March 19, 2021

Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Vol. 2: Once Bitten

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Vol. 2: Once Bitten Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Vol. 2: Once Bitten by Jordie Bellaire
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Given all the nastiness that's emerged about Joss Whedon, I'm glad another writer (Jordie Bellaire) has taken over this reimagining of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This update--the same characters, slightly altered, with cell phones and Willow starting out as an out lesbian--seems to be giving the franchise a bit of fresh air.

Having said that, I don't think the new writer has found her stride yet. I particularly liked Chapter Seven, an issue concentrating on Willow and her struggling to cope after giving away half her soul to prevent Xander from becoming a full-blown vampire (see, I told you the characters were altered)--but at the same time, that storyline, to my mind, was not given the space and seriousness it deserved. In fact, by the time I got to the end of this volume, it seemed to be dropped or forgotten. Season Seven's Robin shows up here as a Sunnydale teenager secretly working for the Watchers' Council and trying to get close to Buffy. Spike, while he is present, is sadly neglected, and Angel isn't in this volume at all. Overall this story came across as muddled and I couldn't figure out where it was headed.

As far as the art goes, this artist is okay, but he isn't as good as the first. I don't demand my comic book characters look exactly like their actors, but Buffy, Xander and Giles, as drawn here, are well nigh unrecognizable. This artist also really likes his pop-out eyes, which started to get on my nerves after awhile.

So: I don't regret getting the first two volumes of this, but I'm not sure I'll continue.

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