A vampire from the future has come to the present. His plan is to gain ultimate power from what the history books say is Buffy’s last battle. Can the Scoobies change their destiny?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 12: The Reckoning # 1
Writers: Joss Whedon (plot) Christos Gage (plot and scripts)
Artist: Georges Jeanty
Inker: Karl Story
Colorist: Dan Jackson
Cover Artist: Stephanie Hans
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
What You Need to Know:
“Into every generation, there is a chosen one. One girl in all the world. She alone will wield the strength and skill to stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness; To stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their numbers. She is the Slayer.” Buffy Summers is the Slayer. But hopefully, you know that. The Buffy Season comics take place after the end of the television series. There are several things you need to know to understand this series if you haven’t read the comics.
Buffy went into the future several years ago and met a slayer named Melaka Fray. Fray had a twin brother, Harth, who had all of the memories of the slayer passed down through the generations that all the slayers are supposed to have. Fray just got the slayer’s physical powers. Harth was turned into a lurk, or what vampires are called in the future. Buffy returned to her own time after confronting them. In the present, there are thousands of slayers as per the end of the television series. Giles had gotten killed in season 8 but was resurrected as a teenager and was stuck that way. Buffy and Spike became a romantic couple. Dawn and Xander have been a couple for awhile. Dawn developed powers as the key. She can now open portals and teleport to other dimensions. Willow becomes very prominent in the witch community. Angel has been working with Faith and Illyria off and on. He and Illyria are lovers. They have all had many adventures since the end of the show. Most of the gang lives in San Francisco, and the whole world knows about the existence of the supernatural now.
What You Will Find Out:
The issue starts out with Harth killing a sorcerer to steal his wand. He plans to use the wand to travel to the past and get untold power during the Reckoning. The Reckoning is supposed to be a cataclysmic battle that almost extinguishes all supernatural activity. Demons are banished to a hell dimension. There are few vampires left. Buffy is gone and not another slayer gets called until Melaka Fray in the future. Harth wants to engineer things so that the slayers in the past and future are all destroyed.
In the present, Xander and Dawn are having a housewarming party. Buffy is holding baby Joyce, her niece and the child of Xander and Dawn. Spike, Willow, and Giles are all present. Several things are revealed. It has been a year since the end of Season 11 and it has been a quiet year. Giles has found a spell to restore him to adulthood. Willow is running a center for women and has many slayers and witches as members. Also, Buffy and Spike have broken up. Buffy is feeling a little lost. Everyone seems to have moved on except for her. She is working as a consultant for the San Francisco Police Department and is basically slaying for a living.
The party is soon interrupted by the arrival of Angel and Illyria. They warn of an attack on Willow’s center by a group of demons and humans coordinated by Wolfram & Hart, Angel’s old enemies. They also mention a vampire from the future is helping them, and Buffy instantly realizes that it is Harth.
They decide to take the fight to the bad guys. The gang fights many demons and are joined by Faith who has been watching the bad guys for Angel. Unfortunately, Harth knows everything that is going to happen because of being from the future and having slayer memories. He has planned everything out and has a big surprise for the Slayer and her friends. The surprise is that the Mayor is still alive. He managed to put his snakey self back together after they blew him up (Season 3 of the television show). With the Mayor’s help, the gang starts to be overwhelmed and they retreat thanks to Dawn’s powers as the Key.
The gang is demoralized. They wonder how they can overcome Harth’s advantage of knowledge of how everything is supposed to play out. Buffy hatches a plan. She wants to go back to Fray’s future and have Giles read the Watcher Diaries so that they can know what to expect as well. Willow, Dawn, and Illyria pool their resources and open a portal to Fray’s time. As they pass through, they encounter Melaka Fray and her sister, Erin. They look ready to fight.
What Just Happened:
This comic pulls from the entire history of Buffy, including the show and the comics. Some must-read material for this is the Fray comic. The writing is excellent. There are many great character moments such as Buffy and Spike trying to justify their breakup to Angel and Illyria or Xander being entranced by Dawn’s breasts being bigger after having the baby. There is also a moment between Faith and the Mayor that is well done. This has everything that Buffy should have in it. Action, drama, horror, and comedy all rolled into one, like always. Also, I like how it has let you know how much time has passed. Buffy is now 30 years old, so it has been 12 years since they graduated high school and blew up the Mayor. The only complaint that I have is Jeanty’s art seems very rushed here. Some pages are much better than others.
I loved this issue and only deducted points for the art being sloppy. It has been awhile since Jeanty has regularly drawn the Buffy series. Hopefully, the art improves, but I am loving the writing.
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