils); Will Conrad (inks); Dave McCaig & Lisa Gonzales (colors); Clem Robins (letters)
Setting: Between Movie & Season 1
T.V./Movie Character Appearances: Buffy, Joyce, Giles, Quentin Travers, Wesley,
Major Original Characters: Dr. Stone/Rakagore (demon); Dr. Primrose (physician); April Levine (patient); Giles' Father
Summary: In the basement of the asylum, Buffy interrupts the demon Rakagore's ceremony and launches an attack. But Buffy is knocked out during the battle, and wakes up in a straitjacket in a padded cell. She speaks with Dr. Primrose and is surprised to find out that the doctor believes she really is the Slayer--because Dr. Primrose used to be a Watcher! Dr. Primrose says that Buffy needs to embrace her destiny as a Slayer if she hopes to survive, and Buffy takes up the challenge. She confronts Rakagore again, and this time she's victorious. She leaves the asylum a confident, content Slayer. Meanwhile, in England, Rupert Giles is formally called into service as Buffy's Watcher. Unfortunately, his father continues to express disappointment in his son.
Although the stuff with Rakagore was eminently forgettable, there were two things that made this issue interesting. First, the twist with Dr. Primrose being a former Watcher and playing a role in setting Buffy on the right path was unexpected and very cool, even if I don't know if we ever see the good doc again. Second, this is the first appearance (I think) of Giles' father, and it becomes very apparent that Rupert has a difficult relationship with his old man. The synchronicity of Giles and Buffy each starting off on their paths to meet each other, but with very different send-offs, was well-handled.
* Yes, Wesley appears in one panel of this book. Poor Wesley, always second fiddle as a Watcher . . .