Review: “Buffy The Vampire Slayer: The Dust Waltz” by Dan Brereton & Hector Gomez

Title: The Dust Waltz
Writer: Dan Brereton
Artist: Hector Gomez
Series: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Standalone Graphic Novel)
Rating: ***
Publisher/Copyright: Dark Horse Comics, 1998

More of the Buffy binge! This particular installment is a standalone graphic novel, ostensibly set during Season 2. This is actually the first Buffy comic ever produced, and that shows to some degree. There are a couple rough patches overall, which I’ll of course discuss below, but I did enjoy it.

Here’s the plot: two of the oldest vampires on the planet–possibly the oldest, depending on who you ask–arrive in Sunnydale for an ancient contest: The Dust Waltz. As with most things vampires get up to in Sunnydale, it will be better for the world if they don’t succeed. Of course, this is also exactly when Giles’ niece decides to visit on her vacation from Oxford. Plot-wise, that’s basically all there is to say.

Across the board, the writing was pretty great here. Characters definitely sounded exactly like themselves. The only real issue I have with the writing is that Mr. Brereton seems to not know exactly when in the second season he wants this to be set. In the first chapter, Xander seems repulsed by Cordelia. In the second chapter, they seem to have started dating, and it’s not a part of that phase where they secretly can’t keep their hands off of each other but won’t admit it to their friends. I eventually placed it right before S02E13: Surprise if anybody’s interested. There are also a couple parts where the book really seems rushed, as in I went back to make sure I didn’t miss a page or two. Artistically, the only big issue is that it’s hard to tell Cordelia and Willow apart. On a slightly less frustrating note, the villains look less like Buffy characters and more like refugees from Witchblade. Not completely unexpected, since this is the first Buffy comic they ever produced, but annoying nevertheless.

CONTENT: Brief language. Vampire violence, consistent with the show. No overt sexual material, but Lamia’s costumes are somewhat skimpy. Occult-wise, these are Buffyverse vampires.

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Filed under Books, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Comics/Graphic Novels, Reviews

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