Nobody puts Pegasus in a test tube…unless you’re Giles, and then that’s exactly what you do (Why, Giles, why?).
After that epic entrance last issue, Buffy #3 presents Camazotz, the giant, misunderstood bat who leaves a skylight in Anya’s magic shop. For being so misunderstood, Camazotz couldn’t make himself clearer: “No soul, no life,” all vampires dead. Working against him is the fact that he looks like what he’s fighting – a demon spawn from Hell. The inherent drama of a character whose appearances are at war with his intentions can’t be undersold but it’s the emotional places the creative team take this character. All of their fingerprints are on him, too – Ed Dukeshire’s letters that demand your full attention, the shade of red Raúl Angulo uses, marking Camazotz out as unfriendly. That Buffy doesn’t melt during the utter gut punch that is him saying, “Why slayer? Why does slayer hurt?” is unbelievable (Jordie Bellaire‘s wording! Those eyes by Dan Mora!).
From the high of ‘wow, this is a really cool monster,’ to the devastation of his feelings getting hurt, Buffy has never done anything like Camazotz before. Talking animals (unless you count Amy the rat) weren’t a thing the show did, so it would be exciting to see the comics explore this relationship, except Giles bottles him up again, so what’s up with that?
“It is not yet your time,” Giles tells Camazotz and, thankfully, Camazotz is completely accepting of this decision (because it would be horrible if he was unwilling), but are we talking next issue? Years from now? Losing that character, and the new dynamic he provided, is almost cruel but, whatever time we had with Camazotz, the Buffy universe is better for him.
Other thoughts on Buffy #3:
- Whelp, Buffy broke nice Cordelia (that didn’t take long) but it was cool to be reminded one of the reasons Buffy and Cordelia don’t get along, historically, is they’re a lot alike (the necklace comment, their taste in vampires, etc.).
- The identity of the issue recapper is revealed: Cordelia’s been reminding us what’s happened so far. I like that Bellaire keeps finding opportunities to slip in surprises, because there was a definite voice to the recap in issue two, but nothing about whose..
- Buffy and Giles get some nice moments this issue (the guitar zinger was spot on). Less successful: Spike’s first meeting with Buffy. He comes off as completely ineffective. Willow and Xander appearing out of nowhere also doesn’t mean what it would if we’d seen them together with Buffy since issue one. Also, issue two ended with Xander in a bad place, but this issue completely drops his narration (and while I’d like to kid myself and say it’s because he feels better, that’s not likely).
- Given Camazotz’s mission (kill vampires), I don’t buy him leaving the magic ship with Dru and Spike (and Anya for that matter) inside. Going outside makes sense for his wingspan but why leave them alive?
- My first quarrel with a fashion choice but Xander does not need ripped jeans in his wardrobe.
Buffy #3 goes on sale March 13th from Boom! Studios.