BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER GETS A MUCH-NEEDED FRESH START (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #1 REVIEW)
BOOM! Studios is taking a fairly risky approach to its first Buffy comic. Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1 isn’t a continuation of the long-running sequel saga Dark Horse published from 2007 through 20018. Nor is it a tie-in to the original TV series. It’s instead a complete reboot that overhauls the Buffy mythos for 2019. While that approach threatens to alienate long-time Buffy fans, the new series actually strikes a very delicate balance. It retains the spirit of the old Buffy while also giving newbies an easy jumping-on point to the franchise.
It helps that there’s nothing radically different about this rebooted Buffy. Writer Jordie Bellaire and artist Dan Mora aren’t attempting to reinvent the Slayer wheel here. Even describing the new series as “Ultimate Buffy” overstates the differences. This is till the story of Buffy Summers moving to Sunnydale and trying to balance the pressures of high school with her vampire-hunting responsibilities. The characters all still closely resemble their respective actors. This first issue makes it clear that the new series will follow its own path in terms of plotting and the order in which certain major characters are introduced, but also that it won’t be making changes simply for the sake of change.
It’s actually pretty impressive how much this first issye manages the seemingly contradictory task of giving the franchise a clean slate while still appealing to existing fans. The formula survives intact, the plot is just different enough to differentiate the comic from what’s come before. Bellaire is able to channel Joss Whedon’s distinctive vice without the book feeling slavishly devoted to that voice. There’s both a comfortable familiarity and an exciting freshness to the series. The characters survive intact, even if their personalities and relationships are subtly tweaked for 2019.
It’s a huge hlep having artist Dan Mora on board for this project. Mora has a singular talent for handling licensed comics. He’s able to capture the essence of his characters without being forced to rely on stilted photo-reference. Mora’s Buffy is a dead ringer for Sarah Michelle Gellar. the same for Xander/Nicholas Brendon and Willow/Alyson Hannigan. But in all cases, the characters have a playful energy and sense of style that firmly differentiates the comic from the source material. Between that and the generally effective blend of comedy and horror Mora is able to craft in these pages, this may well go down as the best-looking Buffy comic yet published.
Most importantly, this issue is something that can be easily read and enjoyed without any prior exposure to the franchise. It makes a clean break from the past even as it acknowledges that past ibn various tongue-in-cheek ways. There’s no reason this reboot should work as well as it does, but there’s no doubt that Buffy and friends have found a great new home.
→ The Verdict
As risky and disaster prone as it might sound on paper, BOOM’s new Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic immediately reinvigorates a long-running property. This series doesn’t go overboard trying to overhaul the source material. Instead, it gives the characters a fresh start and builds up a new take on Buffy’s world that’s both comfortably familiar and excitingly new. It’s a book that should please Buffy fans of all types.
Original article at IGN