Follow TV Tropes


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

Go To

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 "Tales of the Chosen" and "Every Generation" have been released detailing stories of previous slayers, and one alternate universe Buffy.


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.
    • Advertisement:
    • 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 the Master.
    • This version of Cordelia is much kinder from the get-go, seeing her relationship with Willow as more of a friendly 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's 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.
    • 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), whereas in the show/expanded universe she seemed to be straight.
    • 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 and less of an Angry Black Man. 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 is a (seemingly) much less antagonistic ghostly companion to Wesley. 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.
  • Continuity Reboot: Naturally. For one, it brings the setting into The New '10s rather then 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 tends to happen in Sunnydale.
  • 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.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul:
    • Drusilla and Spike's dynamic has changed significantly, with 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.
    • Rather than her early-series crush on Angel, Cordelia meets and develops a crush on Spike—who 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.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: Kendra begins dating Willow's ex-girlfriend Rose and seems to be falling in love with her.
  • 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.
  • Age Lift: Robin Wood is one of the students at Sunnydale High, rather than a principal.
  • Canon Foreigner: Willow's high school girlfriend Rose.
    • The Slayer seems to have some connection with a magical creature known as the Camazotz, 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 Master still exists in this continuity - and in Buffy #15, Xander refers to himself as "the Master" after having become a full vampire.
  • Everyone Owns a Mac: Xander's computer really appears to be a Macintosh without the Apple logo.
  • 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".
  • Off-Model: This tends to happen in later issues, which go for a more "cartoon-y" look. Take this page, for example, where Buffy's face has gone oddly flat and a bit gonk.
  • 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:
  • 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 Cordie are 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 referred to as "The Master" and seems to have gone full vampire.

Tropes that apply to Angel/Angel & Spike:

  • 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).
  • Anti-Climax: The series finale. 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 tells 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 he's 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.
  • 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: 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.
  • Wham Episode: After Fred seemingly transforms into a goddess, she saves the group by taking them through an interdimensional rift into the multiverse, where alternate versions of Angel and Spike greet them.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: