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Buffy the Vampire Slayer #59

Posted: Saturday, July 26, 2003
By: Ray Tate

"Slayer Interrupted": Part Four

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

Buffy the Vampire Slayer starts off strong, stops for the addition of faux continuity and then restarts for a fairly thrilling finale. As you may have guessed the pacing is way off for the conclusion to "Slayer Interrupted."

The book opens with the resolution to last issue's cliffhanger, but for some reason it ends up kicking Buffy back into a straitjacket. This makes even less sense since the villain knows that Buffy is the Slayer and does not do the wise thing and kill her while she's unconscious. Yes, I know. It's a staple mistake committed multiple times by multiple antagonists from everywhen--except Buffy. Usually, Joss Whedon and company gave a rationale for sparing the Slayer. Sometimes the Slayer would have been killed if not for the timely arrival of one of the Scoobies. Here there's no real reason why the demon d'jour doesn't just try to kill her.

Upon being fitted again for a straitjacket, Buffy encounters her therapist again--lots of agains in this one--who turns out to be a former Watcher. The writers take a lot for granted by hindsight. They suggest that the Watcher's Council isn't necessarily the altruists they seem to be, but the Council doesn't show their corruption or masks their corruption until the third season of the television series. As a Buffy fan I resent that the therapist puts the idea of resistance in Buffy's head. This takes away some of the character's spirit. Buffy is a born rebel. She needs no help from the therapist to buck tradition.

The coversation really just seems so out of place, but fortunately, the dialogue that captures Sara Michele Gellar's voice keeps it interesting. In the second match up against the demon d'jour, Buffy triumphs in a rousing, gory finish. I just question why the second melee was needed when Buffy could have finished off the demon during the first round, discussed things with the therapist whereupon the revelation of her Watcher roots could have been revealed--here she may have warned Buffy against the Council instead of seeming to plant the germ of rebellion into her mind--checked out of the hospital and checked in on the stand-in Willow.

One thing cannot be doubted. Cliff Richards is the Buffy artist. He effortlessly brings to the pages Sara Michelle Gellar's style and expression she imbued to the part of Buffy. His nightmarish creations, this demon especially, often equivocate the eerie and gruesome monsters from the show, and although the artist is usually responsible for the pacing of the adventure, Mr. Richards is blameless.

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