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Buffy the Vampire Slayer #56

Posted: Friday, May 2, 2003
By: Ray Tate

"Slayer Interrupted" Part 1

Writer: Fabien Nicieza & Scott Lobdell
Artists: Cliff Richards(p), Will Conrad(i), Dave McCaig(c)
Publisher: Dark Horse

Apart from a few moments of humor provided by Buffy's discovery that a hellish Wonderland of demons not just vampires stalks the night, "Slayer Interrupted" isn’t telling a Buffy fan anything new. Joss Whedon already revealed that Buffy early in her Los Angeles Slayer career was institutionalized.

In the episode, Buffy herself informs the Scoobies about this period of parental misunderstanding. It was she he told her parents about seeing a vampire that made them over-react and send her to the funny farm. Buffy makes no mention of Dawn's involvement with her incarceration.

The history of the Slayer has not changed. Only the memories of that time have been altered to include a magical graft where Dawn fits into the adventures. Faith for instance although having never met Dawn, on a recent episode acknowledged Dawn as if she did know her.

For "Slayer Interrupted," Dawn becomes pivotal in the revelation of Buffy's "fantasy" that she in fact is the Chosen One. As usual placing Dawn in the spotlight of Buffy's history rather than to the wings does not quite work. Would Dawn upon reading Buffy's diary leap to the conclusion that her sister is certifiable? Would it not be more likely for Dawn to take extreme delight in the discovery that her sister's life is so boring that she feels the need to make up stories about herself? Would it not be more likely for Dawn to bust Buffy’s chops about the secret she no longer possesses rather than to call for her mother and catalyze Buffy's rubber room visa?

"Slayer Interrupted" is not the best of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer canon, nor is it the worst. It's to borrow a Douglas Adams designation "mostly harmless." The characters with the exception of Dawn behave and sound like the cast, and I have no doubt that the story's pace will pick up speed in the next chapters. Cliff Richards pencils, Will Conrad's inks and the colors of Dave McCaig make for an attractive presentation that spotlight Sara Michelle Gellar's look and body language as the Slayer. Her despondency and loneliness are captured in each panel.

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