"Stake Through the Heart": Trepidation
Writer: Fabien Nicieza
Artists: Cliff Richards(p), Will Conrad(i), Michelle Madsen(c), Brian Horton(paints),
Publisher: Dark Horse
Saying good-bye to Buffy again is very difficult. This series consistently maintained a high quality, and never once did I consider dropping it from my subscription list. I've considered doing this for every title on the list at one time, but never Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
The irony of the final Buffy story is that it imagines a plausible beginning for the Slayer as she embarks to Sunnydale. Mr. Nicieza once again conceives of an unusual demon to represent a demon of the mind, and he takes into consideration again the lessons learned from Joss Whedon.
Buffy has already faced three of these demons. While the attack against her is momentarily effective, she quickly catches on to what is happening and is prepared to deal with it in a very striking scene captured by Cliff Richards, Will Conrad and Michelle Madsen.
Niecieza makes this swan song for the comic book adventures of Buffy very characteristic of the series. The Slayer-speak can be heard in the dialogue. The cast's behavior mirrors that scene on television.
"Stake to the Heart" nicely encapsulates what Buffy was about: strength not only in body but also of mind, and it more than adequately provides a test of fire for the Slayer that we have grown to love.
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