Wenxian Tan, Fanbase Press Contributor

Wenxian Tan, Fanbase Press Contributor

With the threat of Willow succumbing to the endless well of Slayer trauma and ending the world firmly behind them, efforts turned to figuring out just what Baby Crab really is. Unfortunately, the Scoobies are not the only ones interested in Baby Crab and his seemingly endless power. Enter Spike’s ex. Yeah… that one.

A tale supposedly set in the continuity of the TV show, this chronicles Spike’s attempt at clawing back the last remaining copy of his poetry journals and the resulting road trip that takes "hot mess" to a whole new level. Think Buffy meets just about every family road trip movie out there, where grievances are aired, glares exchanged, lessons learned, etc.

What is it? In a nutshell, it’s a love letter to martial arts flicks and Chosen One narratives. If you like stories about an unwitting rascal who learns that he’s inherited the weighty responsibility of saving the world, you’ll like this. Think if Han Solo and Luke Skywalker had traded places instead. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, and while the story seems awfully familiar at times, sometimes, it’s just nice to see a tale executed well, without taking itself more seriously than needed.

At the end of the last arc, it would appear that things seem to have gone back to normal, or at least as normal as things get in Sunnydale. With Buffy restored as a Slayer, the Scoobies basically averted Armageddon. So now… the aftermath.

Previously on The Vampire Slayer: Well, Buffy finally learned the truth: that she was the Slayer until her powers and purpose were siphoned into Willow in an ill-advised bid to help her. While Buffy is still pissed (and powerless), she’s determined to save Willow from herself, and in the process, well, the world, too.

Set five years into the future we last saw in Buffy the Last Vampire Slayer, Thessaly (Willow and Tara’s daughter) has now assumed the mantle of the Slayer. Buffy and Spike (irony of ironies) are her Watchers and guardians. Without giving too much away, the central plot has to do with the possible reemergence of a fan-favorite character, and it involves skipping across the pond back to the United States.

Man, I did not see this issue coming at all, and that’s okay because it goes in a direction that I didn’t expect. Not to get too in the weeds here, but Specs #4 closes out a compact and, at times, trippy tale in a great way. The relationship between Kenny and Ted remains the focus of the issue, and they each learn the truth about themselves and what they wish most for.

After an introspective issue that delved into Willow’s ever-spiraling psyche, this issue seems to pick up the pace again, setting the scene for what will probably be an epic showdown between the Scoobies and Willow. With Willow draining the magic of a limitless pool of Slayer trauma, things seem pretty bad. Bad enough that Buffy has finally stepped back up to the plate to lead the gang. Because if there was ever a Slayer known for her unconventional thinking, it’s Buffy.

This is a dark, dark issue. Willow’s magic use has been hinted at trending towards darkness a few times now; her increasing confidence in herself that trends towards cocky coupled with the black eyes and veiny visage are the hallmarks of her Dark Willow persona that fans will recognize. This issue take us deep into her mindscape, having finally given into the magic instead of resisting it. Dark Willow meets Dark Phoenix is probably pretty on the nose, but *shrug* it’s apt.

‘Specs #3:’ Comic Book Review

Issue #3 explores the fallout of Kenny’s wish in an attempt to help Ted. Of course, in a warped version of wish fulfillment, the wish resulted in Ted being arrested as a suspect for the disappearance of Skunk.

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