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"Buffy the Vampire Slayer #5" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by BOOM! Studios

buffy 5 00

Written by Jordie Bellaire
Illustrated by David Lopez
Colored by Raul Angulo
Lettered by Ed Dukeshire
2019, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on June 5th, 2019


Buffy is on the warpath. She's fought vampires for some time, but now it's personal. Drusilla has attacked Xander, turning him into a vampire. There's still a chance to cure her friend before he fully transforms, but that window is quickly closing.

We saw this huge moment at the end of the last issue, but it was unknown to Buffy and Willow. They're called to Giles' house in the middle of the night and have a few minutes of normalcy before their world is forever changed. This small scene serves as a reminder that they're still just kids with worries like relationships and lost cell phones. They just happen to also fight vampires.

Click images to enlarge

Artist David Lopez joins the Buffy creative team with this issue, replacing Dan Mora. His style takes a little getting used to, as it's a shift from what we've seen so far. After going through it a few times, I think it comes down to how Lopez draws the eyes of the characters. For example, Willow always looks surprised with these big wide eyes. This is weird because there are some situations that definitely don't call for this and it gets a little creepy.

Where Lopez really excels is in Xander's transformation. This takes over the whole page with cascading panels showing the painful change from their hapless friend to a sickening demon. Xander's entire demeanor changes. Instead of being the slouching schlub he usually is, he's standing confident and powerful.

Colorist Raul Angulo adds a nice touch here with glowing yellow eyes that pierce through the shadows. Xander's own blood stains his shirt a dark red, creating a sickening contrast between his death as a human and rebirth as a vampire.

Click images to enlarge

I was definitely surprised at this decision to turn Xander into a vampire, but I have to say it's brilliant. Writer Jordie Bellaire has given this character something to do that adds some actual depth to him. While he has some great lines in the TV show here and there, he is usually the worst. Bellaire had written Xander as a mopey incel, depressed that his friends didn't want to hang out with him, but quiet about his feelings. Now he's put into a position of power and the demon inside of him is going to tell the Scooby Gang how he really feels. That changes the dynamic considerably.

Those words come out in rougher font from letterer Ed Dukeshire. When Xander transforms, so do his word balloons. They get more jagged and downright mean. This brings to mind a guttural, more savage sound which works well here.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer continues to raise this franchise to new heights. It weaves through the main characters, pulling them together and tearing them apart. Every issue ends in a solid, jaw-dropping moment that will leave you begging for more. I hope this relaunch runs forever.


Story: fivestars Cover
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Art: threeandahalfstars
Overall: 4 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
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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