Season 1 is the beginning of our epic tale through the Buffyverse. It starts with Buffy coming to a new school in Sunnydale due to the fact that she “may” have burned down her old school’s gymnasium, a throwback to the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie. Since Buffy’s old Watcher died, Giles takes over as Watcher for her, and begins teaching her, in the prime location — right above the Hellmouth, which is a portal to demon dimensions which attracts a lot of supernatural creatures and other such things. In Sunnydale High, Buffy befriends Willow and Xander, who end up being long-term companions, still around up to this date. The first Big Bad that they face is the Master, an ancient vampire that wants to open up the Hellmouth and take over Sunnydale and the world. They manage to stop him, but not before he drowns Buffy. Xander performs CPR on her and brings her back to life, but not before another Slayer is activated.
Season 2 continues with the introduction of Spike and Drusilla. Drusilla, being a vampire driven crazy by her premonition abilities and, as it turns out, by Angelus, with Spike as her ward/love interest. The other Slayer comes into town — Kendra Young. Willow ends up getting her hands dirty with magic, and gets a romantic interest — Oz, who turns out to be a werewolf. Just another day above the Hellmouth. The romance between Angel gets hot and heavy, but, due to an old curse, he ends up turning into Angelus, his evil side, when he has sex with Buffy. Kendra is killed by Drusilla, and Angelus kills many innocents — including Jenny Calendar, Giles’s love interest, who was sent to maintain Angel’s curse. They bring back Angel’s soul and banish Angelus to a demon dimension, and Buffy leaves Sunnydale as a result.
Season 3 begins Buffy’s last year in high school — with her not in Sunnydale, or even in high school. Instead, she’s a waitress. She ends up coming back to town, and discovering that Angel has somehow escaped the demon dimension — but he is also nearly driven mad to the the torture that he endured there, and nearly brought to suicide by the First Evil (who shows up again in the seventh season). Angel and Buffy reconcile, but realize they can never be together. Buffy meets Faith, the Slayer that was activated after Kendra’s untimely death at the end of last season, and she has a new Watcher – Wesley, who was sent in after Giles was fired for getting too close to Buffy. They find out that Faith was working for the Mayor, who was trying to become a pure demon himself on Graduation Day. Faith ends up killing someone and going slightly crazy as a result, forming a paternal relationship with the Mayor. She ends up in a coma, and then she ends up going to jail for what she did. When the Mayor ascends at the end of the season, Buffy leads her graduating class in a full scaled attack against the Mayor, killing him, destroying the school, and saving the world yet again.
Season 4 is the end of the “high school is hell” metaphor and embarks Buffy on her new adventure – college. She and Willow go to University of California Sunnydale, and Xander joins the workforce and starts dating Anya, who was a vengeance demon. Spike is also back, but he ends up taken by a top-secret government organization called The Initiative, and having a chip implanted in his brain that keeps him from harming human beings; every time he tries to hurt someone, it sends an electrical impulse through his head, teaching him not to hurt humans Pavlov-style. Spike ends up joining up with the Scooby Gang because it means he can still fight, even if it is demons, and he enjoys fighting, because he’s Spike and that’s just how he is. Oz leaves town because he’s too dangerous, and the person who takes his place in Willow’s life is Tara Maclay, a witch she meets at school. Buffy dates Riley, who ends up being a part of the Initiative. The Initiative, of course, ends up being evil as they discover that they were building a creature called Adam out of the parts of other humans, demons, and machinery — and then he escapes into the town. Buffy manages to defeat him, and the Initiative is shut down as a result.
