04th Sep2019

‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chosen Ones #1′ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Mairghread Scott | Art by Ornella Savarese | Published by Boom Studios

buffy-chosen-ones-1-cover

To everyone of a certain age, Buffy the Vampire Slayer has a special place in their heart. Running from 1997 to 2003, for seven seasons Joss Whedon broke boundaries and genres, and if the show went off the rails a little in the last season the final episode redeemed it all somewhat. It was fun, made stars of Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz, who’s character Angel got spun off in an equally good show, and was the darling of the geek scene. It was also something relatively unique in that it was a TV show that was really embraced by comic book fans, much like The X-Files, and Whedon made no secret of the fact he was a big comic book fan himself. Buffy, naturally, popped up in various comic book series from the early years, first at Dark Horse Comics, then IDW, back at Dark Horse, and now with this series at Boom Studios. Let’s take a look.

For those not up on Buffy the Vampire Slayer mythology, all you need to know is that, rather like The Phantom, every generation has a Slayer. This person is born into the role, a chosen one who must fight and defend the world against vampires, monsters and demons in general, and occasionally Hell itself. Buffy is currently that person. I won’t get into the whole ‘ she ended up falling in love with a vampire, and she had one job’ thing as that’s way too convoluted, but you now know enough. Everyone who already knew this, still cool though, right? This book then is looking at the Slayer mythology, the different Chosen Ones through history.

We begin in Sunnydale in 1808, where a murder has taken place. Not the first by the sound of things. A new person arrives to take over the family business left by the murder, amid dire warnings by the friendly local priests to stay inside at night. All is not what it seems however, as the newly arrived gentleman has come from the Council, amid expectation that a new Slayer has been reborn in the town. A tad sceptical, he soon runs into her, as she is busy disposing of various vampire monks. As you do. Hutash, as she is called, explains how the Spainards came and first exploited her native Indian tribe, then revealed themselves as vampires and pretty much killed everyone. Hutash fought back, as she still does. Perez, as a Watcher, has found his Slayer.

Perez is especially disturbed when Hutash tells him that she heard the vampire monks talking about opening a route to Hell, a Hellmouth. This is very bad. Fans of the TV show know all about Sunnydale and the Hellmouth of course. Perez and Hutash find the location of the planned Hellmouth, where Father Luis and his vampire monks have the native Indian villagers all caged up. I love their logic. It is sinful to ‘eat’ fellow Christians, but God has provided them with heathens who they can munch on to their hearts desire. Perez and Hutash stop the immediate danger of course, but as we know, that Hellmouth will return in later years to vex Buffy herself.

The second story is set in Fourteenth Century Bologna, where a man-eater is scaring the local townspeople after dark. We meet young tomboy Silvia, keener on learning to fight with hands and swords than the traditional girlie pursuits of the time. Her nurse Florentia, who has looked after her for all of her 12 years, seems to have her best interests at heart. Oh wait, she’s just come out as a vampire, murdered Silvia’s father, and tried to bite Silvia, who seems to have a genuine affection for. Silvia kills her, and reminds us that often the birth of a Slayer can come with tragedy.

The final short story takes us to Paris in 1820, in the midst of a kidnapping spree it seems. A masquerade ball is in full flow, and a vampire has taken the opportunity to hide behind a mask and find a young willing lady to deceive and attack. He finds his victim, takes her outside, only to find the hunter is the hunted. She is a Slayer. He’s now just dead.

I enjoyed this. A nice addition to the mythology, though not sure if canonical or not, reminiscent of Assassins Creed when it focuses on different Slayers through history. Nicely paced short stories, good characters, and very nice artwork. I like the approach Boom have taken, to add to the mythology.

No Buffy here, but plenty to get your teeth into. Ahem.

**** 4/5

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