After years of saving the world without breaking a nail, Buffy Summers faces a personal dilemma that could change everything in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season Nine #6. In the first part of the two-part story “On Your Own,” Buffy turns to an old friend for guidance about a decision only she can make.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season Nine #6
Written by Andrew Chambliss
Art by Georges Jeanty
At the end of Buffy, Season Nine #5, Buffy realized what the dream visits from the first Slayer and her frequent upchucking meant as she found herself staring at a positive pregnancy test. Wait, what? Right on the heels of singing the praises of a scaled-back Season Nine, this had me worried. Was Buffy suddenly veering straight into trashy teen drama territory?
It’s not like Buffy Summers hasn’t had her fair share of drama, but usually it stems from problems in the world of the undead spilling over into her personal life. There have been relationships, break-ups, tragedies, eaten principals, but this is uncharted territory for the Scooby gang. Buffy knows it happened during her wild housewarming party, but that’s all she knows, because she was blackout drunk in her desperate attempt to be a normal twenty-something.
We’re treated to some great backstory throughout this issue, which longtime Buffy fans will love. Buffy turns to Robin Wood for advice, and we finally find out more about Robin Wood’s mother Nikki, the only Slayer to ever have a child. Pregnant at 17 and a mom at 18, Nikki’s situation was even worse than Buffy’s; she was younger, had no partner, and didn’t have the support system that has helped Buffy survive so long. In considering Nikki’s dilemma and her eventual choice to have Robin, Buffy spends a lot of time wondering if a Slayer can be a mom, and almost forgets to think about whether she, as a person, can do it. Vampires (or “zompires”, as the mindless undead creatures post-Season Eight have been described) aside, Buffy’s still young, poor, and has no career prospects. She’s a Slayer first, but sometimes she forgets that she’s a person, too.
Writer Andrew Chambliss handled this sensitive subject material with grace and skill–no trace of the cheesy drama I had feared. The emotions conveyed by Georges Jeanty’s art work perfectly with the tone of the story. I’ve been a fan of Jeanty’s work on Buffy from the start, but he really nails it in this issue. The real drama here isn’t the dusting of vamps, and even though there’s less physical action in this issue, you’re never at a loss for what’s happening and what the characters are feeling, without needing the writer to spell it out. Without giving away too much, the scene with Buffy and Spike at the pool near the end of the issue is very touching, and I love their bizarre friendship. There’s a B-story in which Spike goes on a ride-along with Detective Dowling to teach him about the exciting world of vampires, but that wasn’t nearly as interesting as Buffy’s dilemma and the Buffy/Nikki parallels. I really hope the writers continue to utilize this series’ rich backstory in future story arcs, because there’s a lot to explore.
I’m anxious to see what happens in part two of “On Your Own”, as well as how Buffy’s decision–whatever it is–continues to affect her and her friends. Even though Buffy deals with everything quite rationally in this issue, I have a feeling there’s a lot of drama yet to come, especially if and when we find out what actually happened at that party.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season Nine #6 will be in comic shops on February 8, 2012.