Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1 goes back to the beginning, opening with Buffy lamenting behind of the cash register at the illustrious Tunaverse. Having only been in in Sunnydale for a few weeks, the boredom of being friendless weighs heavily on her despite the importance of her Slayer calling.
However, it’s when a vampire attacks Xander and Willow just outside her job that that the story begins to pick up pace and the meet-cute of the iconic trio is established. Buffy doesn’t try to hide her Slayer abilities and dismisses Xander’s questioning with a simple explanation that she is “just a Buffy.”
Writer Jordie Bellaire (Pretty Deadly) demonstrates her accolades as an Eisner awarded talent in moving past the typical issues an origin story can possess – monotony, repetition, broken pearl necklaces, etc. Thankfully, the introductions between Buffy and her cohorts feels organic with no forced dialogue or story progression. She shows the complicated relationship between Buffy and Giles as Slayer and Watcher, while also capturing the rapport between Buffy and fellow teenagers. Artist Dan Mora (Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers) does well in capturing the original caricatures from the television show, especially Sarah Michelle Gellar. The transition from Buffy’s panels to Anya’s were confusing as the characters looked incredibly similar, however this is merely nit-picking as the comic was well done cover to cover.
Matthew Taylor’s cover art is absolutely stunning, mimicking pop art qualities while posing Buffy with a stake in one hand and a phone in the other. Overall, this was a respectful relaunching of the cult classic and something original creator Joss Whedon would be proud of. Little issues like poor choice in the font and coloring of Buffy’s internal dialogue was originally jarring, but by the end of the issue I found myself overlooking this particular style choice.
This is a good choice for new and old fans alike, especially with an interesting story that folds Buffy’s origin in intermittently without feeling flat or redundant. Future issues will likely pick up the pace, especially as we discover the secrets behind Anya’s character and the mysterious medallion that makes vampires impervious to the Slayer’s stake through their heart…
Good luck getting your hands on issue #1 as it sold out on the distributor level before arriving in shops, but no worries as a second printing variant will arrive in late February. Make sure you get this one in your hold as demand is set to get only higher.