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Comic Book / Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Boom! Studios)

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In 2007, the cult TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer was resurrected in comic form by Dark Horse Comics, continuing in season form and serving as official canon to the series. After ten years and four seasons, the Buffy comics came to an end, and Boom! Studios bought the license.

Rather than continue the story as Dark Horse did, Boom! is doing what it did to Mighty Morphin Power Rangers; rebooting Buffy and updating it for The New '10s. The series follows Buffy in her early days as Sunnydale High, fighting evil alongside the Scooby Gang.

Like with the later Buffy Season comics, it has an accompanying Angel series (which from issue #9 and onward was renamed Angel & Spike), which ran from 2019 to 2020.

The first issue of Buffy was released on January 23, 2019.

Two standalone books "Chosen Ones" and "Every Generation" have been released detailing stories of previous Slayers, and one alternate universe Buffy.

These comics contain examples of:

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    Tropes that apply to both series 
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: A lot of characters who weren't introduced until later in the TV show appear much earlier here:
    • Drusilla and Spike weren't introduced until the second season of the show. Here they are two of Buffy's earliest foes.
    • Spike also moves over to the Angel comic a lot faster; during the Hellmouth crossover event Spike splits off from Drusilla and becomes a main character in Angel six issues in, in comparison to the four seasons it took in the original series (not counting flashbacks).
    • Anya, who first appeared in the third season of the series, is in the first installment of the comic.
    • Wolfram & Hart is also mentioned in the first issue, whereas it made no appearances or received no mention in the franchise until Season 1 of Angel.
    • Robin Wood, who didn't appear until the show's final season as Principal of Sunnydale High, here makes his debut in the second issue as a student in Buffy's class.
    • Kendra, who first showed up in the second season of the TV show, is introduced much earlier here; she first appears (unnamed) in issue #9 of Buffy with a full introduction in #10.
    • Winfred "Fred" Burkle is introduced in #2 of Angel, while in the original series she didn't appear until the show's second season, which took place simultaneously with Season 5 of Buffy.
    • Charles Gunn makes a brief appearance in #3 of Angel during Lilith's vision, and shows up in person the very next issue. His original counterpart didn't appear until close to the end of the first season of Angel
    • Lorne, who was first introduced in the second season of Angel, first appears in #7 of the Angel comic.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: A lot of this going around. While characters are usually recognizable, they often have different sides of their personalities emphasized, or take on different traits altogether.
    • Giles's British Stuffiness has been toned down considerably. He's also more nihilistic.
    • Willow is more outgoing and confident, plus already fully comfortable with being into girls from the start.
    • Xander, by contrast, is much more reserved and less upbeat, and seems to be suffering from some kind of depression. He's also kind of a Stalker without a Crush towards Willow, and has now become much more antagonistic now that he's been transformed into a vampire and become the new Master.
    • This version of Cordelia is much kinder from the get-go, seeing her relationship with Willow as more of a friendly academic rivalry and going out of her way to befriend Buffy and even Spike. She's also no longer a Rich Bitch, as she's seen holding down a part-time job in a fast-food chain restaurant.
    • Drusilla is (relatively) sane, so her Cloudcuckoolander nature is gone, replaced with a ruthless and ambitious vampire... though with a number of Not So Above It All moments.
    • Spike is notably less violent and amoral, being more Affably Evil than his classic counterpart (though he retains his Pragmatic Villainy and Deadpan Snarker nature). The Angel & Spike comic in particular shows that Spike is not particularly malicious for a vampire and while he's not a good guy, he has the potential to be one. He's also more of a Cold Ham, rather than his original Large Ham characterization.
    • Anya is an amoral Friend in the Black Market who sells dangerous magical devices to good and evil alike. She's somewhat more mature and less prone to childishness, though she's not above a little petty revenge and evildoing. Also, she does not have her classic counterpart's fear of rabbits. She's also revealed to be a former Watcher who is plotting to take down the Watcher's Council with the help of a fallen Slayer.
    • Kendra is far less awkward, more forward and unlike her original counterpart, fully at home and integrated in normal society. She's also now lesbian (or at least bisexual), given that she begins dating Willow's ex-girlfriend Rose, whereas in the show she was flustered around Xander and called Angel cute.
    • Fred is less cheery and, while she seems to be as intelligent as her original counterpart, she's not as educated. She also seems to have taken on some of Cordelia's role from the original Angel, as the "oracle" of the group.
    • Gunn is more even-tempered. He's still introduced as a man who goes out fighting demons as way of revenge, but here he does so while livestreaming messages of hope and positivity to a surprisingly appreciative audience.
    • Ethan Rayne is already dead when the series begins, and (being an unaging ghost) is still a teenager, and companion to Wesley rather than a villain. His animosity with Giles is still there, though, as he blames Giles for getting him killed.
    • Wesley is now a young Watcher who is more awkward and bookish, struggling to make himself heard to the Watcher's Council.
  • Canon Character All Along: Rather, Canon Universe All Along, as issue #25 reveals that this comic is actually set in the "World Without Shrimp" mentioned a few times in the TV series.
  • Continuity Reboot: Naturally. For one, it brings the setting into The New '10s rather than the late 90s of the original series. For another, characterization is different, these aren't the same folks from the TV series. So keep that in mind when reading this.
  • Crisis Crossover: The "Hellmouth" story arc where Drusilla suceeds in opening the Hellmouth and it's up to Buffy and Angel to stop her plans. The main story, with Buffy and Angel teaming up to stop Drusilla and close the Hellmouth, is told in the Hellmouth mini-series, while the Buffy and Angel comics focus on the supporting casts and how the Hellmouth opening affects Sunnydale and LA, respectively.
  • Setting Update: The beginnings of both the Scooby Gang's and Team Angel's adventures are now taking place in the early 2020s instead of the late 1990s; the human characters were born two-to-three decades later than in the original continuity.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The reboot adds in the concept of a "half-vampire" in the form of Xander. It is, however, extremely different from other depictions of Dhampir as it doesn't happen through biological reproduction between a vampire and a human. Rather, it seems to have occurred by being sired only halfway. Xander can likewise still eat and sit in the sun like a human, but is also capable of going Game Face and summoning vampiric Super-Strength.
    • He's no longer a Dhampir, though, but a full vampire. Specifically... the Master.

