Buffy #27 vs. Twilight

buffy27_1Buffy #27 is a very Oz-centric issue. The Slayers’ retreat has necessitated Buffy and her cohorts hide out in Tibet where they catch up with a dear old friend. Financial constraints prevent me from getting both covers, so I usually choose one or the other and this month I picked up the cartoon cover by Georges Jeanty. At first I thought that was a bear attacking Oz, until I read the story within!
Where there’s Oz, there be werewolves of course. The reader gets to find out through a very serviceable script by Jane Espenson what Oz has been up to, and it’s quite a lot he has a better half and a baby!
More than anything this is a story about the mystical powers of Buddhists who helped Oz find the cure to “repress” the wolf within him. It’s funny to think of Oz as this Bill Bixbyesque character roaming through the world looking for a cure for the beast that rages within him. You can almost picture Mr. McGuee hot on his trail.
Yet, it’s not him but Twilight that’s on the trail of the Slayers and her pals and Joss has set him up as a formidable “big bad” for season 8. Slayers are magical, but they have to suppress their magiks or Twilight will have an easier time tracking them down. Twilight is seen this month more than in previous installments and it’s confirmed that he is someone who “knows” Buffy quite well through his dialogue. The mystery of who is behind Twilight’s mask is another subplot Joss has intertwined into this comic following the pattern he set up so well during 7 seasons of the Buffy program on TV.
Meanwhile, Oz and his group have been having problems of their own when one of their own takes on Veruca’s philosophy regarding the power of the wolf.
In between the action there is the familiar quiet character moments that made the show unique: Willow is happy for Oz, but she is jealous because she wants what he has, a family of her own. While cleaning his glasses, Giles offers his skepticism over the magic that is holding the werewolves at bay and within the confines of Twilight’s army, Amy and Warren bicker about their ineptitude. It’s the little things that summed up to something bigger than its parts on the old TV show and that tradition is a constant in the comic book series. A big showdown is coming between Buffy’s forces and Twilight’s army and big showdowns in the Buffyverse usually have dire consequences, the battle with the First cost Xander his eye and Anya and Spike’s lives. Nothing is ever easy and another status changing endgame is surely eminent.

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