Newly-called Slayer Kendra has made her way to Sunnydale, and hooked up with Robin and Rose as she gets the lay of the land.
Elsewhere, Willow and Xander are having a moment while on patrol. The stress of having half a soul - not to mention being half a vamp - are straining on Xander...
To make matters worse, that's the moment Kendra chooses to make her presence known!
And, at long last, Robin Wood reveals his big secret... one that could change everything.
But it may not matter... now that he's been possessed by the HELLMOTHER!
Buffy finally finds some focus four chapters into its “Hellmouth” tie-in arc, as almost all of the various players (Giles, Jenny Calendar, and Cordelia are absent this issue) find themselves in one place at last and the various subplots – many of which have been simmering since this title’s first arc – cohere at last.
There are three main subplots that come together this issue: Xander’s ongoing struggle with his half-a-vampness, Kendra’s arrival, and Robin’s secret life as a watcher. To her credit, writer Jordie Bellaire brings them all together in natural and coherent ways; siccing the new Slayer on Xander, for example, makes perfect sense. We also get a sense as to why Robin has been acting like such a tool the last few issues when it’s revealed he’s possessed by the Hellmother (which, if you aren’t reading the main Hellmouth mini, is a big horrible monster presiding over the Hellmouth who wants to eat/destroy the world).
Traditional Buffy fans may scoff at the changes Bellaire has brought to the Slayer’s world, but after a few aimless issues, it seems she’s revealing her plan at last. A note of interest: Bellaire did not abandon the notion that one Slayer must die before another rises, as was inferred with Kendra’s arrival last issue. Although the issue doesn’t spell it out, it’s implied that since Buffy has journeyed into Hell, she’s considered dead – which is when Kendra was called.
Kendra herself bears little resemblance to her television counterpart. Whereas TV Kendra was repressed, socially awkward, a stickler for the rules, and in possession of a questionable at best Jamaican accent; Reboot Kendra is assertive, strong-willed, and dominant in her skills. She also isn’t afraid to mix it up socially with Rose and Robin right off the bat, which is a stark contrast to her demure TV predecessor. She’s a good addition – but at this point, it’s worth noting that this book’s supporting cast is packed. Hopefully, two or three characters (at least) are written out – at least temporarily – after “Hellmouth” ends.
David Lopez’s art is its usual cartoony, loopy self, which may or may not work for some readers. He has some manga influences in his work (notably, characters’ saucer-like eyes and a perpetual forehead vein/profuse sweat to illustrate that someone is stressed or angry). These influences may not work for some readers based on their preferences; it’s technically adept but tonally seems like an off-kilter fit for the horror-infused world of the Slayer.
A much better outing than previous issues, Buffy #11 finds some focus as it brings its many supporting characters together at last. "Hellmouth" is nearing its conclusion soon, though - and all the sudden narrative cohesion may prove to be too little too late.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #11: And Then There Were Two
Writing - 7/107/10
Storyline - 7/107/10
Art - 6.5/106.5/10
Color - 7/107/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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