The Vampire Slayer #9 is published by BOOM! Studios and written by Sarah Gailey. Artwork is by Hannah Templer, colours are by Valentina Pinto and Riccardo Giardina, and letters by Ed Dukeshire. Main cover art (left) is by Sebastian Fiumara.
The Vampire Slayer #9 is available now in print and on digital where all good comics are sold.
While Xander gets ready for a monstrous confrontation, he finds a new one in his relationship as well… a fight that could mean the end in more ways than one. But Willow and Faith are one step ahead of Xander, and winning without magic seems unlikely. Will Willow push herself to a place she may not be able to return from?
“This is an entirely new universe…” says BOOM! on the credits page of The Vampire Slayer and never a truer phrase was spoken. Unlike other recent additions to the Buffy Multiverse, The Vampire Slayer has strayed the most from original continuity and keeping the reader on their toes.
I remarked on last month’s issue that the Buffy-verse was getting a little convoluted. Making it difficult to remember the status of relationships in different titles. For instance, I was confused about a perceived coldness between Willow and Xander. The two normally being friends from childhood, I couldn’t quite remember the positioning in The Vampire Slayer version of events.
This month that quirk feels like a thing of the past. As Gailey steers the ship in to incredibly rocky waters, the emotional impact of events overtakes the need to remember all the steps that brought us to where we are. What seemed like a potential pitfall just a month ago now feels like fog in the rearview mirror as two Slayers lives hang in the balance and so many of our heroes face their demons.
Don’t be fooled by Sebastian Fiumara’s incredible cover art. It’s not only Xander who has much to deal with this issue, though his own relationship status is at the heart of much of the dialogue. The choice to make Xander queer in this universe and particularly his closeness with Spike, feels like Gailey speaking to an audience of late 90’s fan-fiction writers who paired the two together. But there’s a wrinkle in that plan… Tony. Xander’s lesser seen boyfriend is causing him some serious issues which are bringing matters to a head.
Elsewhere both Buffy and Willow are facing huge turning points in their lives. As The Vampire Slayer has teased for a couple of months, Buffy has seemingly now discovered that she is the true Slayer and that her powers have been transferred to Willow. How she intends to act on this new information remains to be seen whilst they’re still in the throws of battle with Hungrus.
With Faith knocked unconscious, there’s nobody left to stop Willow from taking her magic a step too far. Any Buffy fan will know what this could potentially lead to and Gailey is absolutely teasing a potentially dark turn for our favourite Wiccan. It seems that in every universe Willow is destined to succumb to the intoxication of her magic.
Hannah Templer takes over artistic duties this month for an issue which takes place entirely in Hungrus’ lair. The cavernous location looks great on the page, dwarfing our heroes with its many murky corners. It’s great to see a series which strays away from leaning on the likenesses of the actors who originated these roles. It allows the strength of Gailey’s characterisation to shine through. But also gives a talented artist like Templer the chance to add their own unique flare to the book.
The Vampire Slayer continues its drive to tell an emotional, character-driven story as it reaches a huge turning point for several key characters.
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