Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9: Freefall #3

Script: Andrew Chambliss

Pencils: Georges Jeanty

Published by Dark Horse Comics

Having discovered the source of the mysterious plague of dead bodies sweeping San Francisco, Buffy is now faced with another puzzle – why new vampires are even more savage than usual. Meanwhile the San Francisco Police are hunting the slayer after she escaped custody in the previous issue.

There are three major plot elements at play that really start to come through in this issue. The first is that, in the wake of the destruction of The Seed at the end of Buffy Season 8, Buffy’s friendships are not as rock solid as they once were. They’re not irredeemably damaged but there’s definitely a feeling that Willow and Xander (and Dawn) don’t have as much time for Buffy as they once did. Buffy let them down and, while they still count her as a friend, they’re also living their own lives and aren’t at her beck and call. With Giles dead this leaves Buffy in some ways more alone than ever before. Where once she had a stalwart group of comrades at er side, now she has a circle of friends who aren’t always available. Except  Spike of course.

This series aso sees the return of the tension between Buffy’s ‘real’ world concerns and her slayer duties. For example, currently she is on the run from the police but is less concerned with her own outlaw status than she is with the various supernatural mysteries unfolding around her. As in the television series, sometimes she has to choose between her normal life and her slayer life, but neglecting real world concerns typically has disastrous consequences – in this case the possibility of a prison sentence. The tension between the two worlds Buffy inhabits is part of the charm of the whole concept of Buffy and it’s nice to see it return.

The final part of the story that really moves forward here is the supernatural element. Without giving too much away, it’s a good, solid Buffy story that harks back to the television series nicely.

It’s fair to say that Buffy is on the back foot and, even though it’s taken a couple of issues to really get into it, it feels as if now we’re starting to see the emotional core of this story coming into play. There are a lot of gaps to be bridged for Buffy in her personal life and I’m going to enjoy seeing her work through these problems, while fighting evil as usual, in coming issues. 8/10

Bernice Watson

Check out our reviews of issue 1 and issue 2

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