by Victoria Irwin
The “Season 9” finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer may never have made it to television, but the final issue of The Core story arc does the job. Illyria desperately holds the new seed, trying to bring magic back into the realm. If the group succeeds, Dawn’s magical form may come back together, giving Buffy back her sister. Buffy is rocking a serious chest wound and everyone is worse for wear as they try to battle a giant bat creature so that they can escape the impending explosion when the new seed goes live and brings magic back. Xander must distract the creature in order to free Willow and protect Buffy as the two women try to attack the giant bat-like creature. With one demon down, the three and their allies try to make it out of the hole, but Simone Doffler, has other plans. Her supervampire form attempts to drag the Slayer back into the pit. They struggle to gain back the magic scythe Buffy has in her possession. The others watch in horror as the pit collapses in on itself and Buffy continues to battle.
Andrew Chamblis bring the issue and the season to a close with a happy point. He understands the need to show the dark side of the Buffy realm, but also to punch it up with a few moments of hope and happiness. While the bad guy isn’t always identifiable with a pointy black hat in the Buffy realm, Chamblis does a good job of balancing a sense of humor and a sense of tragedy.
Georges Jeanty and Karl Story do a wonderful job of keeping the pencils and inks precise and well crafted. Jeanty’s pencil work creates believable characters that appear to have been drawn with great care, instead of great haste as in some issues prior to this one. Michelle Madsen brings the issue to life with her coloration, highlighting Simone Doffler’s very human clothing and supervampire face.
For Buffy fans, the comic keeps the Buffy-verse alive. The stories are entertaining and well crafted, but to this reviewer it just feels like something is missing without the talents of Sarah Michelle Gellar.