Comic Book Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer #2
After the debut issue to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I couldn’t help anticipating what could come next in this series. This is our chance to fall in love with the story of Buffy and The Scoobies all over again. Like other licensed series that BOOM! Studios has tackled up to this point, this one offers vast opportunities to explore this universe in a different life. Things familiar, things new, but with the energy that keeps you coming back for more.
This second chapter of Buffy the Vampire Slayer dove headfirst into the everyday life of one Buffy Summers. From the start of this issue to the end I found myself gaining a greater appreciation for this series because there was never too much time in the show to explore some of these slower moments in her daily activities. Everything matters whether it is the way that Buffy wakes up for the new day, or the way that she reacts to what goes on in her own home. A big thing for me was also seeing how much of this was going to take place within the school. So far this creative team is off to a good start finding a balance between the time spent in the library on Slayer business, in the hallways, and beyond. There was one notable character who made her introduction and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Not a bad move at all when these characters work best when they have each other to work off of, for better or for worse. Willow and Xander in particular I enjoyed in this second issue for how they have their own priorities and focus beyond getting sucked into Buffy’s orbit. You would have assumed that they would be all in for Buffy during this first story arc, but bold steps are taken to give all of these core characters a presence and active voice.
What I found very interesting was the perspective taken for school life. The narration was very smooth because despite knowing who was speaking, it flowed perfectly through the actions of various others. A lot of this open dialogue involved questions of self-identity and that matches just about every teen in that school whether you see it or not. Like I said above, excellent decision-making skills at work here when this world doesn’t revolve around a single person.
To even further push the relationship between Buffy and Giles kept things engaging while also stirring up some feelings of nostalgia considering how far we know Giles’ story goes. At some point it is hard remembering him as being this strict Guardian who really struggled connecting or getting through to his charge. Almost as hard as it was to even remember the kind of girl that Cordelia was at this age. You would have assumed the cliche characterization for her, and then it would have struck you like a ton of bricks that she was really that peppy.
There was one thing we did have to look forward to from the start, and that was the proper introduction of Drusilla and Spike. Their part in this wasn’t too big, but we got a good emphasis of the brand of trouble that comes with them. One has ambitions, while the other one struggles not giving in to baser instincts.
I recall having a conversation with other fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the one thing everyone agreed on was how instantly sold on the artwork from the art team of Dan Mora and Raul Angulo. As I said with the first issue, these are artists who understand the appeal that comes with nailing the likeness of these characters. No one asks that every character looks like the real deal actors/actresses, but it makes a big difference in engagement. They get this and make every action, reaction, and expression match what you find so familiar about these characters. The icing on the cake this issue was all of the supernatural elements thrown on top. The nightmarish dream sequence at the start had a startling atmosphere to it just because of the decayed view of people Buffy knows, mixed with the red and black tones. Things got crazier when having the opportunity to see what other cool treasures Anya had been keeping in her store. Always unique to have a character like her who carries so many distinguishing trinkets that could only exist in a world like this.
If you weren’t invested in Buffy the Vampire Slayer after the first issue, the second issue brings out more of the potential that this series has to offer. I mean, who would be crazy to still need a reason to pick up a new issue of Buffy? If you’re a fan, then you know what you want from this series, and a new experience just sweetens the deal.