by: Juan Pineda
Remember back in 2003 (when did that become “10 years ago”?) when we were watching the final episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Hellmouth swallowed Sunnydale and Buffy and the Scoobies were facing a demon-horde and Willow gave the Slayer-ettes Slayer powers and then Spike dies and then Anya dies and then we were sad because the series was canceled and then we would try to comfort ourselves by watching Angel and then in their final episode Wesley dies and then Lorne sings and then Angel and company were about to face a demon army sent from the Senior Partners and then we were sad because that series was canceled and then we had a bunch of questions like what happened to Buffy and the Slayer-ettes, how will Xander get over Anya’s death, who is Willow going to hook up with and what happened to Angel and Spike in that alley way and what’s up with Faith? Yeah, me too.
Well, guess what? Dark horse Comics has been keeping tabs on Buffy and company since 2007 in the official canon of the Buffyverse Executively Produced by their creator, Joss Whedon. This is the official continuation of the characters and their adventures so it is not just a gimmicky, merchandising off-shoot in an attempt to cash in on the popularity of the TV show. It is one of the most faithful and lovingly crafted adaptations of a licensed entity, which Dark Horse is known for (I am dreading to see how Marvel will handle Star Wars, wait and see.) The characterizations written by the cadre of writers and likenesses drawn by the stable of artists are true to the TV counterparts so it all looks and feels like the old gang for the stalwart fan.
Dark Horse Comics presented Season 8 (continuing from Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s seventh season) from 2007 to 2011 across 40 issues and thankfully Dark Horse continues with Season 9 and to help bring old TV fans and new readers up to speed on the Scooby Gang, Dark Horse is giving us a great jumping on point with a trade reprinting all the number ones from Season 9!
The Buffyverse Sampler includes:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #1
Freefall Part 1
Written by Joss Whedon
Penciled by Georges Jeanty
Inks by Dexter Vines
Colore by Michelle Maden
Angel & Faith #1
Live Through This Part 1
Script bu Christos Gage
Art by Rebekah Isaacs
Colors by Dan Jackson
Spike: A Dark Place #1
Script by Victor Gischler
Pencils by Paul Lee
Inks by ANdy Owens
Colors by Cris Peter
Willow: Wonderland #1
Script by Jeff Parker
Pencils by Brian Ching
Inks by Jason Gorder
Colors by Michelle Madsen
As you can see, Joss Whedon is personally steering the fate of his Slayer through the comic book world, limited only by his imagination, the comic book medium allows Whedon and his fans to explore the Buffyverse without the restraint of TV budgets, network standards and practices or union strikes!
My personal favorite of the lot? Angel & Faith… I don’t know how artist Rebekah Isaacs gets David Boreanaz and Eliza Dushku to pose for her given their busy schedules but she does a wonderful job of capturing not only their likenesses but the subtle nuances of their facial expressions. I recently had a chance to listen to Rebekah do a demo at a Dare 2 Draw event on how she crafts her art but she said that she doesn’t even use photographs of the actors while she is working. Either way, Rebekah, Paul Lee, Brian Ching and Georges Jeanty all do a great job if illustrating the world that Buffy, Angel, Faith, Spike and Willow inhabit. Nay, they take it even further than TV ever could!
At almost 100 pages for only $4.99, this is one of the best values you will find on New Comic Book Day this week!
BUFFYVERSE SAMPLER (ONE-SHOT)
Writer: Joss Whedon, Christos Gage, Victor Gischler, Jeff Parker
Penciller: Georges Jeanty, Rebekah Isaacs, Paul Lee, Brian Ching
Inker: Dexter Vines, Rebekah Isaacs, Jason Gorder, Andy Owens
Colorist: Michelle Madsen, Dan Jackson, Cris Peter
Cover Artist: C.L. Bradley
Genre: Horror, Action/Adventure
Publication Date: January 23, 2013
Format: FC, 96 pages
UPC: 7 61568 22590 7 00111