Welcome BACK to the HELLMOUTH!
Yup the Title Says it All!!!
When Buffy the Vampire Slayer signed off from the small screen in 2003, TV viewers had to bid a tearful goodbye to a franchise that never thought it could have been anything after the initial offering of the movie with Kristy Swanson and the late Luke Perry. But if the show, which debuted in 1997 is to be based on, the effect is definitely made more valid as the fan base not only doubled, and increased cumulatively, it also stayed loyal.
So when Joss Whedon decided that the franchise will continue on in comic book form through Dark Horse Comics, everyone was excited. I was one of them. I read the 8th season in the comics and was surprised to find out that it wasn’t the season that I was expecting. The story line went in different directions and the supposed Big Bad wasn’t one for me after all. In short, the medium which afforded no restrictions, save for the imagination of both the writer and the reader, lacked the linear storyline that most seasonal arcs of the show had. If you ask me, Season 2 and 5 were the best for me.
But I’m for digressing a bit there.
Now, Geeks everywhere already know that there is a running move to reboot the Buffy franchise by casting an African American actress into the role. In a time where inclusion meant all, they are certainly taking that concept to heart and practicing what they preach. It will be a reboot of sorts but the reboot that I was surprised to find out and just read is the current comic book reincarnation of the franchise through BOOM Studios. Yes, in comic book form once more.
The cover of issue 1 which reminds me of the pose that Swanson had in the movie poster, albeit this time with some shadowy characters in the background, opens with our favorite Slayer working at a fast food place called Tunaverse. Heaven for those who eat nothing but that, except our favorite Slayer, isn't happy working there and had allowed routine to take hold of her life. Lucky for her, and for us, two patrons of the place just left and were being harassed by a local vampire. Cue a little banter just before he got the pointy end of the stick.
I was pleasantly surprised to read that these two victims were none other than two of our favorite Scooby Gang members, Xander and Willow. While they were never a couple in the show, Willow has always been pining for Xander while he is forever smitten with Buffy. I have a feeling that they may not change this dynamic initially but their introduction and how they find out about her certainly has been.
With their curiosity piqued and in denial of what they saw, Xander and Willow found themselves following Buffy into the school library the next day. There they meet Giles the Head Librarian and thanks her in front of her mentor, whom we know is her Watcher. This act of expressing gratitude gets Buffy into more trouble with her Watcher as he reprimanded her. It is revealed that she has only been in Sunnydale for 3 weeks and already her cover was blown! Naturally this turn of events does not sit well with Giles who reinforces that the secrecy of her identity is paramount to her success as being the Slayer.
The issue then moves along with Buffy that same night sleeping in the cemetery waiting for vampires to come. Not long after she got her wish and proceeded to stake one vamp after another up until one vampire that she impaled failed to turn to dust!!!
This left her perplexed and the creature free to gloat over his immortality and his need to find more trinkets like the one he just got from a magic shop. He was thrilled that such a pendant would actually deliver the magical promise of immunity. He thus goes back to this magic shop in some alley and barters with the shop owner to get him more of the trinket that saved his life. The beautiful blond, shop owner defers his payment and instead toasts his “success” with a flask.
The over confident vampire gulps the contents and soon becomes nothing more than a heap of ash on the floor, leaving the owner to return the bauble to its place in the store in order for it to be peddled anew to another unsuspecting buyer. But she is soon visited by another vampire by the end of the issue who addresses her as Anya!
I was geeking out by the time the end of this initial issue as another member of the Scooby Gang was introduced. But while Anya, a Vengeance Demon, initially starts off as evil, her character at the core is not and soon joins our band of Geeks to stop the incursion of evil in the lonely town of Sunnydale. Now although her introduction in this incarnation is different, it does hark to the later seasons where she and Giles run the Magic Shop together after she has found her penchance for commerce and retail.
All in all this new direction and new version of the Buffyverse will touch up on key points taken from the original franchise, ranging from physical traits to mannerisms and also introduction of several key characters.
Yes, ANGEL I am looking for you! Where are you?
I won’t be surprised that the writers will still keep whatever worked for the tv show, using it as a base line of which to incorporate changes in order to attract a new audience while keeping its original fanbase. Writer Jordie Bellaire, who has worked with the 2 primary comic book giants, namely DC and Marvel on titles such as Moon Knight, Batman, The Vison, Magnet and Hawkeye, brings her experience of writing for and about larger than life characters. Heck, it's the Buffster we're talking about here. No scaling down please! Dan Mora, who has worked on several prominent titles such as Doctor Strange, Hexed, Power Rangers brings his A-game to the table and has equally drawn the cast similar to the actors and actresses who played them on TV! Another plus in my books!
As I am liking what I have read so far, from a restructuring of character origins, to the actor-accurate drawings of the main players, it is the one issue that I hope will attract new readers while keeping the old. Give me Issue 2 already! Hail Buffy!
The full cast recently reunited for a 20th Anniversary photo, as photographed by Entertainment Weekly. I am still scouring the ends of the earth for this collectors edition of a issue. Suffice to say I am ready to pay the price because for me....Buffy Is Forever!