Waiting For The Sun: Reviewing ‘Buffy The Last Vampire Slayer’ #4
by Scott Redmond
Buffy Summers’ dystopian-like future adventure comes to a close as the former slayer and her allies put all their cards on the table to try and save the world, one more time. There is a true love evident on all fronts for these characters and the world they inhabit while also allowing themselves to fully do their own things. Like many great finales, it changes things while leaving plenty on the table to potentially be explored one day.
Time is running out for Buffy and the crew she’s amassed, their attempts to end the vampire’s reign over what is most assuredly a dystopian-style future. With forces descending upon them and all possible allies rising to heed the call, the last of the vampire slayers tries to do what they must in this concluding chapter.
Much like the last issue, there are a lot of moving parts, often very chaotic, but it works since this is the last issue and there is a pretty major understandably chaotic battle going on. Casey Gilly gives us a ton of really interesting and great character moments and some truly emotional ones near the end. There are many plotlines that didn’t get wrapped up or addressed which is perfectly fine because it shows that there is more potential for this world. The best finales are the ones where the story goes on but we the viewer are the ones that are leaving, no longer being privy to what the characters are doing.
The heroes win the day, but the way it was done really worked for me. It seemed inevitable that Buffy was not going to make it out of this adventure, but instead, Gilly threw in a very interesting twist. Disconnecting Buffy and the Slayer, so that the Slayer is what dies, and Buffy goes on was a brilliant move. It works so well into what we’ve known about the Slayer lineage and world for all these years but was also wonderfully unexpected.
Seeing some of our old favorites one last time, piercing the veil between the world of the living and the dead brought a lot of emotions up and was a nice thing to see. I really hope we can see more of this world at some point, but if this was the only glimpse, we get into it then I’m also satisfied with how it all came together.
As with the previous three issues, Joe Jaro and Joana Lafuente do such an amazing job at bringing this story to life and hitting all the right notes. While the inherent sadness and darkness are present in their work as it has in previous issues, there is also a steady growth of a lighter and more hope-filled feeling permeating through the art and colors as the story moves forward. All the fight scenes are brutal and detailed but have great chaotic energy, boosted by the dynamic panel choices that Jaro makes along the way.
Taking place in a cemetery in a world still without the sun makes a lot of the scenes a grayer drab tone with even the color of clothing muted, but it’s broken up smoothly at times with bright flashes of bold in your face colors. The closer they get to the sun returning and their mission being completed, the more these colors manifest and the brighter they seem to get.
Ed Dukenshire makes the dialogue flow through the pages, both in an easy-to-follow way and also in a way that doesn’t overwhelm. One thing that I really love from many letterers, Dukenshire being one of them, is the care taken to really make dialogue stand out. In the sense of adding the right emphasizers or changing the size or style of fonts to really sell the volume or tone rather than leaving it to the imagination. Yelling actually feels like yelling or a semi-raised voice is very evident.
Buffy The Last Vampire Slayer #4 is now on sale in print or digitally from Boom Studios.