Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1, 2
[Dark Horse Comics $2.95 US $4.15 CAN]
Written by Andi Watson / Pencilled by Joe Bennett / Inked by Rick Ketcham
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1 CoverNormally I don’t go for comic adaptations of television shows but since I made an exception with the Babylon 5 comics I figured I’d give Buffy a try. For all of you Buffy fans out there, the comic is a nice addition to the show. Being a comic they can get a lot more wild with the special effects and having one more “episode” of Buffy a month can’t be a bad thing.

I like the art team for the ongoing Buffy series much better than the art team on The Dust Waltz GN. Clothing looks like clothing and not a spandex outfit. The wacky super-hero poses are hardly to be found and these guys can actually do a wide range of facial expressions. I think Xander gets used the most on that front.

In issue #1 the gang goes up against some Asian vampires who look nothing like the vamps we see on the t.v. show. They’re much more batlike with eerie glowing red eyes. And to make matters worse, a mega old vampire named San Sui has come to the Hellmouth seeking a few worthy opponents and he picks, you guessed it, our favorite Slayer. Xander’s foray into the world of martial arts via Kung Fu classes taught by a real macho asshole makes for a funny subplot.

In issue #2 Willow is getting flack from her parents for dating Oz, Buffy and the gang have been coerced by Principal Snyder into escorting young kids on Halloween night trick or treating, and where oh, where is a girl to fit studying amongst all of that and slaying. To make matters worse, Willow goes missing after a fight with her parents and the perpetrators are vamps with a taste for B movies. Another done-in-one issue but the final panel depicting the vamp that got away leads me to believe we may see more of her in the future.

Issue #2 brought home the fact that they have indeed redesigned the vampires for the comic. I thought in issue #1 the vamps might have looked different because they were a different breed or something. But the comic team is taking advantage of the low special effects cost of a comic book and making the vamps look a lot more monstrous. I’ve read a few complaints about this on the internet but to me it’s a lot like the dirty human Klingons of old Trek and the spiffy, bone-headed Klingons of new Trek. Different budgets make for different visions. I’m guessing Joss Whedon approved because he did have a major hand in picking the creative team. For me it’s not a big enough deal to hurt the comic.

Andi Watson has done a wonderful job of capturing the world of BTVS. He’s got the snappy patter down and even throws in references to past adventures. If you’re a fan of the show and you read comics then you owe it to yourself to pick up an issue or two of Buffy the comic.

From everything I’ve been reading the Buffy comic is a big hit in terms of orders from comic shops so try your local shops first. But if you have no luck there...Dark Horse Comics, Inc., 10956 SE Main Street, Milwaukie, OR 97222. Dark Horse web site: www.dhorse.com.