October 12, 2019

Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Vol. 1: High School Is Hell

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Vol. 1: High School Is Hell Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Vol. 1: High School Is Hell by Jordie Bellaire
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is an updated reboot of the Buffyverse, as is clear from the cover--Buffy is holding a stake in one hand and a cell phone in the other. The first issue starts with her already having gained her powers and moved to Sunnydale, just like the show (which I watched religiously during its run). There are immediate differences: Willow is already an out lesbian and sporting the chin-length bob of later seasons, not the longer hair of the first; Cordelia is an actual nice person, not a "mean girl"--although from some remarks she makes, I wonder how long that's going to last; Spike and Drusilla make their appearance right away; Anya is already running the magic shop; and Robin Wood from Season 7 is a teenager at Sunnydale High.

If all this sounds overstuffed, it kind of is. This volume covers the first four issues of the comic, and for the most part it feels far too rushed. It seems like Jordie Bellaire is trying to get the Scooby Gang back together too fast, without letting the different relationships evolve naturally. For example, Buffy meets and hangs out with Willow and Xander in the first issue, and elicits enormous laughter when attempting to explain the existence of bumpy-headed vampires to them; and yet only two issues later, when she confronts Spike and Drusilla, they come charging in with a shovel and a baseball bat to help her. The shock of and reaction to their discovering that demons and vampires are real things, and the Hellmouth is in Sunnydale, is completely glossed over.

All that said, I will pick up the second volume. I just hope the pace slows down a bit and the characters are given some room to breathe.

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