Since Buffy the Vampire Slayer continued in comics, the quality of the stories have been mixed, especially since creator Joss Whedon left the actual writing duties for Marvel Land. Season Eight was decent overall with the shock of Angel being the big bad that eventually kills Giles in the heartbreaking finale. Season Nine had some fine moments but was bogged down with superfluous characters. Writer Andrew Chambliss sometimes seemed overwhelmed by the weight of the project. The sister series, "Angel & Faith", was fantastic the whole way through, with the title characters wanting to bring back the former watch and father figure for their own reasons. Christos Gage reached some excellent emotional peaks with Faith and really expounded on the softer side of the character.
With the series going into double digits, Dark Horse Comics apparently saw things similarly as Gage moves over the flagship book, bringing his "A&F" cohort, artist Rebekah Isaacs. The first storyline, "New Rules", is certainly apt as the return of magic to the world hasn't exactly turned things back to normal. There's actually a whole new set of complications. This first issue sets up some lofty expectations as a bevy of characters largely absent from last season (or more) are re-introduced into Buffy's world. There's a sense, much like in the last season of the television series, that there will be a concerted effort to take the series back to its roots. With coming home, though, sometimes things aren't exactly how you remembered. Things inherently change.
Isaacs's pencils are marked improvement for these characters over Georges Jeanty (whose skills are much better in translating "Serenity" to print, for some reason) With the opening salvo of Season Ten fired, Gage and Isaacs are wasting no time in showing that they can handle the pressure of ushering "Buffy" and friends into the next era.
Issue #1 of Season 10 comes out Mar 19 from Dark Horse Comics.