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BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #25 Review

Neil reviews BOOM! Studios BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #25 calling it a “wild ride through the burgeoning Slayer-verse.”

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer #25 (BOOM! Studios)

Published by BOOM! Studios, Buffy the Vampire Slayer #25 is written by Jeremy Lambert. Illustrations are by Valentina Pinti, colours by Raúl Angulo and letters by Ed Dukeshire. Main cover art is by FRANY.

Buffy #25 is available now in print and on digital where all good comics are sold. Grab your digital copy now from Comixology.

Synopsis

The BIGGEST Buffy story of the century STARTS HERE. The truth about Buffy, the Scooby Gang and their very existence is revealed in this jaw dropping anniversary issue. But what is their connection to SPOILER and how does it connect to SPOILER? Every answer only leads to more questions… and straight to the Big(gest) Bad you never saw coming. But where does Giles and the rest of Team Slayer stand?

Whichever she chooses, the world(s) as Buffy knows it will never be the same again- and neither will the Scooby Gang…

Review

Welcome to the Buffy-multi-verse. After a number of teases across both the Buffy and Angel series, writer Jeremy Lambert is fully opening the door on multiple versions of our favourite characters. Picking up on the conclusion of last month’s issue we find the Scooby gang entering the TV incarnation on which this series is based.

Other dimensions were mentioned in the series. Anya had previous discussed the fact a multiverse of sorts existed with particular attention to a universe entirely of shrimp which is brilliantly referenced here. Alternate dimensions were also glimpsed in season 3 episodes “Dopplegangland” and “The Wish.” But in both of those we glimpsed a world which was entirely different to the one we know and love from the TV series.

BOOM!’s comics have, so far, presented little more than a contemporary update on the show. But bubbling away beneath the surface has been this idea that BOOM!’s universe would one day cross paths with the TV universe. Even the cover (above) depicts a more recognisable cast from the long-departed series. But what does this mean for the comics moving forwards?

Lambert’s story revolves brilliantly around the loss of core gang member Xander. BOOM!’s series, initially written by Jordie Bellaire, diverged from the TV series is its handling of his character. Choosing to kill him off early and set him up as a vampire force for the Slayer to reckon with. The impact his loss has on Willow even led the series to craft a spin-off following her journey outside Sunnydale. Exploring Willow’s power is what leads Lambert to shift the action from Sunnydale to… other Sunnydale.

Pinning the story on Willow’s grief feels eerily reminiscent of the TV series. We all know what happened when she lost Tara back at the end of season 6. The events of the previous issue in the comic and what happens here only really scratch the surface of the power that Willow.

But it’s not only Willow’s grief that tugs at the heartstrings here. Lambert really messes with our emotions as the characters observe their alternate selves. Perfectly capturing those classic interpretations of the characters right down to their individual character voices. This is only enhanced further by Valentina Pinti and Raúl Angulo’s beautiful artwork.

Lambert strikes the same delicate balance in tone that the series did all those years ago. It’s classic Buffy and it puts the comic on a whole new level when it comes to authenticity and storytelling. Scenes with Buffy and Willow are charged with headstrong teenage emotion and amplify the emotions are the stories core. Those moments are counterbalanced by the rationality of Giles, Ethan and Anya.

As the story wraps up I find myself left with plenty of questions about what happens next to our characters but also to their universe(s).

Verdict

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #25 is a wild ride through the burgeoning Slayer-verse. It’s dark and twisty in all the ways a true-Buffy story should be.


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