For many of us who were teens in the late 90s, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a key piece of pop culture that you came to love. Some first experienced the character through the Kristy Swanson movie, while others did so through Joss Whedon’s vastly successful TV series. With the massive popularity on screen, it was only natural that the Buffyverse would expand into comics. Thanks to Dark Horse, the Slayer and friends continue to fight the good fight and still look great doing so.
For those not familiar with the series, how can one sum up the first seven seasons without spoilers? I have to admit that is tough, but let’s see what we can do with it. Enter Buffy Summers, the pretty blonde who finds herself in a new school just trying to be a typical teenage girl. This as you’ll quickly find out is not really possible, as she is the “Chosen One”. As the title would denote, vampires are the primary menace on which the series frequently focuses. But throughout the multitude of seasons, Buffy and her companions lovingly referred to as the “Scooby Gang” face a long list of villains ranging from demons, to robots and any number of other supernatural beings. When it comes down to it, her continual struggle boils down to saving the world, or at the least her hometown of Sunnydale.
Fast forward to Season 8, brought to us via comics thanks to Dark Horse. Things have certainly not slowed down at all, as Buffy and her “army” persistently works to fight off all things evil. As you’d imagine, the usual suspects, including of course vampires, still play their evil role. This time though, the major threat the gang comes to face is a mysterious figure known as Twilight. Working with the government and some other baddies who return from the show, he seeks to destroy the Slayers and magic while he’s at it. Couple this with mystical creatures, time travel and super powers and it’s just another chapter in the life of Buffy and company.
Onwards to Season 9, and the aftermath of what turns out to be an all out war between Team Buffy and Team Twilight (yes, I did that on purpose). Things have changed quite a bit with how the world works now, more so for some than others. All the usual dangers are present, but are dealt with differently as Buffy, Willow and a number of newcomers must learn to adjust to. Along with a vicious new breed of vampire, our top billing for bad guys we see two foes from Season 8 return with renewed energy. Luckily, the original Scooby trio returns to action just in time to face off and save the world – and something even more important to them.
As fantastic as the stories are to read, they look equally just as good. It is a challenge to embody the real life actors in pencil and the challenge is met head on. Although every artist brings their own personal touch to the characters, every one of them has their likeness captured wonderfully. To compliment the excellent character art, every brutal, dark setting that the Slayer and companions battle in is gorgeously drawn. All the action and magic that fills these stories is beautifully portrayed as well, fully bringing life to every fast paced scene.
The transition of the series to a print-only format has been done really smoothly in my opinion. As one of those who grew up watching (and crushing on) Buffy, getting to continue the adventure even just in books is a treat. Everything fans loved about the series, the quirky, the funny, the heartfelt, all make their way onto the pages of Dark Horse’s comic treatment of the franchise. Anyone who invested seven seasons of TV content should most certainly keep going with the comics. Even for those who haven’t though, these books are a wonderful way to break into the series. With Season 10 now in motion, everyone has plenty more to look forward to.
For more information on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics, check out Dark Horse Comics.
Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.