At the end of the last review I teased that a well known character was on his way back into the story, thankfully we was shown in the last issue so I say a big welcome back to Dracula. The head of all Vampires has lost none of his ability to look down on mortals, none more so than his former man-servant Xander. The interplay between the two forms the greater percentage of the comic relief in this issue. It is very close to being a little bit too far, but thankfully Christos Gage and Nicolas Brendon pull the humour plug at the right time.
The other factor in the Xander/Dracula meetings are Dawn, she is a thorn in Dracula’s continual one up man-ship and makes for some great comic relief. The rest of the Scooby gang have differing reactions to the return of the megalomaniac from Transylvania, these are as varied as distain to objectification. The introduction of Dracula seems like it can open up new avenue’s especially considering that magic is still in the process of restoring itself to a new status quo.
The story itself revolves around what the gang do best searching for answers; thankfully the New Rules are proving to be very entertaining. This was needed as Buffy was more than capable of destroying pretty much every evil creature that stood up against her. This issues investigation obviously revolves around Dracula but there are moments in the story where we get to see Buffy and Willow going it alone. The way the dynamic duo go about their tasks reeks of people comfortable in their old routine but thankfully a rather poignant awakening is not too far away.
The art is being continued in the same vein as the other issues but with Dracula Rebekah Issacs does a great recreating the TV show character. This is an action light issue so we are relatively deprived of true sequential art. This is the issues downfall for new readers, but for true Buffy they will appreciate the narrative and the direction its heading.
Overall this is a set up issue filled with humour; as such it is no jumping on point for new readers. If you have been keeping up with the Buffyverse then you will appreciate this is a necessary issue for the arc as a whole as we delve deeper into the New Rules.
Issue Rating 3.5/5
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