Season 5 introduces Buffy’s sister, Dawn – by writing it as if she’s been around from the beginning. It turns out she’s a magical construct called The Key, placed in Buffy’s life because that was the best way of keeping her out of the hands of a banished Hell God called Glory, because it is the key to return her to her home dimension, but that would blur the lines between the dimensions and unleash Hell. Riley leaves because he realizes Buffy doesn’t love him anymore, but Spike realizes that he’s actually in love with her, so he helps Buffy and her friends out quite a lot in their fights. Joyce dies in the episode “The Body” of a brain aneurysm, and she can’t be brought back to life because she lived a life free of magic and did not die of magical means, so her soul left this plane. This establishes one of the primary rules of the Buffyverse; if someone dies of magical means, their soul remains tethered to this plane, making it possible to bring them back to life through magic. Xander proposes to Anya, Glory discovers Dawn is the Key and kidnaps her. To save her, Buffy sacrifices herself by throwing herself into the portal to the Hell dimension, closing the portal and saving the day yet again.
Season 6 begins with Buffy’s friends worrying that Buffy is in hell — so they bring her back to life, since she died of magical means. But, because she was in heaven, she falls into a deep depression. Giles leaves for England, Buffy gets a part-time job, and forms a semi-abusive relationship with Spike. Meanwhile, a trio of boys from Sunnydale High, Warren, Jonathan, and Andrew, decide they’re going to be supervillains, and start making weapons to rob banks and the like. They end up adversaries to Buffy. Xander leaves Anya at the altar, irreparably damaging their relationship, and getting Anya back into the vengeance game. Willow becomes addicted to magic, and, as a result of her addiction, Tara leaves her. Near the end of the season, they start resolving the differences they had. Warren goes a bit nuts after Buffy beats him time and time again, so he comes after her with a gun — he shoots off a couple of bullets, wounding Buffy and killing Tara in front of Willow. Due to the fact that Willow was still full of magic, she turns evil, attacking Warren first thing and stripping him of his skin, supposedly killing him. Buffy ends up taking Andrew and Jonathan under protective custody from Willow. Giles returns to town and infuses her with light magic, tapping into Willow’s humanity — but also making her go insane, wanting to destroy the world and end everyone’s suffering. But it’s Xander who ends up talking her down, reaching through her anger and pain and calming her down so she’s no longer evil. Spike leaves Sunnydale, in the meanwhile, and ends up going through a series of trials — and regaining his soul for Buffy.
Season 7 begins the last year with a return to the beginning – the high school is finally rebuilt after the third season, and it’s just as hellish as the last time they were in school. Buffy becomes a counselor of sorts, Willow comes back from learning not to be bad, and things are looking like normal “life on the Hellmouth” – with a looming presence lurking in the background. Turns out that looming presence is the First — or the first evil in the world. He wants to get rid of the Slayer line, so he’s killing them all off — so Buffy is charged with keeping them all safe and sound. Luckily, he actually can’t manifest himself into a physical form — rather, he shows up as various dead people from seasons past. Spike, who now has a soul, is used by the First to summon an old, mythological creature back into our world with his blood after Andrew fails to provide enough blood. Andrew is taken prisoner by the Scooby Gang, while Spike is tortured by the First until Buffy manages to defeat the mythological creature and rescue him from the maws of the First. Things calm for a bit while Buffy continues to train the Potentials, since the First is recuperating because the loss of that creature is a devastating blow. All of the Potentials end up coming to Buffy’s house for protection, and the principal of the new school turns out to also be against the vampires, and the son of a Slayer from years past. Meanwhile, Caleb (played by a very young Nathan Fillion) rolls into town around the same time as Faith does. Caleb tricks Buffy into taking a bunch of the Potentials into a trap, where he manages to kill a couple and pokes out Xander’s eye before they flee. As a result of this failed attack, the girls rise against Buffy and basically overthrow her as leader, replacing her with Faith. Buffy, all by her lonesome, runs off to try to find what Caleb and the First are trying to hide, while Faith and the girls attack an armory. Buffy finds the scythe, while Faith and the girls find a bomb. A handful of the girls survive, as well as Faith, who is knocked unconscious, causing the girls to have to find their way out by themselves. Buffy saves them all from three creatures using the scythe for the first time. Buffy meets the Guardians, the creators of the scythe – who made it to kill the First. Caleb kills the last Guardian, and Buffy kills Caleb – with a little help from Angel. Angel passes along an amulet to Buffy meant for someone with a soul, but “more than human”, meant for the champion of their side – so Buffy gives it to Spike. With a plan in mind, Buffy goes to invade the Hellmouth with the Potentials and the Scooby Gang in tow. As it turns out, Buffy’s plan was to turn all of the Potentials in the entire world into Slayers, using the essence of the scythe. The Slayers manage to old the line until the amulet suddenly kicks in, which uses the power of the sun to destroy the Hellmouth, sacrificing Spike in the process. (He shows up again in Angel Season 5) The Slayers and the Scooby Gang, sans Anya who died in the fight, get out of Sunnydale, which is then destroyed after the collapse of the Hellmouth. The TV show ends with Dawn asking “What do we do now?” and Buffy just giving a knowing smile.
