Buffy the Vampire Slayer Vol. 1: High School is Hell TP
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Release Date: May 22, 2019
Price: $14.99
Creator(s): Jordie Bellaire (writer); Dan Mora (artist)
Format: 208 pgs., Full-Color, Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-6841-5357-2
Age Rating: N/A
ICv2 Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

From 1997 to 2003, there was a very popular TV show following this unusual monster-fighting character through high school and into college-aged adventures.  This new comic from BOOM! Studios, collected here in book form, is a reboot of that TV show and the subsequent comics, putting Buffy back to her high school years, and resetting the cast of characters into a new version of their relationships and personalities.  For instance, Willow is already not interested in guys, and has a girlfriend. Xander, Cordelia, Harmony and Giles are there, as are some of the "bad guys" and some of the "in between" characters from the older stories.  Some of the personalities are revised, though, and it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Will Spike, Drusilla, Anya and Angel be like they used to be?  Only time and the whims of Joss Whedon will tell, since he is acting as an advisor for this comic.

The writing is very good, and the artwork is as well, making the characters actually recognizable, something that some of the previous artists for Buffy had trouble with.  In addition, from the start there is a clear difference between "cannon fodder" vampires and ones who will make a difference in the story.

The story is a tiny bit rushed, in terms of bringing Willow and Xander into the monster-fighting stuff, but that seems to be in order to set up a plot line.  The only real weakness this creates is that it may not be a good jumping-on point for readers who have never watched the original series.  For those who have, though, this seems like a very interesting reboot.

For older teens and adults, due to graphic violence.

--Nick Smith: Library Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.