Boom!Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Writers: Jordie Bellaire, Artwork: David López & Raúl Angulo, Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Cover: Marc Aspinall
Page 01: We open in the Tuna Verse diner with Rose, Kendra and Robin. Kendra is getting to know the people that Robin knows. How and why Rose has met Kendra is a question.
Kendra is impressed with Rose's having grown up in a military family, offering that she must've picked up a few things, before lightly and jokingly pummeling Robin as example.
Robin becomes impatient, as there are more important things going on around Sunnydale than girl-talk. He also accuses Kendra of flirting with Rose, when she already has a girlfriend.
Commentary: It's hard to gauge the characters right now, because we know the Hellmouth and whatever is happening with the Hellmother is affecting people's behavior, but Robin keeps coming across like he's having a psychotic break. I don't like how he's being written in any of his interactions with Kendra. I keep wondering about Robin's father, since in the original-verse, he was a Watcher, so that would make him the logical choice for Kendra, over a high school student. And, if his backstory is different when it comes to his dad, then we really should've had that clarification, so that Kendra seeking out Robin on the Council's behalf would make sense. Even though it still doesn't. Why the Council wouldn't have sent a trained, adult Watcher for this is mind-boggling, and crappy writing. Sorry.
Page 02: Both girls turn on Robin for being rude. He complains about the situation with the Hellmouth, that neither is talking about. Robin had assumed that Willow had filled-in Rose about all of the supernatural shananigans lately, but she's only learned it now from him, so she's still dealing with this information. She also tells him about Willow breaking up with her, now.
Robin throws his hands up on this whole gig, and storms off.
Page 03: After Robin leaves, Rose offers that she's never seen him act out this way. Kendra guesses that it's because Buffy was so essential to Sunnydale, and he's not comfortable with her showing up, and putting this duty on him.
Rose asks Kendra what they do next. She suggests that after she gets some sleep, they meet up at the school and bring everyone in Buffy's circle together to bring everyone up to speed on what they're facing. Rose offers Kendra her place, assuring her that her mom wouldn't mind her crashing there.
Page 04: Elsewhere, Willow is with Xander, who has taken over patrolling since Buffy's vanishing act. Willow is trying to tell him about how she's feeling lately, but he admits he wasn't listening. Xander is also unusually touchy about everything, from Buffy's "BRB, BRO"-ing out of Sunnydale to Robin Wood to his own vampire-ness.
Page 05: The argument escalates as Xander accuses Willow of never thinking about anyone but herself, and always has to be right. She accuses him of acting childish, and being an ass. He accuses her of trying to impress by pretending she knows everything and then accuses her of trying to impress Buffy - when she's not even there, and won't be with her anyway, intimating that this is the real reason she broke up with Rose.
Willow shouts back that she's not even interested in Buffy that way, and his real problem is that he's the one interested in her because he gets infatuated with any girl who gives him the least amount of attention.
Xander fangs out at her.
Page 06: This enough to shock some sense into both of them, and Willow offers that she's not even sure why they're fighting. Xander isn't sure, either. He tells her that lately, when he's just Xander Harris, he feels anger all of the time, and a darkness pulling at him. He admits that he's afraid that he might hurt her. But when he's in vampire mode, the noise in his head lessens.
All of this obvs concerns Willow greatly.
Commentary: This one is easier to see as the Hellmother's influence as the Hellmouth revs up. I find it interesting that Xander is being influenced when he tries to stay connected to his Soul-Tie, rather than when he's in fang-mode. I wonder if the Hellmother (now, I've been unable to decide if this is The First by another name, or if that would be a different entity/not in this reality) is only able to impact humans/things with souls?
Anyway, I find this tidbit interesting.
Page 07: Further discussion is interrupted by Kendra suddenly leaping in from out of nowhere, shouting at Xander to back off from the girl.
Xan is barely able to fall backward out of the range of Kendra's stake!
He isn't saved from Kendra's mean left-hook. Before anyone can do anything more, Kendra has Xander flat on the stomach, with a stake poised over his back. Willow and Xander both protest that Xan isn't really a vampire-at-least-not-fully. Xan asks who the hell this girl is, but recognizes she's a Slayer. He complains that Sunnydale already has one of those.
Page 08: Kendra tells them she's the new Slayer, and goes to stab Xan through the heart through his back. Willow grabs her wrist. Kendra accuses her of being a groupy. As they're arguing, Robin catches up, apparently not having gone far after storming out of Tuna Verse.
He tells Willow and Xander that Buffy is dead.
Page 09: He shares the "one Slayer dies, next one's called" deal. Willow calls him a monster for not telling them before when they were waiting for her to return. Xander accuses him of not knowing anything, and refuses to believe him.
Page 10: Robin tells them about his being a Watcher (except, a completely unqualified and untrained one so this is stupid) for the new Slayer. Willow shouts at him that this is a sick joke, and Robin breaks down into tears, shouting back that he didn't ask for any of this.
Page 11: Robin instructs Kendra to release Xander, but she points out he's a vampire - she saw him change his face. Robin informs her that he saw Xander that day in the sunlight, and if he'd been turned, it wouldn't have happened that quickly. Xan offers he could explain to her, but not while he's being held against his will.
Willow can't help convince anyone, as she's still reeling from Buffy's death.
Robin tells Kendra that as her Watcher, he's ordered her to let him go. She hmphs, and half-complies.
Page 12: While she doesn't stake Xan immediately, she does start beating him up, trying to get him to go fangy, so she can show Robin that he's being fooled by a demon.
[Why Robin doesn't just tell her about Xander's unique situation right now, is a question. He was there for the Soul-Tie business, after all.]
