"The ATV Chase is a Highlight" – Buffy: The Vampire Slayer #13 [Review]

I enjoyed reading Boom's Buffy: The Vampire Slayer until they announced 'Hellmouth', a 10+ part crossover with Angel.

Nothing against Angel's creative team, but the 'Hellmouth' arc made looking in on Buffy's world more difficult than before, so I stopped reading Buffy. Now that 'Hellmouth' is over, I return to the series, and I'm excited they got Rosemary Valero-O'Connell for a one-issue story.

cover by David López


What goes on in this issue: Kendra, an apprentice (I guess?) vampire slayer and her minder, a quazi-humorless and maybe sexist man (I like the choice of giving him a button up shirt to underscore his lets euphemistically call it traditionalist behavior) called Zabuto fight a new batch of vampires in Jamaica. Jamaica's a fun locale, and Valero-O'Connell draws it as a lush, welcoming island. The ATV chase is a highlight.

Until now, I've only seen Valero-O'Connell's work colored by Valero-O'Connell and not by anyone else. Or, I should say, more recent Valero-O'Connell stuff (Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, Don't Go Without Me) was colored by her. I read some of her pre-Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me work in Gotham Academy, specifically, the Lumberjanes crossover, which Whitney Cogar colored.

So how does Raúl Angulo & Eleonora Bruni do? They do okay. Nothing looks wrong, but Valero-O'Connell's work doesn't look as striking. Compared to Don't Go Without Me, where Valero-O'Connell colored herself and restricted her color palette, her work in Buffy: The Vampire Slayer looks more mundane. And there's good reasons for that. In creator-owned work, the creator can often take their time in a way they can't with a work for hire job. The hair doesn't look as luxuriant, I noticed a nose missing, that kind of stuff.

Overall, though, I enjoyed the issue. I paid $4 for it and got a full story for my money. I didn't need to know anything about Kendra or Zabuto or any of the characters to enjoy it, which is a credit to Jordie Bellaire's writing.

P.S. It must've occurred to Boom! to hire Bellaire to color Buffy, right? Bellaire's an Eisner winning colorist. Maybe they can't afford her page rate? Who knows?