And now on to Dark Horse and Joss Whedon’s relaunch of the Buffy series!
Season 8 takes place with Sunnydale blown up — and all the Potential Slayers activated as a result of the series finale. The comic starts out by bringing back an old character — Amy, who spent most of the show as a rodent. She’s now teamed up with a skinless Warren and… The United States Government, who now views Buffy as a terrorist. After Buffy defeats Amy, she finds a dead Ethan Rayne in the cells of the hideout — and discovers that there’s another big bad lurking in the background, named “Twilight”. Meanwhile, Faith is sent off on a mission to take care of a Slayer who is using her powers for evil, and, in the process, decides she wants to become a sort of guidance counselor for misguided Slayers. Of course, the Slayer who she had to off was being used by Twilight to kill Buffy, forcing the Big Bad to change its plans. As it turns out, Buffy was financing the whole operation by robbing a bank. Twilight finally shows his mask to Buffy in a small fight, not killing her – but making her question her morals instead. Following that, a bunch of shape-shifting vampires steal the scythe – as it turns out, they stole the secret to shape-shifting from Dracula himself, so Dracula ends up teaming up with Buffy to try to take them down. Following that, as a result of a temporal shift in New York City, Buffy ends up in the future where there is only one Slayer again, and no sign of the Slayer army she created. An evil Willow is alive, and it appears she is the one who brought Buffy from the past – telling everyone different information about what will happen to that timeline if Buffy goes back. She manages to get Buffy to kill her before Buffy goes back in time. Turns out that future would still exist even though Buffy went back. Meanwhile, Amy and Warren launch an attack on the castle in Scotland, killing a bunch of Slayers. More pressing matters begin later on, however; Harmony comes back into the spotlight, quite literally, by making vampires desirable to the human public – she has her own reality show, which suddenly attracts a lot of attention after she kills and feasts on a Slayer acting on her own trying to assassinate her. Harmony ends up turning the American public against the Slayers, making them side with the vampires – and making Buffy’s group look like a terrorist cell not only to the government, but to the public too. The group finds out that the government/Amy and Warren are tracking them due to the massive amounts of magic they use, so they end up fleeing to Tibet, where Oz was holed up, and put their magic into the ground. But, since they used magic to get there, Twilight still manages to find them – and it turns into an actual war, since the Slayers no longer have their Slayer abilities. But Buffy somehow starts getting stronger and stronger – it turns out that, as Slayers die, their powers end up coming to her, making her evolve. Twilight is revealed to be Angel – who, being the yang to Buffy’s yin, is also super-powered because the universe wants checks and balances. Because they’re both highly evolved, they end up making a hole in the fabric of time and space – and ending up in a new reality, Twilight (which was where Angel got the name from). But, since Twilight now exists, there is no need for Earth, so giant holes begin forming in time and space, and demons pour out of these holes to kill the Slayers, who have since gotten their powers back. Buffy can’t live in peace knowing her Slayers are being killed, so she rips a hole back to Earth to help them out, pulling Angel along with her. They fight the demons for as long as they can, but the problem is that there are an infinite number of demons. Spike comes in to save the day, and reveals the Seed of Wonder – something that was thought to be a myth. Basically, it’s a cork – pull the cork out, and it’ll open a hole and spell out this reality’s demise. But there’s a catch as well – if they break the Seed, it’s possible to completely get rid of the demons – but it’ll end up sucking out all the magic with it. Willow wants to protect the seed, and Twilight (the reality itself) having possessed Angel’s body, wants to pull it out. Buffy ends up breaking the Seed with the scythe, but not before Angel kills Giles. The connection to magic is now gone, with many demons without a home, and many wicca without powers. Buffy ends up resented by a huge number of people, mainly Slayers, but goes back to bussing tables in San Francisco, while taking care of the stray vampire here and there. Willow breaks up with Kennedy, Xander gets together with Dawn, and Faith inherits all of Giles’s possessions except for a single book – the Vampyr book, which goes to Buffy. And Angel stays with Faith, and things return to normal – with Twilight lurking once more in the horizon.