Commentary: I-I don't like the writing. I don't understand the gushing, praising letters in the Sunnydale High Sentinel pages. This has been an okay series, but it has some severe logic problems, and issues with character progression and responses.
Page 13: This time Robin grabs Kendra's wrist to get her to back off. She tells him that was a mistake, as she doesn't like to be touched [okay - first we've seen of it; More Hellmouth effect, or is this when she's in Slay-mode]. She goes to tackle Robin, but he tells her she's the one who made a bad move.
While Xander is taking the opportunity to get away from the not-listening Slayer, Robin shouts at Kendra that he's been training his whole life to fight.
Page 14: Robin has another emotional breakdown over not being Chosen by the Council to be a Slayer [WHAT?? Is he just ignorant of how the Slayer-line works? What is this?!].
He shouts at Kendra that he has the blood of the Slayer in him through his mother, and he'd trained so hard to be worthy of being Chosen. Willow tries to calm him down, but he shouts that he's lost his mother, he's lost his chance at greatness, and he's now lost Buffy.
Commentary: Okay. Okay. What. Um. Okay - first, the Council doesn't choose a Slayer, unless we're changing this detail as well, which again -- we should've already been informed of this through Giles telling Buffy at some point that the Council chose her specifically for a reason to introduce us to this being less random. If Robin only thinks the Council is making these decisions, then I guess we can assume for now that the Council propogates this myth to make them more important-seeming, and more in-charge than they are. I can live with this, IF that is the case -- but, I'm not sure that things are being written with such in mind, honestly.
Second - did nobody ever tell Robin that Slayers are always girls? How is this tool being a Watcher, if he knows absolutely nothing?!
Three- what sense is it making for Robin to be tapped to be an eventual Watcher, without the Watcher-on-duty being tapped to actually train/mentor him?! They're literally in the same building everyday! This MAKES NO SENSE.
Four- this opens a can of worms with Robin's homelife. We absolutely must know who Robin's father is and how much he knows about Nikki Wood, and the Council's involvement in Robin's life.
Five- It makes ZERO SENSE MORE for Kendra not to seek out Giles and introduce herself as the new Slayer, or for the Council to inform Giles that a new Watcher will be taking the role with the new Slayer. And it would've made for a heartbreaking scene to see Giles realize that Buffy has failed in the Hellmouth and is "dead". [C'mon. Do any of us think Buffy isn't coming back?] Why is everyone acting like Rupert Giles/Buffy aren't in the same small town as Robin/Kendra?!
Six- What the fuck with Kendra laying her hands on Robin that way, with no build-up? Please let this be the Hellmother influence affecting even the Slayer's emotions.
Seven- Finally, with Robin being so utterly unprepared for his role, since y'know - he's in high school, and apparently doesn't even know the basics of the Slayer - WHY would the Council not have sent an adult to supervise the new Slayer? None of this makes logical, rational sense.
Page 15: Robin asks what is so special about Kendra, and expresses his resentment at being stuck with her. The Slayer tries to warn Robin that she doesn't want to hurt him, glaring daggers at him.
Page 16: Kendra suddenly gets to her feet, and tells Robin to stay on the ground. She tells him that he's not himself. But he responds that he feels perfect. He has very obviously been possessed, however, and it is clear to everyone.
Commentary: Other than the emotional breakdown, this doesn't allay any of my complaints. Robin Wood should not be Kendra's Watcher. And Giles should not be in the dark on her presence or what it means. And the Council is somehow worse than in original-verse. And, I'm just so annoyed with the lack of sense.
Page 17: The now-possessed Robin tells Xander to join them. He declines. But the thing in Wood tells him he has no choice. The Thing (is this the Hellmother escaped?) stretches out its fist, and Xander falls to his knees with a shout of suffering.
Page 18: Xander is able to throw off the attempt to control him, but he warns Willow that he can feel something calling to the piece of her soul within him. He intuits that whatever isn't interested in the demonic part of him, but only in their shared soul-part.
Possessed-Robin tells them that he is building an army of men.
Page 19: While Willow and Xander wonder what they can do now, from out of the shadows come more possessed. They're chanting "build army of men". Kendra tells them to get ready to fight, but Possessed Robin tells her that they're going to lose. He warns that there is no stopping her now (so Robin isn't the Hellmother, just an avatar).
Page 20: With a malicious grin, Possessed Robin tells them that the Hellmother rises.
Page 21: From out of a mysterious red fog surrounding them, even more possessed close in on their position.
Page 22: Before they can be suddenly overwhelmed and doomed, a blow suddenly comes from behind the Robin-creature, directly to the back of his head.
It's Anya with a wooden mallet. She complains about now having to fight teenagers to save the world....
The Good: Okay, some of it was unclear, but I do continue to like that the Hellmouth is intensifying negative emotions, as a way to allow the Hellmother to take over the world, and ultimately to open people up to possession.
I do find it interesting that the Hellmother would have little regard for demons, but be interested in Xander's soul-tie, instead.
I liked Kendra's first meeting with Willow and Xander.
I really liked that Robin Wood turned out to be the one fallen under the Hellmother's agent's influence, and the one ultimately possessed - probably due to the emotional storm he was already feeling.
The Bad: Everything between Robin and Kendra from the setup to the arguments to his being a Watcher at all. Up until his possession.
The lack of any kind of sense about the Council, Giles' being utterly uninvolved in knowing anything about the new Slayer & Robin's connection to the same organization he works for, and more of the complete lack of logical sense with the entire situation involving Kendra, Robin and Rupert.
Other Thoughts: I got nothing here. This may be a first! Everything was a like it/hate it situation.
The Score: I loved some of the visuals, and Robin's being corrupted, but so, so much of this entire situation with the Watchers and Slayers is a mess. I can't stand it.
2.50 out of 5 stars