Buffy the Vampire Slayer No. 1 review: Buffy is back in the best way possible


Buffy the Vampire Slayer is back and in a modern 2019 setting that’s prepared to shake things up in the best ways possible!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Issue #1)

Publisher: Boom! Studios

Written By: Jordie Bellaire

Art: Dan Mora

Release Date: January 23, 2019

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an iconic title that has been around since the ’90s, and has ultimately become a major influence in pop culture for its strong narrative, unique characters, and relatable themes from teenage years through adulthood. When the series ended in 2003, its popularity demanded more stories, which became a continuation from Joss Whedon.  But now, after the follow-up series came to a perfect end, Boom! Studios has made the bold choice to reinvent Buffy as a modern story due to the themes that are still very much alive in 2019.

After major anticipation from fans and critics, (as well as a sell-out before even going into print) Buffy’s first issue is jam-packed with everything that people loved about the series while finding ways to introduce new storylines to keep things from feeling like a complete rehashing of the source material. To start, a few noticeable changes include Buffy working from the beginning,and going through an almost depressed state from her change of pace to Sunnydale where she meets Willow and Xander in a completely different way that immediately thrusts them into the world with knowledge of the supernatural. Small touches such as her revealing it to them nonchalantly during a sleepover style hangout is a comedic way of getting main characters accustomed to the supernatural without causing a major transitional scene.

Image Courtesy Of Boom! Studios

Characters that you know and love are still very much incorporated into the story, and the first issue brings in Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles and Joyce so far — with everything feeling very much like the BTVS series. There are some intriguing changes made that we only catch glimpses of so far, with one being a very (and currently ambiguous) early reveal of Anya as a part of the story. Her presence isn’t major, but will clearly play a part in the plot moving forward due to the series final pages, which reveal the first official “big bad” of this new incarnation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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Without revealing all of the new additions to BTVS, another interesting change sees a much more confident Willow, skipping through her “awkward” phase that left her shying away from contact with most. This version of Willow is open about her sexuality, (girlfriend included!) friendly, and exudes much more confidence in herself just from her wardrobe choices to her prompting a hangout with the slayer. There are a few hints about witchcraft scattered in this debut issue, but at the moment, we will have to see if she flourishes as a witch like she has in the original series. Another important moment sees Buffy internally debating her chaotic life, her divided up time and just the desire for a chance to determine her own happiness or even life choices. This is something that was a major theme in the original and once again done here with amazing art and perfect execution.

Image Courtesy Of Boom! Studios

As a whole, BTVS’ first issue from Boom! Studios is a solid way to revitalize the franchise for new audiences and appeal to the die-hard fans who loved everything about the series. Buffy truly creates a new modern setting where smartphones, laptops, social media and much more outspoken youth are going to provide us with new and exciting alterations to an already thriving franchise. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (issue #1) is available now and is a definitive must-read title that doesn’t disappoint.

Next. Buffy issue #3 will bring a few familiar faces. dark

Final Thoughts:

– Mora’s art is one of my favorite things so far thanks to his talent that remarkably captures the likeness of our favorite characters

– While there isn’t a clear direction from the first issue, that uncertainty is actually refreshing given that this is a chance to re-brand Buffy for all audiences.