Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Every Generation #1
“In every generation there is a chosen one… she alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the slayer.”
That’s the premise that this comic focuses on anyway. I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy, Slayer of the Vampyres as some may call her. I haven’t paid much attention to the comics but the TV show is one of my favourites of all time. The storytelling, character work, humour, action, and creativity made it one of the best series’ I’ve ever come across. Now, BOOM! Studios is introducing this new anthology series that seeks to take advantage of the premise above. Each issue will tell multiple stories of not only Buffy but other women who have borne the title of “slayer”. Let’s see how this first issue goes.
WHERE ALL PATHS LEAD
Writer: Nilah Magruder
Artist: Lauren Knight
The first in this trilogy of tales focuses on Buffy after the show has ended. Here we see the slayer attempting once again to close the Hellmouth that plagued Sunnydale throughout the TV series. This was the main thing that I found off-putting about this story. I’m going to give some spoilers about the TV show in the rest of this paragraph so be warned. If you don’t want to read them then skip to the next paragraph and we’ll get back to the comic. If you followed the show you’ll know that Buffy and her team destroyed the Hellmouth in the final episode. In the process, the town of Sunnydale was blown to smithereens too. If you’re coming into this comic straight from the show then this story makes no sense due to this. It’s a shame considering the potential a series like this could’ve had to draw fans of the show into comics.
The story itself isn’t all bad. Right from the start, you see some of the humour that defined the show. The action isn’t bad either, I’m just not a fan of the art style in this story. Nothing looks right. It’s as if the artist never learned how to draw people. All the proportions of the characters seem to change from panel to panel and it’s ugly to look at. Even the demons who can get away with looking weird are handled badly. They’re bland and grey with very little detail. They remind me of the putties from Power Rangers more than the personality-filled villains of Buffy. Many of the backgrounds are simple and lacking in colour and detail too. The main character is in a hell dimension and it feels like you’re looking at wallpaper.
One issue with the story is that it’s reliant on knowledge of other Buffy comics. I’ve read online that this is set within an alternate reality introduced in the Hellmouth mini-series. There’s nothing to tell you this in the story though or in the previews I’ve seen for this issue. This anthology series would’ve been great for getting new fans into the Buffyverse but they’ll be left clueless here. Between the lack of accessibility to new comic fans, the inconsistencies with the show, the lack of clarity about it taking place in an alternate reality, and the lazy-looking art I can’t see this story appealing to anyone but the most hardcore fans of Buffy comics. A horrible first impression for the series.
THE HILOT OF 1910
Writer: Morgan Beem, Lauren Garcia
Artist: Morgan Beem
The middle tale of this tome focuses on a slayer from the Philippines in 1910. Right away I have to say the art in this story is a massive improvement. It’s far more detailed and visually appealing than its predecessor. The story starts by introducing the concept of a demon called an Aswang, women cursed and turned into demons through magic. After a grisly murder, the slayer called Matay suspects an Aswang is responsible and seeks the creature out. It’s a good, well-written, and serious story. Beem and Garcia did what any good Buffy episode did here and they got creative. The monster introduced here was an interesting concept and the demon itself showed a layered personality. This lacks the witty banter of a typical Buffy episode but it feels in line with the show.
THE SISTERS OF ANGELUS
Writer: Caitlin Yarsky
Artist: Caitlin Yarsky
Finally, we have this exciting sounding story. Angelus was one of the most entertaining characters in the show so surely that’ll be fun too. It is. Sadly it’s not for the reason you might think though. The title is a bit of a red herring and Angelus himself is only referenced in this story. It’s a bit of a bummer. Still, the story itself is good.
Set in Dublin during the late ’40s, this tale focuses on an Irish slayer attempting to save her friend who’s been forced into an asylum over accusations of impropriety. Much like the first tale, it has the Buffy humour but far better artwork. Despite being a one-shot we get a good feel for the character of Una, the slayer of the story. She’s entertaining, compassionate, doesn’t care what anyone else thinks, and enjoys life. Her interactions with her watcher and her commentary throughout the adventure were some of the best parts of this issue. I really want to read more about Una and see more from Yarsky after this.
To sum it up I’d have to say this wasn’t a bad issue. The initial story featuring Buffy herself is pretty terrible despite capturing the show’s sense of humour. Thankfully we get two other stories here that salvage the issue. The Hilot of 1910 and The Sisters of Angelus are the best parts of this book by far. Both are entertaining reads although I can’t say they’re enough to make this book worth $7.99. It’s just a disappointment that the main story fails to make a positive impact. If you ever find this issue in the bargain bin at your local comic store then it’d be worth picking up for the two stories I mentioned, otherwise don’t go out of your way for it.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Every Generation #1
The first story here is pretty bad in terms of writing and presentation. None of it really made sense and it just felt like some generic action but without any good artwork to make the action appealing. The other two stories are pretty great overall which helps make up for it though.