Buffy the Vampire Slayer GN The Dust Waltz
[Dark Horse Comics $9.95 US $13.95 Canada]
Written by Dan Brereton / Pencilled by Hector Gomez / Inked by Sandu Florea
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The Dust Waltz GNI’ve been acquainted with Dan Brereton’s work for quite some time but only his painted art. I didn’t quite know what to expect when I read that he was writing the first Buffy graphic novel but the plot sounded typical Buffy so I decided to get it. I wasn’t disappointed.

In his introduction, Brereton admits to being a big fan of the show and by the way he captures the dialogue between the characters you can certainly tell. He’s got Sunnydale teen-speak down pat. The story itself is well-paced, action-packed and chock full o’ snappy patter. The plot involves two ancient vampires, Lilith and Lamia, sisters and according to legend the mothers of present day vampires. The two along with their minions have converged upon Sunnydale and the Hellmouth in particular for the Dust Waltz where one challenger from each sister is to fight to the death at the Hellmouth. What nastiness the Dust Waltz summons our heroes don’t find out until Buffy whups up on one challenger in the graveyard and then handily defeats Lamia’s beastie boy at the Hellmouth.

The sacrifice (the aforementioned beastie boy) brings up, Azogg-Mon, a Lovecraftian elder god ready to chow down and as is typical of nether-demons he’s not too choosy about who he has for a snack. But when Lamia is made into a tasty treat, Lilith sends the demon back to Hell and quite a fair number of the vampiric participants of the Dust Waltz with him. Did Lilith escape? I’m guessing she did but Brereton leaves it open.

All of the major characters from Buffy are included except for any of the major villains and this story takes place pre-Angel reverting to bad guy status. Brereton did add one additional character to the story in the form of Giles’ niece, Jane, who just happens to arrive in Sunnydale on the same ship as Lamia. She doesn’t really add much to the story except to act as another female for Xander to go ga-ga over and to give Giles a little background.

Probably the one weak point in the package for me was the artwork. Hector Gomez and Sandu Florea do quite well in the storytelling arena but I wasn’t that enamored of the overall art style. But don’t let that keep you from picking up The Dust Waltz. This was a fun addition to the Buffy print mythos.

The Dust Waltz should still be available but if it’s not you can write to Dark Horse Comics, Inc., 10956 SE Main Street, Milwaukie, OR 97222. or try their web site (www.darkhorse.com) for information on how to get this comic.