This has been a very good opening arc into the “New Rules” of the Buffyverse; there has been action and intrigue but most importantly a smooth transition with the new creative team taking over. The new rule idea has been used really effectively to bring a new sense of life to the series. As a returning reader I’m happy to say it has captured my attention but I also feel it would be great for new comers as well. Obviously a certain frame of reference would be better to help know the characters but I do feel each is crafted as to allow newbie’s a chance to hit the ground running.
This issue is not so much about Buffy as it is about the Scooby Gang as a collective, this is true of most plots but there is something about this issue that really highlights the diversity and talents of the whole group. From spell casting to fighting to writing everyone has a role and even though they may not be utilised in every issue each has a role in making this series what it is. Thankfully the majority of the episode sidesteps melodrama with a deft touch but there are a few heart tugging moments aligned with the odd corny line but they all feel earned within the narrative. The addition of Nicholas Brendon to the writing team seems pretty seamless and I hope going forward he will help improve the product overall.
Artistically Rebekah Issacs and colourist Dan Jackson really seem to be having a lot of fun in this issue. The magnitude of the central battle lets them create a wonderful playground; it is however the character moments that really show their metal. This is well demonstrated in the Dawn/Xander moments as you get the idea that these two really have a connection.
This has been a very good opening to the new era and I am full onboard for the series as it continues. Admittedly this is only the first arc but if it carries on in this vein then the new team should make the new rules as compelling a read as any other Buffy series to date.
Issue Rating 4.5/5
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