    Tropes that apply to Buffy 
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: While he was the primary source of Comic Relief in the original series, Xander is notably more downbeat in this version and seems to be wrestling with depression.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Drusilla in the series was a Cloud Cuckoolander often played for laughs, and not even considered dangerous enough to put down permanently. Here she's seemingly fully lucid, dominant over Spike, and the Big Bad.
    • Downplayed, but Xander and Willow are shown to be actively training alongside Buffy.
    • Cordelia is much less helpless than she was originally, actually actively taking part in taking out some baddies right from the get-go and seemingly fully aware that supernatural phenomena tend to happen in Sunnydale.
  • Adaptational Diversity: Jamaican Slayer Kendra is not killed off, African-American Robin Wood has a more prominent role as Buffy's high school boyfriend and Kendra's Watcher, Canon Foreigner Latina Rose Martinez is added to the cast, and the series doesn't seem to be hiding the fact that Cordelia is Latina like her actress Charisma Carpenter.
  • Adaptational Late Appearance: In the original show, Angel was introduced in the very first episode. Here, he doesn't make an appearance until the fourth issue.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: Kendra begins dating Willow's ex-girlfriend Rose and seems to be falling in love with her. In the TV show, she only showed some signs of attraction to males.
  • Adaptational Skimpiness: Willow, mostly. She originally dressed very conservatively and child-like, growing more into a bohemian style as the show went on, but never really showing too much skin even in her adulthood. This time around her style is much more punk-ish, which leads to her wearing a lot of ripped crop tops, short-shorts, and fishnet stockings.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Xander, who after being transformed into the Master kidnaps Jenny Calendar and burns her house down.
    • The Watchers Council was ridiculously incompetent in the main series, but they were still overall on the side of good - here, they deliberately kill any Slayer that they deem to be too old (meaning around the age of 22), which has led Anya to develop a vengeance demon vendetta against them on the Slayers' behalf.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: Inverted. In the original show, Angel seeing Buffy's struggles as the Slayer was the catalyst that convinced him to make something of himself and become a hero. Here, Angel has already been active as a hero in Los Angeles for some time before his first appearance.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul:
    • Drusilla and Spike's dynamic has changed significantly, with a sane Dru being portrayed as the clear dominant in the relationship, and Spike being the (albeit snarky) underling rather than the caretaker. Drusilla also unambiguously holds little genuine affection for Spike; she puts him down constantly, mocks his preferred nickname, and stabs him in order to open the Hellmouth with no remorse. Their breakup happens not because Drusilla foresaw Spike's infatuation with Buffy, but rather because Spike left her, having felt betrayed and abandoned by Drusilla once she opened the hellmouth.
    • As Willow is an out-and-proud lesbian from the start, her early-series crush on Xander is written out, though they're still very close platonic friends since childhood, to the point where Xander dying causes Willow to go out of control.
    • Rather than her early-series crush on Angel, Cordelia meets and develops a crush on Spike—whom she barely exchanged a word with in the original series.
    • Robin and Buffy go from friendly co-workers and allies who went on a single date, to full-blown high school crushes complete with a Meet Cute and plenty of Crush Blush.
  • Adapted Out:
    • In contrast to a lot of other characters making Adaptational Early Appearances, Willow's original-timeline girlfriend Tara is nowhere to be seen. Although, there is a blonde witch in the last few issues of the Willow miniseries spinoff whom Willow rescues who goes unnamed and may or may not be Tara. Tara finally shows up by name in the epilogue of the final arc on an interrupted date with Willow.
    • As of the end of the series, there's been no appearance by Dawn Summers, as there's been no plot involving the Key.
  • Age Lift: Robin Wood is one of the students at Sunnydale High, rather than a principal.
  • Alternate Universe:
    • After Faith stakes Xander, Willow uses a magical portal in an attempt to find any trace of him, causing the majority of the others to either get pulled in (in the case of Ethan and Wesley), or run after her (in the case of Buffy, Kendra and Giles). It's not yet known where Buffy, Kendra and Giles ended up, but Wesley and Ethan have been dropped right in front of a version of Giles - who is drawn to look a lot more like Anthony Head.
    • Interestingly, the cover for that issue shows the Scoobies from this universe in mirroring positions with those of the main universe - specifically Rose (for Tara), Kendra (for Xander) and Robin (for Spike).
  • Canon Foreigner:
    • Willow is not dating either Oz or Tara when the series begins, but rather a new character named Rose Martinez. Rose eventually joins the Scooby Gang, and although she and Willow break up, she becomes Kendra's love interest instead.
