BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #4 review

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BOOM! Studios)

You can pickup your copy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer #4 now where all good comics are sold!

Synopsis

This is the issue no BUFFY fan can miss! In the shocking conclusion of the first story arc of the most-anticipated reVAMP of 2019, someone from the Scooby gang must make the ultimate sacrifice. And don’t miss the massive first appearance that will have everyone talking!

Review

Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s 2019 reVAMP (I’m stealing BOOM! Studios phrase) has been an oddly mixed bag so far. My review scores have never yo-yoed quite as much as they have on this book.

But with issue #3 (reviewed here) things finally started to come together. The series finally took steps to move beyond reverence for its source material and began to embrace the freedom it has been allowed.

Now with issue #4 we are fulling embracing the series unique qualities and taking the show to entirely new places.

I particularly appreciated that Bellaire hasn’t just rewritten season 1 of the TV show with modern technology and a further diversified cast. As of now I’m officially unable to guess where the series is going and I love that about it.

Bellaire’s exploration of Xander and his mental health issues has been particularly interesting to read. The hints we saw in previous issues showed that BOOM! weren’t afraid to embrace the human side of Buffy. The TV show always functioned best when it tackled difficult subjects so there’s no reason this comic should be any different.

Even the dynamic between the characters is different. Early in the book we get a sequence of Xander, Willow and Giles sparring together in a room not unlike the one we saw in the back room of The Magic Box from season 5 of the show onwards. This isn’t a Scooby gang where Buffy does the fighting and everyone else provides research.

Equally Buffy’s home life is very different. The addition of a father figure in the form of Joyce’s partner really changes things up at home. Particularly as he is a perceptive character and can spot her bruises a mile off. If Buffy let’s Eric in on her secret what impact could that have on his relationship with Joyce when she is eventually clued in on Slayage.

Drusilla is a much more manipulative Master than we saw in season 1. The was she plays on Xander’s vulnerability is dark. Like real dark. Exploiting the crush we all know he had on Buffy in the show is down right nasty and the conclusion it comes to in the final pages is utterly staggering and unexpected.

Once again Dan Mora provides some insane artwork. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a sharp book. It’s edgy and definitely re-contextualises the world of Joss Whedon perfectly.

More so than just punchy visuals Mora is a brilliant partner for Bellaire in elevating the emotions of the story. Panels of the lonely Xander, his head held low are really impactful and ensure the book is a page turner.

Verdict

After a shaky couple of issues Buffy the Vampire Slayer has finally hit its stride. Issue #4 takes the series in to unique territory, breaking from the tradition of the TV series first season to tell a story which is equally parts heartbreaking and breathtaking.

7/10

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #4, is written by Jordie Bellaire with art by Dan Mora and a cover by Matt Taylor. The series is executive produced by original series creator Joss Whedon.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BOOM! Studios)

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About Neil Vagg 2989 Articles
Neil is the GYCO Editorial Chief. He has a BA in Film & Tv and an MA in Scriptwriting; he currently works 9-5 as an office manager and 5-9 as a reviewer/web designer. He has been subscribing to comics for around nine years but has been reading them as long as he can remember. Favourite comics: Batman; Nightwing, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and All New X-Men Favourite films: Batman (any apart from & Robin); Star Trek Generations, Underworld, Beetlejuice Favourite TV shows: Fringe; Buffy, Arrow, TBBT, Being Human UK and Star Trek TNG