BUFFY THE LAST VAMPIRE SLAYER #1 Review: An Alternate Buffy-Verse Where Everything Is At Stake
The new entry in the Buffy-Verse comes to us from writer Casey Gilly, artist Joe Jaro, colorist Joana Lafuente, letterer Ed Dukeshire and published by Boom! Studios. The story takes us years into the future into a darker dystopian world in which dark magic has made it possible for vampires to walk the Earth without the fear of sunlight. Our beloved vampire slayer, Buffy Summers is now an older Buffy than what we normally see and is battling with the mystery behind her slayer abilities, and with the loss of her friends, she does so without the support system she usually has in place around her. Among all this, we find that a peace treaty between humans and vampires has made it forbidden for either to hurt one another and Buffy finds herself struggling to fit into a world that no seems to need a slayer.
It is a story foundation that has been visited before, and regardless of whether you have had your fill of it or not, it’s still a story that we are more than willing to sink our teeth into. Much like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin, Buffy the Last Vampire Slayer #1 introduces us to an alternate universe that we have never seen these characters in and it’s a compelling narrative on the “what it” spectrum that I am sure many of us have sat around debating with friends or letting our imagination run wild with theories.
Something I appreciated from the premiere issue is that it didn’t rely on giving us action as a fan service, yes we all love a good spread of panels full of action, but these creators have the story they want to tell and they are going to tell it. This is actually part of Buffy’s problem as she is the chosen one who is supposed to slay the vampires in a world where humans and vampires seemingly co-exist and vampires reign supreme without fear of daylight or slayers. As we see Buffy work to find her purpose in this “new” world and works on finding answers for a somewhat problematic issue with her powers, with the help of an old friend. This is where I believe Gilly really shines as she is able to capture the humor of these characters and the series among the horrors of the world they are in. She then takes us in the complete other direction as Buffy speaks to Giles in a dark room only to find out it is simply a photo of her old father figure and mentor. That is something to be admired and not easily done in the world they have put Buffy in and somehow to still manage to capture the characters’ originality and personality hits the sweet spot for any Buffy fan.
As a fan of Once & Future, Jaro really hit the spot with his detailed artwork. He also manages to capture the Buffy-Verse we know and love with his ability to present us a Buffy we recognize but having aged her into a tough aged slayer that still packs the punch and physique of the slayer we all grew up with. The vampires all hold the resemblance of the series and all that is rounded out by Lafuente who does a beautiful job of capturing the environment and emotions depicted on the pages with her color choices. Dukeshire is the final piece to this puzzle as his lettering creates a seamless road for readers to follow as they are able to enjoy everyone’s contribution to the premiere issue while flipping through the pages in one seamless experience.
Buffy: The Last Vampire Slayer #1 introduces us to a dark future for Buffy and keeps the charm of what we loved in the TV series. Among the darkness in this world, there is a light amongst the darkness we will find out in the final pages of the premiere issue, with someone entering Buffy’s life that could change everything. This is a very promising start to the mini-series and a reimagining that does not lose the identity of everything we love about the Buffy-Verse.