Buffy the Vampire Slayer #11 is available now where all good comics are sold!
HELLMOUTH TIE-IN! KENDRA THE VAMPIRE SLAYER IS HER! There’s a NEW SLAYER in town – and it’s up to TEAM KENDRA to save the day! The all-new team of Willow, Cordelia and Kendra make their First Appearance together to save Sunnydale – but it also might be their last!
Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its sister series, Angel, have done an excellent job of managing their ensemble casts during the Hellmouth crossover event. Both series have taken the opportunity of focussing on other characters to present some unique stories.
With Buffy the focus has very much been on Giles, Xander and Willow up to this point. But now focus shifts to the debut of the TV series first replacement Slayer, Kendra.
The character is not well reimbursed from her TV incarnation, played admirably by Bianca Lawson. Her one-note accent being the butt of many jokes (“That’s me only shirt!”) and her quick disposal at the hands of Drusilla being the butt of many others.
Jordie Bellaire does exactly what I hoped she would and injects all of the creativity of the BOOM! Studios Buffy line in to the character and presents her as something fresh and unique. She also presents an interesting problem for Robin Wood.
To a degree it’s a shame that the character has lost some of the voice she featured in the series. But given that she was one of the weakest female characters on the show, this version is much more empowered and it works in her favour.
She carries much of this issue in place of Buffy and I didn’t find my interesting waning as I was reading.
This issue also brilliantly calls back to the third season episode “Beauty and the Beasts” in which a Sunnydale High student regularly loses control of his anger and changes appearance to become something more demonic. Here it’s presented as a consequence of the Hellmouth’s effect on the residents of Sunnydale rather than a reaction to a substance of some kind.
Up to now Robin has been a more quiet and considered character. Only last issue did we see that begin to crack as Kendra arrived and revealed that he was a Watcher. Given his understanding of how Slayers are called, and his feelings for Buffy, he’s left pretty distraught by Kendra’s appearance in town.
His scenes in this issue portray a building tension which culminates in the moment he loses control in front of Xander, Willow and Kendra. It’s a prime example of how Bellaire understands the analogy for Joss Whedon’s world representing the trials and tribulations of being an adolescent.
Both Xander and Willow are relegated to a B-plot in which the two finally fall out over sharing a soul. Although much of this is down to the influence of the Hellmouth being active it’s still a huge tension relief for the series.
It stills feels a little odd to see these characters we know so well entering entirely new territory. The uncertainty over the futures of both characters is unnerving to say the least but I continue to applaud Bellaire for making unique decisions.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #11 presents a well rounded ensemble cast more than capable to hold the book in the absence of its lead character.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #11 is written by Jordie Bellaire with art by David Lopez. Cover artwork is by Marc Aspinall.