Season 9 is split into two different comics – Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Angel and Faith. The Buffy comic starts out with eight dead bodies; when Buffy goes out patrolling and gets caught by the cops, she discovers that they had once been vampires. She escapes from custody, and runs into a guy the next night – who appears to be taking the vampire out of them, killing them. With magic. Something that everyone thought was gone. He doesn’t understand it any more than we do, so Buffy tags along with him. The vampires, as it turns out, are more feral than usual – since the destruction of the Seed cut off access to the demon realm, vampires, which are normally created when demons possess the dead body, are becoming something else. With the lack of a demon to possess them, they’re becoming zombie vampires. The person who is sucking the vampire out of these people Severin is, of course, evil and traps Buffy. Spike and a creature that now claims to be Buffy’s servant come to save the day, but this time, it’s the police who manage to stop Severin. Afterward, Buffy starts getting weird Slayer dreams – as it turns out, it’s actually two dreams in one; a fairy who had fallen for an underground Slayer, pretending to be Buffy, had snuck in on one of the Slayer dreams to giver her nightmares and found out more about her than before. The First Slayer tells Buffy to undo what she did, and Willow appears in her dream and takes the scythe so she could return the magic to the world (and does so in real life too, since they were sharing dreams). And the fairy tells Buffy that she “isn’t the Slayer; the Slayer is a part of [her], but [she’s] not a girl anymore” before Buffy wakes up. As it turns out, Buffy isn’t a girl anymore – during a party in the beginning of season nine, she got swapped out, and her consciousness got transferred into a robot. They swap her back, and Buffy ends up working with Kennedy on a bodyguard mission. A guy accidentally made a way for the demon world to still be able to talk to our world – in the method of internet messaging, IE Skype. Buffy manages to shut it down, and gets a pretty hefty paycheck as a result. A boy named Billy joins the Scooby Gang because of his tenacity to fight zompires. He, Buffy, and a police officer who’s been learning the ropes go into a nest of the zombie vampires and Buffy recognizes the head vampire before getting magicked elsewhere. Turns out, Simone, one of the rebel Slayers, is turning Slayers into vampires to make them stronger. Meanwhile, Buffy is summoned by Illyria and a council of demons. They’re afraid of “the Siphon”, or Severin. Severin is only after Illyria, though, because he wants her time travel powers to save his girlfriend from becoming a zombie vampire, but the amount of energy that it would take to go back that far and rewrite history that much is humongous, which is why he keeps sapping it from vampires. It turns out that he and Simone are working together – and he decides that he’s going to prevent Angel from ever becoming Twilight. Willow comes back with the scythe all fixed up, in time to try and save Dawn who is dying because she was created of magic – and since there’s no magic coming into the world, she’s dying. Simone and Severin want the Vampyr book that Buffy got, and Xander helps them get information from it behind Buffy’s back, to try and save Dawn from fading from existence. They go to a place where all the demons that the First Ones couldn’t kill hid, and Willow discovers another Seed. Severin and Simone are already there, and Severin is already trying to get more power to go back in time – but it’s not going to work. Simone ends up unleashing the creature that sired the first vampires, and gets him to sire her, making her a seemingly unbeatable creature. Willow brings the Seed to Severin, since it’d take a few millennia for the Seed to grow and bring magic back to the world – so she uses him and Illyria’s power to speed along the process. He pours all the energy he’s ever collected into it and Illyria sacrifices herself to help him in the process. Buffy manages to stake Simone with the scythe, and magic returns to the Earth. They manage to stop Dawn from disappearing, but the Vampyr book is completely blank. The last scene of the Buffy comic is of a newly sired vampire regaining her intelligence – before stepping into the sunlight and turning into a bat and flying away.
