‘Buffy ’97 #1:’ Comic Book Review

The low-down ('coz I’m trying to be totally ‘90s about this): This is a story that’s set in an alternate universe but with a heavy ‘90s tinge. We’re talking catalogs and a heavy reliance on mall culture here. In a nutshell, this feels very Season 1 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and your mileage may vary.

I’m going to be frank: This story took me back to the early days of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Along the lines of “The Witch” and “I Robot… You Jane.” It’s a bit clunky in some ways, but given the context of self-acceptance and how consumerism literally feeds on self-esteem, it does find its place. It’s so very ‘90s in that regard, and the hamfisted nature here seems to be the point and the impetus of the narrative. In short, Buffy and Willow, in a fit of teenage-itis, want to see a fashion show put on by a mysterious brand and get caught up in some major mystical mojo. As you may assume, hijinks of sorts ensue.

Jeremy Lambert keeps this tale firmly in the ‘90s. From the fashions and lifestyle, it feels truly lifted from the era. On one hand, I do wish that the story went deeper than that, but, on the other hand, this is a truly retro story that plays into our sense of nostalgia. It doesn’t progress the narrative per se, but it does give us a new Buffy story that addresses issues that seem to pertain to issues about agency and self-image.

Marianna Ignazzi takes over on linework here, and it’s pretty much the same strengths as before. Lots of expressive linework with very loose linework. Mattia Iacono’s work is very familiar, with it working very well with the lines. It gives drama and a lotta ‘90s vibe, as well. Ed Dukeshire gives it his all, as usual, with stellar storytelling sensibilities.

Overall, this is a fun jaunt into the multiverse, but, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t feel like much. It’s a fun read, but I’m not sure if this is necessary reading for any reason.

Creative Team: Jeremy Lambert (writer), Marianna Ignazzi (artist), Mattia Iacono (colorist), Ed Dukeshire (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Click here to purchase.

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