Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1

Created by: Joss Whedon
Written by: Jordie Bellaire
Art by: Dan Mora
Colors by: Raúl Angulo
Letters by: Ed Dukeshire

In my last review of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it had not yet been announced that the title was moving over to Boom! Studios. Hints had been dropped that Buffy was not yet done, but it was not clear what this meant. When it was announced that it was indeed Boom! Studios who were taking over the title I was very excited. Not only was Buffy not dead, it is now housed with the publisher most suited to the title. Boom! is a publisher who embraces diversity and representation and is a champion of female led narratives. It is no surprise that Buffy found her way here, and I for one can’t wait to see what this means for the title.

This first issue gives us some answers to what ‘reboot’ means in the case of Buffy. Author Jordie Bellaire gives us Buffy, Xander and Willow, at the start of a school year, not yet friends. Giles reprises his role as Buffy’s watcher and librarian (such a relief to see the likeness of Anthony Head after the prolonged time he was transported into the body of a teenager in the Dark Horse comics). And, thanks to the cyclical nature of fashion, it took until one of the latter scenes where Xander uses a MacBook, to figure out that this comic is set in 2019. In look and style it is very true to the original Buffy TV show.

But don’t worry, we’re not having to relive all of the world building that is already so heavily established. Bellaire swiftly sets up all the character dynamics, and not much time is lost on explaining what ‘the Slayer’ is, or on the incredulity that supernatural beings exist.

Notably, Willow is already out of the closet as queer. Which swiftly highlights that this comic is set today, rather than the original setting of the 90s. It would have been much more uncommon for 16 year olds to be openly LGBTQ* in the 90s, but within the setting of 2019 it makes sense that Willow already had realisations about her sexuality much earlier. I am curious to see what they do with her sexuality, which was originally written in a (typical for the time) universe where bisexuality does not exist. Willow’s relationship with Tara announced to the world that she was gay, and from that point on in both the TV show and the comics she never looked at men again. Some recognition of bisexuality or sexual fluidity would not surprise me under the helm of Boom! Studios.

The writing of this reboot has captured the voices of the original cast well, and Dan Mora has done a brilliant job reimagining modern looks for the characters (well, excluding Giles obviously). In the next issue we will be introduced to the reboot’s first Big Bad, and given the ending of this comic and the cover of next month’s issue; I can’t wait!

9/10

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