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"Buffy the Vampire Slayer #2" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by BOOM! Studios

Buffy 2 00

Written by Jordie Bellaire
Illustrated by Dan Mora
Colored by Raul Angulo
Lettered by Ed Dukeshire
2019, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on February 27th, 2019

Review:

Buffy settles into Sunnydale as the spotlight shifts to some of the supporting cast, most notably Cordelia. We also officially meet Spike and Drusilla for the first time and dig into Xander's tortured life, all while some magical objects are hitting the streets that make vampires un-stakable.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: I love Dan Mora's artwork. The guy can do anything and Buffy the Vampire Slayer shows it. The opening pages are a literal nightmare for the Chosen One, showing Mora's horror chops with some of the most disturbing imagery imaginable. Buffy's friends are shown as twisted, decaying corpses, like something out of a Junji Ito manga. Their limbs are elongated and too skinny, which is unsettling enough before their skin starts to fall away.

Letterer Ed Dukeshire adds to the terror with haunting red word balloons from this macabre cast. They taunt Buffy and pull at her doubts. These words come up in a scratchy font that cuts deep.

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Just in case you had any doubts that this is a nightmare, colorist Raul Angulo sets the tone with some ominous shadows and blood red backgrounds. Everything is red in this sequence, even Buffy's clothes. It plays with the whole vampire idea without ever barring fangs. This contrasts well with the real-life setting, which is your typical sunny day in California.

All that is in just the first few pages. We are just scraping the surface of Buffy the Vampire Slayer #2. Writer Jordie Bellaire packed a lot of content in this issue, giving fans more bang for their buck. What stands out the most is how Bellaire is redefining the characters we know and love. This is not a retelling of the first few seasons of Buffy. This is a modern day reimagining of them and it's pretty great.

Take Cordelia for instance. She's not a bubble-headed cheerleader. Instead, she's the beautiful over-achiever. She's perfect in every way which makes you love and hate her at the same time. This brings a new innocence to her that makes a confrontation with Spike all the more interesting. Angulo controls the mood of these scenes, going from the bright and shiny colors of the day into the shadows of the woods and the setting sun. This change instantly creates a foreboding atmosphere, reminding us of the horror roots of this series.

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The one element of Buffy the Vampire Slayer that I'm torn on is Xander. It is revealed at the end of the first issue that the narration running throughout was not from the title character, but from Xander. He expresses a lot of doubt and depression through a blog. Most people, myself included, can probably relate to what he's going through. High school is rough and he's unsure as to where he fits in. He's down, but he's keeping these feelings somewhat private instead of telling others how he feels. This can be dangerous, as he could become suicidal or even homicidal. Part of me wants to tell him to buck up and just talk to people, but that's easier said than done.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is off to a tremendous start. It's moving at a mile a minute, picking up all of our old favorites from the TV show and displaying them in a brand new light. This creates a renewed appreciation for all of them. It helps that the artwork is gorgeous and the story and dialogue can go toe-to-toe with some of the best from Joss Whedon. This is required reading for any Buffy fan.

Grades:

Story: Fivestars Buffy 2 Small
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Art: Fivestars
Overall: Fivestars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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