Comic Book Review: Buffy The Vampire Slayer #1
If anyone asked me what one of my favorite ongoing series was before this year? It was easily the Buffy series from Dark Horse Comics. When they announced the end of the series? I was devastated. Then at the same time heartbroken when the license was given to BOOM! Studios. Especially when the approach to this franchise was aimed at going back to the beginning. Back to high school, back to the Hellmouth. That is something to adjust to, but here we are fingers crossed that this will be another story worth growing up with again.
Even with that said, there were still questions to the approach that BOOM! Studios and this creative team were trying to take with this re-imagining of Buffy’s origins and story. Honestly, I don’t think I could ever be too bugged with the difference that this book is taking us all the way to the beginning, while the series before began where the tv series ended. That’s a big difference if you ask me. So it was welcoming to be able to jump all the way to the days where Buffy is the new slayer on the block. Not new enough that she is in the adjustment phase of being a slayer, but new enough that every other experience we are seeing from a brand new perspective. Meaning the chance to get to see her develop her friendships all over again, fit in at school again, and so much more. It has been so long since the show that there is way to truly remember how some of these events played out.
Just as they said, this is the Buffy Summers you know brought to life within these pages. Her experiences in this first issue gave us the full package in what her life is like as someone who wants what every average teenager wants. Her desire for friends at her new school was met, her need to find balance was met, as well as her need to escape the pressures of her destiny as the next in a long line of vampire slayers. For as exciting as it was to get to know Buffy all over again, the same could be said for Willow and Xander as well. Everything that was also engaging for us came from their perspective. It was great for the sense of wonder as well. The world of the supernatural isn’t a big thing or something that people are forced to coexist with yet. They made our introduction to this world fun since like Buffy they were not too afraid to jump headfirst into the unknown. They were all of us at that age who were looking for something exciting to believe in.
As far as new things go, that was also very important to address in this first issue. I was glad to be able to believe that the Gang could face brand new Big Bads. The next step of course is to jump into the other obstacles in her life that can also be just as terrifying as Buffy’s duties as the slayer.
I will admit one thing, having the art team of Dan Mora and Raul Angulo was a brilliant choice. Whoever chose these two should receive a round of applause for knowing exactly what a book like this needs visually. As I always say, the interiors can be a deal breaker for licensed books such as Buffy. The quality of the work says a lot about the effort that a publisher is ready to put into the franchise. In the case of Buffy The Vampire Slayer #1? I felt convinced that they are taking this serious with the quality of work we got out of this art team. The pencils, the colors, the atmosphere, the likeness of these characters all made this an enjoyable experience as a debut. I felt the same satisfaction as I did when they were working on the Power Rangers books. I might go so far as to say that this one of the strongest debuts for the artwork received. The likeness of these characters and the vampire faces were a big thing for me. That told me everything I needed to know about the way that this art team wanted to engage us in the human moments, and the moments that were supposed to be chilling. Aside from that, the colors were the right touch of bright and bold to pull us into that chapter of this story where there is still some innocence before the plunge into darkness.
Our welcome back to the Hellmouth for the first time was indeed worth the wait. My confidence about this new start to Buffy The Vampire Slayer was shaky up to this point, but right now I feel that we are already in a comfortable place after the events of this first issue. This was endearing, it had action, and it reminded us of the true vulnerabilities these characters faced in their early days.