When Buffy the Vampire Slayer was rebooted earlier this year by Boom! Studios, I think more than a few fans expected a rehash of the classic stories and plots, but modernized. It was readily clear that wasn’t the case immediately, and in Buffy the Vampire Slayer #5 this series goes a completely unexpected route.
Jordie Bellaire, David Lopez, Raul Angulo, and Ed Dukeshire take Buffy and the Scoobies in a new direction this issue.
Buffy and Willow are summoned by Giles in the early morning hours. They are horrified to learn why- Cordelia has bitten and sired Xander. Can they save their friend before he gives in to the vampiric demon fighting its way out?
Since the beginning, Bellaire’s story has taken its own path, and this issue is a great advancement on that theme. However, she also makes sure we understand the emotional stakes and impact the story has, especially for Willow. Vampire Xander is also incredibly scary, which is a great subversion of the fan favorite character.
Lopez and Angulo generally do a very good to great job in the issue. Lopez has a great eye for action, and uses some exciting layouts and camera tricks to draw us in. Angulo uses palettes that keep Lopez’s line work clear, but evokes the mood and setting through his color art. One big downside though is Lopez’s depiction of Willow, who is often wide-eyed in a way that seems manic rather than the intended vulnerability.
This arc sets Buffy off on an incredibly personal quest, and I’m excited to see where it goes.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #5 is available now from Boom! Studios.