Comics: Boom! Studios Buffy the Vampire Slayer Issue #2 (2019) - Reviewed

The second issue of Boom! Studios’ Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot comic is due to be released on February 27th. The first issue sold out and had to be reprinted multiple times, so it is safe to say that Boom! is doing something right when it comes to Buffy, and it’s clear that everyone’s favorite vampire slayer is certainly not a thing of the past. The first issue brought all of the heart and humor of our much loved original Buffy and was able to make it fresh and modern without taking away from any of its well-known tone.

Issue 2 introduced us to several more fan favorite characters in the Buffy-verse. As I mentioned last in my review of Issue 1, I was a little bit cautious about how Willow was portrayed in the reboot, as her character development over the seasons was one of my absolute favorite parts of the original show. Now, I very well could be one of those fangirls that objects to any type of real change with my favorite characters, but I must say, once again, I am on the fence with how another character is being introduced. Cordelia Chase’s growth in not only the Buffy series, but particularly her development in Angel makes her a very close second when it comes to my favorite growth of a character in the series. Beginning as a spoiled, snarky queen bee who insulted those she deemed beneath her, yet eventually becoming one of the kindest, most beautiful souls on the show was so wonderful to watch. She was, in my opinion, the most redeemed character in the Buffy universe and there was something special about watching that incredibly slow, but poignant development. 

Cordy is introduced in the reboot still as the most gorgeous popular girl in school. Wealthy, trendy and vying to be everyone’s favorite leader; that felt like the Cordy we met in season one of Buffy. That being said, that’s where the similarities ended. She certainly looked the part, but the Cordy in the new comic was anything but the bitchy teen queen of the television serious. She’s bubbly and sweet and always has a kind word for anyone in her path. She is a bit na├»ve and far too trusting, but it’s all from her positive outlook on life and wanting to see the good in everyone around me. The Cordelia of the comics is certainly a more likable character than the one we are introduced to in the show, but will there be as much room for growth and improvement when it comes to her character development? I truly am unsure. I recognize that because I have such a long standing history with the show that it is hard for me to come into this with a completely unbiased opinion. If my introduction to Buffy was by this comic reboot, of course I would have nothing to compare it to, and quite frankly, if I didn’t, I would think the comic was absolutely smashing. The characters are quirky and fun and there are many humorous one liners that had me laughing out loud as I read. Jordie Bellaire certainly has captured what makes Buffy iconic and I could not be happier about that. Though I am still a bit unsure about several of the characters, I am certainly not saying she is writing them poorly. They are just different than what I am used to, and it is far too early for me to say whether or not different will be a detriment. For me it just gives me a bit of a reason to pause, but I will certainly be sticking with this comic. 

Artist Dan Mora and colorist Raul Angulo continue to work together in perfect harmony. There is a bit of a nightmare sequence at the beginning of this issue that was so creepy, it’s hard to believe the same artists handled the vibrant, bubbly panels that make of the majority of the title. I continue to be extremely impressed by Mora’s character designs. Though certainly updated to reflect the style of today with clothing, hair and makeup, every single character is immediately recognizable to any long term fan of Buffy. He captures their emotions, moods and personalities so well through his art, that the books are sure to become collectors’ items for any Buffy fans. The color palette that Angulo contributes continues to be mainly bright and youthful, which works perfectly for the series. Keeping with the modern “Archiesque” type of vibe, the book is certainly bound to draw the attention of a younger audience, which I think will be very beneficial to the overall sales of the continuing issues.

Overall, I am still very pleased with the direction that the Boom! Studios Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot is taking. Though of course I mentioned there are things that have me a bit surprised, I want to once again state that I have not decided whether the change will be negative or positive, so I look forward to the continuation of the series assisting me to make up my mind on that. I am extremely excited to see if issue 2 sells out as quickly as issue 1 did and of course checking out the third issue at the end of March.

--Rachel Rutherford