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‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer Special #1’ – Comic Book Review

Set five years into the future we last saw in Buffy the Last Vampire Slayer, Thessaly (Willow and Tara’s daughter) has now assumed the mantle of the Slayer. Buffy and Spike (irony of ironies) are her Watchers and guardians. Without giving too much away, the central plot has to do with the possible reemergence of a fan-favorite character, and it involves skipping across the pond back to the United States.

Casey Gilly builds on her previous work, expanding the Buffyverse in some new ways. Alternate dimension notwithstanding, there’s quite a bit of the old Buffy humor, with quips about Spike’s pants, or how teenagers are insufferable. Funny thing of note: Apparently, Thessaly has no idea what a beeper is but has no questions about Tamagotchis, so I guess those lil’ suckers made a comeback. While it makes my eyes twitch to no end to see teen speak with ALL the abbreviations and emojis, it does feel authentic to the characters. Another thing I noted this time around were the references to events from the TV show, which, while enjoyable, kinda muddies the waters in terms of how different this universe is from the original. I mean, sure, these characters all have very similar base characteristics, so it’s possible that under certain unique circumstances, some of the same or similar events played out. Thessaly is an interesting character with a set of skills that makes her unique, and I’m interested in seeing her grow out of her impetuous phase.

Joe Jaro is joined on art duties this time around by Maria Keane and Lea Caballero, and the effect is quite seamless. All three styles seem to meld pretty well, at least to my untrained eye. The art style retains all the positives from the previous run, with some expressive character work and dynamic fight scenes. The likenesses are a bit hit or miss for me, with some pretty good fidelity with Buffy (especially since she’s aged up here) and to a lesser degree, Spike. In my opinion, the likenesses are less successful for Anya and our special guest star. That being said, I enjoyed the small character moments like Spike struggling with untangling his headphone cord. Joana Lafuente offers up some great colorwork, capturing the different atmospheres, moods, and heck, even climate, really. Finally, Ed Dukeshire’s work makes reading comics just feel intuitive.

Overall, with several iterations of rebooted series already out there, this series offers a sense of continuity for fans of the original. While not the same Buffy, it offers a glimpse into how her life could have turned out and her character progression from idealistic Slayer to grizzled veteran to, now, a Watcher feels like a good narrative choice.  

Creative Team: Casey Gilly (writer), Joe Jaro, Maria Keane, Lea Caballero (artists), Joana Lafuente (colorist), Ed Dukeshire (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Click here to purchase.

Wenxian Tan, Fanbase Press Contributor



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