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BTVS: WILLOW #2 (2020- ) review

Neil reviews the second issue of BOOM! Studios new BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER spin-off series WILLOW. Issue 2 is available in stores now.



Willow (BOOM! Studios)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow #2 is available now in print and on digital where all good comics are sold. The book is published by BOOM! Studios.


After the events of Hellmouth, Willow has set out on a world trip to find herself, and maybe some answers about her powers along the way. Now, in the magical — and we mean that literally — town of Abhainn, Willow seems to have found a home. Afterall, they tell her, the outside world is dangerous. Afterall, isn’t it easier just to stay in Abhainn?


BOOM! Studios second issue of its Willow series had a strong start to live up to (read my review of issue #1 here). Mariko Tamaki’s story opened strongly in issue #1 by giving the character a rich environment to inhabit with the town of Abhainn and a number of interesting characters within it.

Issue #2 refocusses the story back on to the lead as we learn more about Willow’s mental state. Much of the story is told using her own narration. Compared to the previous issue there’s very little interaction between characters which makes this more of a case study for who Willow is at this point in the story.

An opening dream sequence helps tie the story back to the events of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and also shadow the experiences that Buffy is currently going through. Whether accidental or on purpose, Tamaki has reflected events in the main series and helped amplify fans sadness at seeing the best friends separated like this.

What’s really interesting to see is how low-key the story is remaining. Under the Dark Horse banner, Buffy and related comics had a tendency to follow the “go big or go home” rule. BOOM! are instead taking a much more measured, character driven approach to storytelling.

It could be argued that very little actually happens in this issue as Willow wanders around Abhainn searching for a purpose to her own adventure and to the town.

Aelara remains the most interesting inhabitant in the town and the one with Tamaki seems the most interested to explore. Fans of the TV series will no doubt be expecting Aelara to be unveiled as some sort of demon/big bad so it would be nice to see Tamaki not go down that path too generically.

Issue #2 builds on Willow’s identity crisis, essentially leaving her to wander the town looking for a purpose. After buying what seems to be the worlds greatest sweater it feels like Willow is the only character left not to have picked up on what’s going on.

But it’s still nice to follow her on a journey to the discovery that Abhainn is a town populated by witches.

As we move in to issue #3 is certainly feels like Abhainn is being built up as somewhere that Willow is going to want to call home. Tamaki is setting the character up for a potentially emotional fall as we can expect her to return to Sunnydale in the main book.


BTVS: Willow #2 cements the limited series as a slow burning character portrait with a razor-sharp focus on its lead character.


BTVS Willow #2 is written by Mariko Tamaki with pencils by Natacha Bustos, colours by Eleonora Bruni and a beautiful cover from superstar artist Jen Bartel.

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