    • The Slayer has some connection with a large bat-like magical creature known as the Camazotz (who really hates vampires), which Buffy likens to having her own pegasus.
  • Composite Character: In issue 3, Drusilla is called "the Mistress" by Spike, taking the place of the Big Bad of the show's first season.
    • Later subverted, at least somewhat, as Angel #6 reveals that the original Master still existed in this continuity - and in Buffy #15, Xander refers to himself as "the Master" after having become a full vampire. So it's more that Drusilla has taken on the Master's title.
  • Everyone Owns a Mac: Xander's computer really appears to be a Macintosh without the Apple logo.
  • Faceā€“Heel Turn: Morgan Palmer, a former Slayer. She describes her Watcher as having stuck "a thousand knives in [her] back over the years", and what pushed her over the edge was when she overheard her Watcher and the head of the Council plotting to have her murdered because they felt that at 25, she was "too old" to be a Slayer. During her research to find a way to escape, she came across Anya, and the two set up a plan to fake Morgan's death - she would pretend to go along with the Council's plan but fake her death instead, and then she and Anya would plot to destroy the Watchers from there, even Giles.
    • Anya herself, as it turns out - in this universe it's revealed that Anya was formerly the last female Watcher permitted to supervise a Slayer in the field and was punished for "allowing" her Slayer to survive to 22 years of age, leading her to a vendetta against the Council.
  • It Will Never Catch On: As Spike uses Buffy's phone to text Xander, Drusilla admits that she never thought cell phones would last as long as they have.
  • Lady in a Power Suit: Drusilla and Anya favour this look.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In the first issue, when imitating a vampire slain by Buffy, Xander says "Grr, argh!" in a clear reference to the monster of the Mutant Enemy logo in the original TV show.
    • Xander's secret blog is called The Xeppo.
    • Upon finding Spike having his first interaction with Buffy, Drusilla sarcastically asks if she should be jealous. She also mocks his nickname as used by Cordelia, commenting "that hardly played well in the 90s".
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: Xander and Willow are prone to these. Their first lines of dialogue in the series are a discussion on whether or not Xander would win a fight with a kangaroo.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Spared by the Adaptation: As of the final issue, Jenny Calendar, Kendra Young, Tara Maclay and Joyce Summers are all very much alive. Although in Joyce's case, the timeline hasn't yet reached the point where she had her aneurysm on the show.
  • The Reveal: Xander secretly runs a blog called "The Xeppo" that is the source of the narration in the first issue, which originally appeared to be Buffy's interior monologue.
  • Tomboyness Upgrade: Buffy, Willow, Cordelia, and to a lesser degree, Drusilla. Buffy and Cordy still dress chic to the times, however to reflect late 2010s popular fashion trends, they tend to dress more in neutral crop tops and jeans instead of the colourful numbers they were known for in the original series. Willow, prone to conservative dresses and Mary Janes in the original show, wears a lot of ripped jeans, shorts and combat boots in this adaptation. Drusilla wears sleek pantsuits as opposed to the eccentric gowns she'd worn originally, though she is still shown to wear dresses in a few scenes, and clearly likes her hair done up.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Issue #4: Drusilla turns Xander into a vampire, while Angel watches it happen from the shadows.
    • Issue #12: Xander makes a Heroic Sacrifice to save Willow. The last we see of him is him falling lifeless to the ground and Willow crying.
    • Issue #15: Xander is shown still alive... but now refers to himself as "The Master" and seems to have gone full vampire.
    • Issue #23: Dark Willow arrives and nearly kills everyone.
    • Issue #24: While Willow attempts to fight off her dark side, Faith fights Xander and ends up getting bitten. She is rescued by Kendra while Willow breaks free from her dark side... just in time to see Faith stake Xander. Overcome with grief, she opens a portal into time and space to see if she can find some way back to him and accidentally sucks Wesley and Ethan into it, while Giles, Buffy and Kendra follow after Willow. Robin shouts after them that they have no idea if they can even come back, but nobody listens to him. This leaves only Faith and Robin in their universe, while Wesley and Ethan appear to have been dropped right in front of Giles from the pre-reboot universe... only he's in his "Ripper" persona.
    • Issue #25: Anya reveals that she had intended for the gang to end up in a different universe rather than the main one, but she manages to bring everyone back to their own universe. As Willow and Buffy converse, they mention that they don't know what shrimp is, revealing that their universe is the "World Without Shrimp" mentioned in a few episodes of the show. Meanwhile, the Mayor shows up to get Faith and Robin out of trouble with Snyder.