In Angel and Faith, Angel is still reeling from the fact that he killed Giles. While he was being possessed, of course, but still. He decides to try and break one of the biggest rules of the universe – he wants to bring back someone who died of natural causes (Angel/Twilight had snapped his neck), in a world where there’s no magic. There was a rumor of this blood of a creature that could heal anything, and potentially bring Giles back – but, in this post-magic world, the healing factor that the blood gives doesn’t ever stop. They destroy nearly all the bottles, but these two demons who want to kill Angel (they were Twilight’s lackeys back when he was possessed by Twilight) end up walking away with some. Angel is revealed to be collecting Giles’s soul inside of himself, since that’s the hardest part of bringing back someone who died of physical means. He and Faith go around, fighting things from Giles’s past and getting pieces of his soul. Giles’s aunts come with his innocence, and Willow comes with the scythe, which was the last thing he held before he was killed, which captured a piece of his soul. But most of his soul is stuck in a creature that cursed him when he was young; they realize this when they try to dig up his body and discover the casket missing, and remember a piece from Giles’s journal — that he had summoned a creature that possessed dead/unconscious bodies. With the help of the Slayers, they manage to defeat the creature and get the last piece of his soul. But there’s still no magic. They try and use leftover magic from artifacts that one of Giles’s Watcher friends had, but it attracts the attention of the Whistler and the two lackeys that are still trying to kill Angel, who are teamed up together. The Whistler gets away with most of the artifacts, since they were in the middle of resurrecting Giles, but they manage to still bring Giles back to life — however, since his aunts were thinking of him as a child, he came back to life as a preteen, with the memories and mind of the Giles who died. But they all run off before they can really deal with this, because the Whistler is trying to bring magic back to the world — by killing two billion people in the process. He was on the side of Twilight, trying to make the world evolve — and if people died in the process, then so be it. They all go to stop them, but the orb that would forcibly evolve people started affecting London. Suddenly, people started getting magic — or started dying. One of the Slayers whose troop was killed by the two lackeys manages to turn the tide of battle against them so Faith can kill on and mortally wound the other, and Angel takes the orb of magic-stuff and jams it into the Whistler. this gives the Whistler his magic back, and he realizes what he was doing. But since the orb was going to explode from all the magic that was forced into the small object, he sacrifices himself and literally/metaphorically throws himself onto it, absorbing the blast and making it so he was the only casualty. Now, there are a bunch of people in London that have magic powers with no idea what they can do with them, but Faith decides she needs to get away from Angel. She takes a job with Kennedy training the Slayers to be bodyguards, and Angel stays back in London to help the newly magical figure out their powers.
Now that you have been fully brought up to date on all the events in the Buffyverse so far, pick up season 10 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel and Faith! Buffy the Vampire Slayer is already out (Preview Buffy Season 10 Issue #1!), and Angel and Faith (Preview Angel & Faith Season 10!) is coming out on April 2.
I, for one, am excited to see where they’re going next. What about you?