Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Jonathan
[Dark Horse Comics $2.99 US $4.50 CAN]
Written by Jane Espenson / Penciled by Cliff Richards / Inked by Andy Owens
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BTVS: JonathanThe Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode “Superstar” introduced us to an alternate view of reality where Jonathan, former Sunnydale High loner/loser, is ultra-famous and ultra-talented. Even the members of the now non-existent Scooby gang revere him. Buffy, although still the Slayer, confines her slaying to patrolling the Sunnydale cemetery. Jonathan handles the tough stuff.

In the television episode a Jonathan comic was mocked up to appear as a prop in one of the scenes. It was inevitable that a real Jonathan comic would follow.

Written by Jane Espenson, writer and producer for the BTVS television show this one-shot was a hoot. Not surprising really since Espenson penned the original “Superstar” episode. As you might expect the dialogue in this issue is dead-on. Espenson has had plenty of practice with Buffyverse speak. But the story involving Jonathan and the Scooby gang going head-to-head with vamp escapees from a Soviet version of the Initiative was equally engaging and captures the same sense of campy unreality that the original Jonathan as super-Renaissance man episode did.

Cliff Richards is one of the better Buffy comic illustrators with his cinematic layouts and deft handling of the likenesses of the cast. Richards doesn’t try and bulk up the characters to give into the super-hero convention of comic illustrating. They look like every day people who go around using witchcraft and stomping demon butt.

This comic was as much fun as the BTVS episode that inspired it. As with most of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics it will be of interest mainly to fans of the series. Anyone unfamiliar with the episode it's based upon would most likely be very confused.

If you can’t find this issue on your local comic store’s shelves, write to Dark Horse Comics, Inc., 10956 SE Main Street, Milwaukie, OR 97222 or visit their web site at www.darkhorse.com and order it on-line.