Written by: Mariko Tamaki
Illustrated by: Natacha Bustos
Colored by: Eleanora Bruni
Lettered by: Judy Wynne
It’s hard to tell when something is distilled and when it’s diluted. They are theoretically the same although with some variances between the two terms. How Issue # 3 of Boom Studios Willow reads depends on how you view these two phenomenon.
Boom continues to deliver a Willow without the Scoobies. Though ultimately revealed to be powerful, Willow rarely held the entire focus of an episode in the series. It wasn’t until she became a young adult so having Willow begin to use her gifts so early allows for additional exploration of her personality. Mariko Tamaki emphasizes both the naivety and newishness of all that Willow experiences. In presenting her concerns to Aelara we witness how Willow has only known the use of magic for power, she fears the town of Abhainn is a cult. This gives our heroine a chance to experience the beauty of magic. Freed from only using it to close the Hellmouth, perhaps Willow will feel less lost?
Natacha Bustos and Eleanora Bruni maintain the familiar character details that flow though this comic as well as Buffy and Angel+Spike. This consistent take on the various characters in the series means when a guest shows up in the issue you know who they are. The appearance of Xander continues to hint Sunnydale isn’t far removed from this series. I feel this is one of the main strengths as this series seeks to provide a conclusion for Willows confusions. It will be interesting to see how her journey in Abhainn impacts Willow and what transformations will ultimately occur for Ms. Rosenberg.