Buffy: The Vampire Slayer is slowly becoming one of my favored series and this issue only increases my interest in the lot of it. As part of Season 10, this issue occurs after magic is reset. The team: Buffy, Xander, Willow, Dawn, Giles and Spike – are now the scholars of magic tasked with rewriting the rules in the book of magic. Things are a bit complicated in this season, Giles has undergone a …de-aging of sorts, Dawn is reliving every emotion of her life and withdrawing from Xander who is struggling with the newfound helplessness of it all. Willow is working on studying the new rules of magic (she doesn’t have much of a presence in this issue) while Buffy and Spike are their typical selves.
Focusing in on Xander, this issue explores the nature of human selfishness, revealing how love can be both a curse and gift when undergoing emotional transformation. Spike and Xander spend most of the issue discussing their lost loves and wondering how or what they can do to reclaim them. In the midst of a philosophical debate the two are approached by very attractive women who suspiciously reflect their desires and needs. After some time in the pub (a common hangout for the two) the women invite Spike and Xander to their apartment. Despite rejecting the offer, the two find themselves inexplicably drawn to these women and without control they follow the girls home.
It’s here where Anya, a past love of Xander’s, fights to bring the man out of his spelled stupor. She discovers he and Spike are under the influence of Sirens: creatures whose voices can manipulate the actions and desires of men. Though a ghost, Anya knows that if she doesn’t drown out the song of the Sirens then Spike and Xander will become the equivalent of human sushi. As guardian of magic, Xander has the strength to reclaim his thoughts and momentarily injure Spike. Rampaging about, the vampire swiftly vanquishes the Sirens – leaving the two nearly naked men in a state of embarrassment and agreement that they shall never discuss the oddities of the night again.
Out of dangers way, Xander addresses his past failures with Anya and promises to help her discover why she has returned to the realm of the living. Pleased, he sets his eyes to the future – determined to overcome the obstacles ahead and rejuvenate his love with Dawn.
Story aside, this comic is well illustrated (as always) and very easy to read. I would recommend this for anyone (well, maybe not five year olds…but you get the jist). So, if you find yourself at a comic story be sure to pick up a few issues/volumes of Buffy, it’s certainly worth a read!