Buffy the Vampire Slayer #2
Jordie Bellaire (writer); Dan Mora (art); Raul Angulo (colors); Ed Dukeshires (letters); Ryan Inzana, Celia Lowenthal, Miguel Mercado, Audrey Mok, Matthew Taylor, Kevin Wada (Covers)
February 27, 2019
As we all know, life as a Slayer isn’t easy. You get badass superpowers, sure, but the trade-off kind of stinks. In issue #2 of BOOM’s runaway hit reboot of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe, she’s been struggling under the weight of multiple problems since we last saw her.
The worst of these is a recurring nightmare where zombified Willow, Xander, and Giles all castigate her for her failures before she’s sucked into the Hellmouth, though her mother’s new boyfriend, Eric, comes as a close second. She and Giles are struggling to find an answer to the unkillable vampire problem, and it’s starting to distract her from her new friends. Then she meets a handsome guy during PE, and suddenly her day sucks a little less. Meanwhile, Willow and her girlfriend, Rose, plot Willow’s student body presidential campaign, perky go-get-’em princess Cordelia Chase bumps into a familiar face in the woods, and Anya continues to deal with her very angry former customer.
I don’t know how this creative team does it, but this issue continues the hot streak they established in their debut issue. While issue #1 was more jam-packed with action, the second sets up the day-to-day social ecosystem of Sunnydale High and makes it spring to life while keeping the supernatural menace on the boil.
New characters — new to us and the series — abound. We finally get to meet Cordelia again, and she’s a little kinder than she was in season one, though her drive and her ambition are 100 percent spot-on. It’s very her that we first see her invading the library with posters announcing her candidacy for student body president, giving Buffy a campaign button and humblebragging about her dual year reigns as Ms. Sunnydale all within four pages of space.
All of the new characters are great — I love Robin and his charming ways, and we get to spend more time with Rose, who is utterly adorable and her relationship with Willow works. Both characters help to broaden and widen a world yearning for more characters of color; my only complaint is that naming her Rose is just a hair on the nose. The issue does well to set up a plot with Xander, who feels lonely and backgrounded by the personal dramas going on in his friends’ lives, by giving him the narrative microphone.
The art continues to be vivid and on-model, colored in sunset tones and bruise-like shading. Like the show, it alternates between slice of life angst and beautifully articulated gore. The lettering is creative, with drippy, gothic prose alternating between carefully articulated digital speech.
I have no idea how long Bellaire. Angulo, Dukeshires, and Mora can keep knocking Buffy the Vampire Slayer out of the park, but I hope they keep swinging for the fences for years to come because wow, they continue to impress me with the effortless, gripping charm of this series.