Title: Buffy The Vampire Slayer #1
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Words: Jordie Bellaire
Art: Dan Mora
Colors: Raúl Angulo
Published: January 23, 2019
Publisher’s Summary: Go back to the beginning as the critically acclaimed pop culture phenomenon Buffy The Vampire Slayer is reimagined under the guidance of series creator Joss Whedon. This is the Buffy Summers you know, who wants what every average teenager wants: friends at her new school, decent grades, and to escape her imposed destiny as the next in a long line of vampire slayers tasked with defeating the forces of evil. But her world looks a lot more like the one outside your window, as Jordie Bellaire (Redlands) and Russ Manning Award-Winner Dan Mora (Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers) bring Buffy into a new era with new challenges, new friends…and a few enemies you might already recognize. But the more things change, the more they stay the same, as the Gang faces brand new Big Bads, and the threat lurking beneath the perfectly manicured exterior of Sunnydale High confirms what every teenager has always known: high school truly is hell! WELCOME BACK TO THE HELLMOUTH, FOR THE FIRST TIME!
Buffy’s back! I mean, do I need to say more? Ok, I will, but only because this first issue is all the slayage I know and love and surprisingly more. The last time I was this excited for new comic book day was…well, never.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1 brings Buffy back to the beginning: Sunnydale, new girl at school, friends, and the same old vampires. But if you think it’s the same old Buffy think again. Jordie Bellaire’s script is flawless. The new storyline departs just enough from the original show to make the issue exciting while maintaining the integrity of the characters and storyline. Buffy remains the spunky girl, newly landed in Sunnydale, but she’s thoughtful and self-aware in ways that exceed the source material. This is less an alteration to the character and more an enhancement, as fans are immediately drawn into the complex mind of a teenage slayer. Bellaire tackles issues of identity and independence head-on, asking what a ‘slayer’ is. Is she a superhero? The chosen? Or something entirely different?
As for the story itself, I repeat, flawless. Bellaire’s storyline takes readers back to basics, establishing the ground work of the Slayer mythos, the characters, and the storyline. Then, in a fun twist, Bellaire adds in a bit of meta content about comics to round out the issue. Though there are departures from the original story, Bellaire reverently makes these changes. This new Buffy-verse is adjacent, but close to the original. Simultaneously, Bellaire hints to the first Big Bad of the series without giving too much away. All said, Bellaire gets the series off the ground in record time with an intriguing first mystery for the Slayer.
While Bellaire’s words craft a terrific tale, Dan Mora’s art and Raúl Angulo’s colors bring the issue home. There’s a softness to Mora’s art which complements Bellaire’s introspective script. However, Mora’s art is also detailed and nuanced, creating a fresh version of Sunnydale and the characters. Raúl Angulo’s colors transition between bright/cheerful and dark/ominous, capturing the emotions of the issue in the colors.
On a whole, Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1 is a perfect addition to the Buffy-verse. Bellaire, Mora, and Angulo work new magic on the Slayer, giving long-time and new fans something to rejoice over as they read. I admit, I was hesitant when BOOM! Studios announced the series; however, those fears disappeared after the first panel. Reading Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1 feels like being re-introduced to an old friend all over again.
The Bottom Line
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1 is a fantastic debut issue. Jordan Bellaire writes Buffy as the same thoughtful, spunky slayer that fans love, but with playful new twists. Dan Mora’s art and Raúl Angulo’s colors bring the Bellaire’s script to life, striking that perfect balance between soft and intense.