    Tropes that apply to Angel / Angel & Spike 
  • Adaptational Sexuality: Angel and Spike's Belligerent Sexual Tension and possible history is played up compared to the TV series, and their alternate selves seen at the end of the last issue appear to be co-habitating in the Hyperion Hotel. Oz also makes a comment about the kinkiness of Spike having him on a leash.
  • Age Lift:
    • Spike states that Lilith had warned him about Drusilla in a dream 200 years ago, implying that he's older than his original series counterpart, who would be around 160 in the 2010s (including his human lifespan).
    • Possibly with Oz, who has already graduated from Sunnydale High and moved to LA. He was already a year older than Buffy, Willow and Xander in the original continuity, but here there's no reference to him ever having matriculated with or known them although Sunnydale is still his hometown.
  • Anti-Climax: The series finale, due to the comic being prematurely canceled. Following months of buildup about Fred and her being manipulated into working for Wolfram and Hart, possessed by Baphomet and also suddenly discovering she has an apparent goddess living inside her, as well as Gunn's hunt for the vampire who killed his cousin, the appearance of Oz and the group fighting against a vicious pack of werewolves, plus the discovery that Kate is a reincarnation of Mara, one of Angel's previous lovers, what actually happens is they beat the werewolves, immediately find out about Wolfram and Hart, enter the building (meeting Harmony in the process) and easily kill Lilah (who gives them all the information they need). Then Fred somehow expels Baphomet from her body, discovers she's not actually human, becomes a super powerful magical being and uses an interdimensional rift to save the group from a massive wave of attacking demons and take the group to the Hyperion Hotel. Kate tells Angel they need to talk about the reincarnation thing... and then they're greeted by alternate versions of Spike and Angel, who tell them they've just discovered the multiverse about ten years before they should have. Note that all this happens in about 23 pages.
  • Canon Foreigner:
    • Helen, Angel's partner in #0 who lost her father to a demon and has started training to work with him, is exclusive to the comic.
    • Lilith, who may or may not be the Lilith of myth and who appears as a guide and ally to Angel, is likewise original to the comic. Unlike Helen, she continues to play a major part in the series past her first appearance.
    • Baphomet, the subject of veneration by Wolfram & Hart.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Helen looks like she'll be a major character in the comic, only to get eaten alive by the end of her first appearance. Later issues then begin introducing mainstays from Angel Investigations in the original series.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Angel, of course. Spike also tends to indulge in this, in a more sardonically joking manner.
  • How We Got Here: #0 opens with Angel's first appearance at the end of Buffy #4 when he sees Xander get turned, and then flashes back to sometime prior, detailing what saw him go from fighting monsters in L.A. to moving to Sunnydale.
  • Lady in a Power Suit: Lilah favours this look.
  • Mythology Gag: The #0 issue of Angel features a female character named Helen who is built up to be an important character, working as Angel's protege in his fight against evil. She's killed at the end of the issue. This is not unlike Tina from the original show's pilot, who was similarly built up as a major character only to die halfway through it.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Gunn and Fred vouch for Angel to let Spike stick around by pointing out that he feels just as much self-loathing as Angel does.
  • Odd Friendship: One seems to be forming between Gunn and Spike.
  • Transplant: Spike joins the Angel cast after being introduced in the Buffy series. Also, in a meta sense, Oz appears only in Angel & Spike and not in Buffy.
  • Wham Episode: In the cliffhanger of the final issue, after Fred apparently transforms into the goddess Mura, she saves the group by taking them through an interdimensional rift into the multiverse, where alternate versions of Angel and Spike greet them.

Alternative Title(s): Buffy The Vampire Slayer 2019