Book Reviews

BOOM! Studios’ “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

Image Credit: BOOM! Entertainment, Inc. (Jen Bartel Issue One Incentive Cover)

Greetings my fellow voracious readers of the “comic” book! Haven’t written a review in quite a bit about stories residing in my beloved, and chosen (nyuk, nyuk) medium for literary escapism; but BOOM! Studios’ reimagining of Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe has compelled me to do so. Not because my pocket-change worth of opining is anything revelatory, or significant, but because I’m hoping to bring as many of you nonbelievers on board if you aren’t already lounging by the pool with an issue of the title sitting comfortably in your clean, and disinfected, hands.

Only kidding about the “clean” hands dig.

Okay, just a little.

Alright, I’m totally serious. OCD, what can I say?

I la-la-la-looooove that Buffy has been given renewed interest and attention in social circles tethered to both books and television (well, we still have yet to see how the new show will turn out). It’s such a ripe world for imaginative storytelling, that I knew it was only a matter of time before we’d see current-day artists wanting to take a crack at the lush and complex characters Whedon created, some 22 years ago. And I still remember recording that first episode on KTLA’s Channel 5. Not on a digital cable box with an integrated DVR component, mind you; but with a good old-fashioned VHS-tape recorder.

Damn, I’m totally dating myself.

Audrey Mok Issue Two Incentive Cover (BOOM! Entertainment, Inc.)

After reading the first four issues, the Angel prequel zero-issue (full series is scheduled to drop this month, in May), and the Free Comic Book Day short story giveaway, I’m pleasantly surprised with what BOOM! Studios, Jordie Bellaire (BTVS writer), Dan Mora (BTVS artist), Raúl Angulo (BTVS colorist), Bryan Edward Hill (Angel writer), Gleb Melnikov (Angel artist), Gabriel Cassata (Angel colorist), Ed Dukeshire (BTVS and Angel letterer), and Jeanine Schaefer (executive editor) have done with the series thus far. Not to mention the whole cadre of cover artists who have contributed their considerable talents to making every variant purchase-worthy (I guarantee you won’t be able to leave your local shop with just one cover).

All of the foundational character-beats are present, in case you were a little worried about that. Every recognizable character that has made an appearance in the first few issues is the same character you knew from the television series, albeit with a twinge of modification in order to combine several seasons of evolution into an inaugural debut. For example, Willow is already dating a girl (not Tara, sadly – at least, not yet), and Anya is already the loveable non-demon type that we, the viewers, came to know her as (well, she’s almost lovable). There are a few twists and turns that have been revealed already – one of which that I think will put the comic series on a different trajectory than the show from the outset. Overall, though, it’s a refreshing take on a universe that we longtime fans covet so greedily (isn’t that every fandom?)

Additionally, Joss Whedon was involved in the initial brainstorming and birthing of this new take on his mythos. So, if it passed muster with “The Master,” then his stamp-of-approval should be enough to at least coerce you into giving the first few issues a try. Don’t be snooty, kids.

So, the next time you traipse into your local comic shop, vigilant of how convincing your staff can be at Jedi-mind-tricking you into picking up yet another title, snatch-up the first trade and give it a whirl. I think you’ll find it worthy of being added to your weekly pull-list.

I know, I know – your stack of unread trades and single issues are nearing a literal “Leaning Tower of Pisa” safety-hazard….

But wouldn’t you want to meet your untimely demise having been crushed under the weight of a long-box which includes the new Buffy title than without?

Don’t expire with that regret. Choose wisely….

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