Review, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #17 (Welcome to the Team, part 2)

9 01 2013


Andrew Chambliss
Georges Jeanty
Dexter Vines
Michelle Madsen
Cover Artist:
Phil Noto

Ripped from the middle of a zompire battle, Buffy finds herself face to face with Illyria and a mystical council in LA. She’s been unwillingly recruited to take down a former enemy while her friends in San Francisco are left in a Buffy-less lurch with dire consequences . . .

* TV’s Illyria joins the cast of Season 9!

* Executive produced by Joss Whedon!

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Now, what’s to say about this issue. First of all, I am sick. Not Dawn kind of sick, but still. And in the middle of exams. So my mood might be influenced by that. I don’t know. If you have read my last review about Willow’s #3, maybe you’ll remember me saying that I started loving the issue after reading it a couple of times. Well, the problem is that exactly the opposite has happened now. The more I read BtVS #17, the more I don’t like it. Maybe I should have stayed with reading it only once this morning.

I will start with the art. More detailed review about it when I’m feeling better. Georges Jeanty NEEDS to be relieved as soon as possible, for the next 10 years from the Buffyverse. No, make those 15, just in case. It is just not acceptable to purchase a comic with a gorgeous cover of Illyria and Buffy on it, and flip through the pages and see that mess. I just can’t take it seriously. Even if the story had been great, I would still find myself unable to take it seriously. Illyria age 5, seriously? Change the colours, and instead of Illyria you get Buffy age 5. I won’t say anymore for the moment, detailed review of the art will be coming up.

Let’s go to the story. Sorry, but that was not Illyria talking. Where are her poetic, shakespearian lines? Chambliss is no master of her voice, I can’t hear her talking. Combined with Jeanty’s “art”, I have no idea who that demon is.

And what about Buffy? She was betrayed again? How many times this season? Lets count them…by Severin, by Andrew, by Koh, now by an unknown demon again, let me guess, Buffy will be betrayed again at least one more time this season. Who’s left to betray her? There is a SWAT team out there ready to dust zompires and deal with the threat, but she goes to fight a nest of them, with an uberzompire between them, all alone together with the company of a child and a teen boy. Sorry, Jeanty’s art confused me, Billy is supposed to be a teen not a child, and Dowling a man, not a teen. And then she again, without any questions, trusts a group of demons, some of them unknown to her, others past threats, and goes to fight Severin. Remember who that was? Yes, the one that almost killed her in the first arc. The one that was stopped by a mere human with a gun, not with superpowers. And she goes against him again, counting on her superpowers and the superpowers of Illyria and Koh, but Severin feeds on superpowers. Who is this person pretending to be Buffy and what have they done to my Buffy??

And now lets come to the most interesting part of this comic. Which in other circumstances wouldn’t have been interesting at all. Because it is all clear what is coming up. The fandom has guessed, ever since S08#39 that Dawn’s previous key essence might be influenced now that the seed is broken. And Xander’s case is screaming of post-traumatic from miles. How many dead girlfriends can that man handle before going crazy, really? I hope that Dawn will not die, that they will find a way to deal with whatever problem she has. But the problem is that in half of those panels that Xander appears, they have him acting like a jerk. That is not the Xander I know. Post traumatic or not, he wouldn’t lay a hand on Dawn. And the way he treated her in their bedroom, instead of the medicine, that could have been Dawn’s face, he was totally blind. Probably he also phoned Spike, I don’t know why they didn’t show that.

Come to that, I will return to Buffy. When did actually Buffy talk with Angel about Illyria? When Fred was dying, Angel tried to call for help, only to be told that Buffy didn’t want anything to do with him because he was running W&H. Then Hell-A happened. Then Angel followed Twilight and started terrorizing Buffy Summers and her slayers. Then he got possessed and became catatonic and was left to Faith. So when? Maybe he filled her in during the spacefrak? It’s a long trip to space, they had to find other ways to pass the time I guess. OK, maybe I can accept that at some point, off screen, Spike filled her in about his time away from her during S9, or before that, but I just can’t seem able to guess when would Angel be able to fill her in about Illyria.

Last, but not least, Billy. How much of a Mary-Sue can this new character be? He gets out of a zompire nest without not even a scratch! Dowling’s partner was easily killed, Spike had a hard time and needed help, Dowling almost died, Angel and Faith and real slayers have had problems killing zompires, Buffy herself too, but this guy, no, he can take the worst you might put him through. Let me guess, will he save the day and Buffy from Severin? Or will he find out what was or who was that uberzompire and who or what is behind it? Predictable. Too bad the SWAT team arrived and stole Billy’s moment of glory, when he would have killed the whole nest by himself, saved Dowling from the uberzomp, and carried him on his shoulders all the way to the hospital himself! And what is with all those letters praising Billy? There are people out there that read issues 14-15 and liked them? I would never have guessed, this world never seems to surprise me!

I am sorry, I know that is is a negative review, probably the worst one I have ever written in all of my time as a Buffy fan, but I am really disappointed by the title. And the art of it. And the story of it. The plot holes. Not even reading through the lines to find out secret meanings, intentions. Nothing. I really can’t wait for BtVS’s S9 to be over. It is by far the worst season so far, and I don’t think anymore that it can be saved.




17 responses

9 01 2013

About Illyria – I always figured Willow would have filled Buffy in at some point about Illyria. It makes sense Willow would have found out and filled her in about everything happened. Same goes with characters like Connor – I don’t think Buffy’s ever mentioned him, but I’m sure she knows about his existence from Willow.

Buffy made a comment last season about Cordelia dying, and that happened right around the time Fred died as well, so it’s not too much of a stretch she’s been filled in.

