The Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics seem poised for their darkest turn yet: Is Giles about to die before his time?
This article contains spoilers for Buffy the Vampire Slayer # 22 by Jordie Bellaire, Jeremy Lambert and Ramon Bachs.
Buffy the Vampire SlayerThe comics may be about to take their darkest turn: killing Buffy’s mentor, Giles, during her freshman year at school. Progress appears to have stalled on the Buffy TV reboot, but the comics have progressed with a reboot of their own in recent years. Now they have committed to a model of the Multiverse in which they exist on a separate Earth from the main television series, a concept that has allowed writers Jordie Bellaire and Jeremy Lambert great flexibility.
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These comics have already shown how to reboot the television series, reversing some of Buffy’s classic storylines and even transforming heroes into villains; Xander, for example, has transformed himself into a vampire and currently leads the undead. Fortunately, the forces of good have been bolstered by the fact that Buffy is now one of the three Assassins – Kendra has survived and Faith has also arrived on the scene in Sunnydale. Naturally, the Watchers are delighted with the prospect of three Assassins, although Giles is cautious because he feels that Buffy’s own interests are not being taken into account.
This arch appears to be building to a point, and at Buffy the Vampire Slayer # 22 Giles has a good time with his Assassin. The issue is poignant, with Giles proving that his loyalty lies not with the Watchers, but with Buffy herself. He assures the teenager that he will always be there, a moment that is sure to make the reader cry as well as Buffy. Unfortunately, Giles seems to have forgotten that he lives in a mouth of hell, because the problem ends with his blissful ignorance that a murderer with a knife was after him.
It is not difficult to interpret the signage; Buffy and Giles have teamed up for the last time, and she’s clearly on the verge of losing her beloved mentor. Ironically, even though Buffy is no longer the only Slayer in Sunnydale, this will leave her more isolated than ever; Faith is not a good influence, Willow is grieving, Xander will surely be blamed for Giles’ death, and Kendra will hardly question the Watchers.
This is the advantage of Multiversal restarts; allows skilled writers to create compelling riffs on classic and disturbing ideas “What if?” scenarios. In this case, it looks like readers are about to learn what would have happened to Buffy Summers if she had been stripped of her mentor figure several seasons before she was ready to stand up for herself. This twist is sure to drive the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics in a fascinating new direction.
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