Welcome back to the Hellmouth - An Intro to the BTVS canonical comics

Into every generation a Slayer is born: one girl in all the world, a chosen one. She alone will wield the strength and skill to fight the vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness; to stop the spread of their evil and swell of their number. She is the Slayer.

This is the mythos on which Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer is built, or at least it was… In 2003, after seven years of battling evil on the Hellmouth, Buffy Summers changed that legacy forever. Until that point, the Slayer line operated like a chain reaction. When one Slayer died another was called. With the help of the most powerful witch alive, Willow Rosenberg, and an ancient Scythe which embodied the essence of the Slayer, Buffy Summers obliterated that chain. She decided that no such burden should be placed upon the shoulders of one girl alone. She decided to share her power. This meant every potential Slayer was activated, all at once.

“So I say we change the rule. I say my power should be our power. From now on, every girl in the world who might be a Slayer… will be a Slayer. Every girl who could have the power… will have the power. Can stand up… will stand up. Slayers, every one of us. Make your choice. Are you ready to be strong?” – Buffy Summers, Season 7, episode 22, Chosen

In 2007, four years after Buffy the Vampire Slayer's TV finale, Joss Whedon resurrected our favorite heroin once more. This time, she returned through the medium of graphic novels, under the publication of Dark Horse Comics. This official sequel to the show kicked off with The Long Way Home. Dark Horse had been publishing Buffy comics since 1998, but this was the first to be written by Whedon himself and to be considered an official continuation of the series (Aside from Fray of course, which is set approximately 200 years in the future.) This was the beginning of Buffy Season Eight. In 2018, after 20 years, Dark Horse's Buffy run came to an end in The Reckoning, Buffy’s twelth and final season. The license to all Buffy related material has now been transferred to Boom! Studios. They decided to reboot the series from the very beginning in January of 2019. However, it is not considered canon.

And that, just about brings us up to date. Now that the official canonical comics have come to an end, I’ve decided to review each one. And this is how I’m going to break things down. I’m going to provide a complete Synopsis for each issue, followed by The Watchers Files; this is where I’ll share my own personal thoughts. I’m also going to deliver a Trivia section, here; I’ll reveal Easter eggs and other nerdy tidbits which gave me a happy. I’ll wrap things up with my Buffy Speak of the Week, which will contain my favorite dialogue, and finally, I’ll give each issue my own Slayer Rating. I’ll rate each out of 1-5 Stakes. Five by Five being the highest achievement, naturally.

This is really going to be a labor of love. I have treasured Buffy the Vampire Slayer since I was eleven years old. It is my absolute favorite fandom. Buffy not only revolutionized genre TV, it raised our expectations of it. It challenged stereotypes and delivered a unique blend of horror, drama and comedy, the likes of which we'd never seen before. It was rich in both lore and metaphor and it's characters could not have been more relatable, no matter how absurd or fantastic their circumstances. I’m aware that not all fans have read the comics or are interested in doing so. This is my offering to them. If you don’t have the time or money to read them, or you just aren’t sure about them, I’ve got you covered. If you have read them, I’d also love to hear your thoughts. This will be my fourth time reading the comic series straight through. Don’t judge me, as Willow would say “Nerds are in. They’re still in, right?” With a new TV series on the horizon (a sequel, NOT a reboot, hallelujah) and the release of SLAYER, Kiersten White’s new novel series (Also considered canon.) I’m here to bridge the gap. It would seem, we patient Slayers, Watchers and Slayerettes have many an apocalypse to look forward to. To conclude, watch this space fellow Scoobies. My first review will be coming your way very soon. If you’d like to be notified each time I post new content, feel free to subscribe. Until then, if the apocalypse comes, beep me.