9 01 2013

Problem is that Buffy says that she was filled in from Angel and Spike, not from Willow.

10 01 2013

Ooh, my bad! This issue REALLY didn’t interest me so I skimmed over some parts, my brain must have just glazed over that. It’s a shame tho, I think it WOULD have made more sense if it was Willow who filled her in! Oh well.

Cant wait to read your art review! This art was so offensively bad, in my opinion! You’ll have your pick of worst panels.

10 01 2013

The art is appalling. Buffy scowls and shouts continuously now and Illyria looks half finished and flat. *starts chant* Paul Lee, Paul Lee, Paul Lee Paul Lee… 😀

I have such huge issues with Dowling/Billy. I didn’t believe for an instant that Dowling was going to be killed but it would have helped to recover the ridiculous scenario they have created where those two amateurs can stomp wherever they want and come out the other end unscathed. I was left feeling like the wanted me to cheer the news and it just made me roll my eyes and flip on to the next panel.

10 01 2013

I am so glad that Spike left the main title and that Jeanty lost his chance to make him look ridiculous. Yes, he’ll get the chance again probably in the last arc, but at least we got some great panels of Spike by Paul Lee.

I don’t want to start again on the Billy thing. And those letters in the lc, Jesus, really? There are people out there that read #14-15 and liked them? Have they read anyhting else in their lives? Ever?

10 01 2013

I liked the issue. Talking balloons have more self-preservation than actual slayers. And calling Ilyria Smurfette in a cat-suit was brilliant.

Take the “Angel and Spike” either editor’s choice for not separating them (I think it’s the second time it happened) or Buffy again not being able to separate them.

Xander’s behavior probably is not related to what happens to Dawn. Maybe he unintentionally swallowed a shard?

10 01 2013

Like we’ve talked in private, I don’t see what’s the funny part of a talking ballon or a floating Buddha and why am I supposed to laugh at that. Calling Illyria a smurf, OK, I kind of get it, but still why am I under the impression that this joke, calling Illyria a smurf, was already used in AtS?

LoL at Xander swallowing a shard, haha!

10 01 2013

“Who is this person pretending to be Buffy and what have they done to my Buffy??”

I’m happy that finally someone agrees with me, and someone is bothered by the way in which Buffy Summers is written. The best way to describe her would be to say that she is weak, incompetent moron. And that’s pains me because I love her character in TV series and absolutely hate her in those comics. She is way off her game. Her game left the country…

11 01 2013

She is way off her game. Her game left the country…

God how I wish I had a rebuttal to that. I don’t. You’ve pretty much summed up this mess, and thank god I’m unemployed and don’t have the money to waste on these things.

12 01 2013

Well we are here to keep you posted!
Although I wish I had better things to say 😦

12 01 2013

I don’t think that I am the only one that agrees with you. What they’ve done with Buffy this season is way of my imagination. She’s just a lady in distress waiting to be rescued, taking the silliest decisions that she could ever take, trusting strangers, admiring things and being thankful to Andrew for the home he provided to her body, I stop it here, really, I can’t continue.
Thanks for your comment 🙂

11 01 2013
Mickey Flowers

Geez, I haven’t read this issue yet but I get the point. I’ve never liked that Jeanty guy at all. If what you say it’s true I’ll be missing IDW’s run on Illyria more than ever, in fact, Illyria’s solo was an amazing story with incredible dialogues, it was like “hell, I can clearly see Amy Acker sayin’ that” y’know? Actually I’ve found Angel and Faith much more interesting in some sorta way, it feels more familiar with the return of Eyghon and unveiling Giles’ past (although there have been certain mistakes on it). For what I have realized is that the writers (nor the Editor) aren’t in love with these characters as much as we are, and it’s terrible, because they should be. I guess we could do a much better work. They just don’t have passion for the buffyverse and I blame Joss for this, he’s been gone for too long, directing Avengers, promoting Much Ado…, scripting S.H.I.E.L.D. and what about his magnum opus???? I love the guy, he’s my Yoda, but sometimes I hate him for this. And I ask, does somebody at DarkHorse even interview the writers and artists before givin’ them the jobs?? Apparently not, they’re buffyverse-dispirited.

12 01 2013

Although I am not a fan of IDW’s stories, I have to admit that Illyria’s mini was well written, and the art was very good. Unlike in this issue. Chambliss, I am sorry to say that, can’t write Illyria, and Jeanty the way he draws her makes you wanna laugh and you just can’t take her seriously.

The problem is that they don’t get the characters. Especially Buffy, neither the editor nor Chambliss understand who Buffy is. And how she feels, how she talks.

12 01 2013

I am sick of this statement that everybody accusing Buffy for the lack of magic. I am sick of this ” Magic is so important for the world ” , because it is not ! I still don’t believe that Dawn is collapse because of the lack of magic. Dawn is not the key anymore.

BTW do you think that Spike is coming back in the next issue ? What has Buffy mean when she said to Illyria that ….” The things between her and Spike may become a little awkward …” LOL This girl still loves him, I am sure ! And Leiky – Nice review, you are doing a great job !

12 01 2013

Spike will go to A&F for 3 months.
I doubt he’ll return to Buffy’s title before the last issues. Best case scenario, he’ll return to Buffy #20.

13 01 2013

“Spike will go to A&F for 3 months.”

You mean for 3 issues? I thought he’ll appear only in A&F#20

13 01 2013

No, I think he will appear in A&F #18. So that’s right after the end of his mini, at the end of this month. Scott was very anxious about the delay of Spike’s #5, and they had to kind of change the story in A&F, so they don’t spoil the reason why Spike will go to London. Giving more time to Paul Lee to finish #5. But it seems that it wasn’t necessary after all, since Spike’s #5 will be out before A&F’s 18.

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