Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9: Freefall #4

Writer: Andrew Chambliss

Artist: Georges Jeanty

Covers: Steve Morris/Georges Jeanty with Dexter Vines and Dave Stewart

Published by: Dark Horse Comics

When Buffy’s new friend Severin reveals that he’s not the helpful vamp-killer he was pretending to be Buffy suddenly find herself fighting for her life against The Siphon. Blaming Buffy for the death of his girlfriend, Severin is hell-bent on draining her slayer powers for his own use. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Police Department are still hunting the renegade slayer who they believe to be a dangerous and violent menace.

Writer Andrew Chambliss continues to juxtapose Buffy’s seeming inability to live a ‘normal’ life with the developing lives of her friends. This is one of the many elements of Season 9 that harks back to the original TV show and creates an interesting dynamic between Buffy and the Scoobies.  While the others are going to their day jobs and watching television on the couch at night, Buffy is on the run from the police while trying to solve the mystery of dead ex-vamps turning up all over the city. Buffy is more of a loner now that she ever has been in the past and it remains to be seen whether she can truly mend the broken bridges between herself and Willow, Xander and Dawn.

The art in this issue hits some highs. In particular the scenes of Severin using his powers on vamps at the docks are visually striking. The use of vibrant colour against the dim backgrounds gives these panels an energy that suits the action. Steve Morris’ covers continue to have a beautiful, wistful quality that adds a haunting quality to the look of this series.

This issue leaves readers with a glimpse of the real trouble coming for the slayer and the feeling that Buffy is starting to settle into life in San Francisco. It has been a difficult journey for Buffy but she is starting to come to terms with the fallout from her destruction of The Seed and with her new life in a post-magic world. Things are still very much in a state of flux though… 6/10

Bernice Watson

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