Review: Laying The Groundwork On BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #3


Bellaire and Mora are breathing life back in to Buffy The Vampire Slayer. This is a superbly crafted comic that proves a modern retelling can be as good, if not better, than the original.
- Advertisement -

Fighting demons and saving Sunnydale was the essence of the weekly episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer when Joss Whedon created it back in 1996. But even then, the writers of the show were embracing the series arc and building up a world full of characters that could return at any point.

In BOOM! Studios new Buffy series, Jordie Bellaire understands this all important aspect of the shows history and issue three is still part of the introduction to this Buffy-verse. There is a monster of the week and the laying of groundwork for future stories. Characters are dropped unceremoniously into the mix as if they are simply residents of Sunnydale and not major players in the story; exactly as Joss Whedon did back in the day.

Cover Art
Buffy The Vampire Slayer #3 Credit: BOOM! Studios


In the Magic Shop, Spike and Dru are making their plans but unwittingly unleash a giant vampire hunting demon upon Sunnydale. Anyanka explains that the oversized red bat creature, known as Camazotz, is as much a danger to Spike and Dru as he is a danger to the residents of Sunnydale so armed with protective amulets, the two vampire’s go bat hunting.

- Advertisement -

Meanwhile Buffy is still searching for the information regarding the previous piece of jewellery she liberated from a vampire. It isn’t long before these two plot lines converge in spectacular fashion.

Bellaire uses the creature of the week feature to expand the characters of the central cast that she has already introduced. A number of character traits regarding the regulars are dropped in through conversation or from the setting itself. When Buffy’s favourite coffee shop is attacked, for example, an element of Giles’ character is revealed in a way that will be familiar to fans of the T.V. series. The relationships forging between Buffy and her Scooby Gang are also the focus of this issue.

One of Bellaire’s strengths as a writer is her ability to juggle so many complex characters at the same time, even during action sequences. The development of her cast is a constant, ongoing concern. She also leaves enough ambiguity in certain scenes and speeches to make you question where a particular plot thread is going. She did it with Xander beautifully in the last issue and again with Cordelia in this issue.

Plus, the cliff-hanger to this issue has ominous signs scrawled all over it.  I suspect that Jordie Bellaire is going to break some hearts with this series.

Interior Art Work
Buffy The Vampire Slayer #3 Credit: BOOM! Studios


Dan Mora’s art is as exceptional as in previous issues. He brings energy and dynamism to the script. The pages have a cinematic flair to them giving the narrative a large stage on which to play out. The reader is led from panel to panel, often by Ed Dukeshire’s lettering placement, in an easy flow allowing time to take in the beautiful art work.

Mora sets each scene with the required amount of background details; sometimes there is a fully realised set, other times just the impression of a place. The atmosphere is provided by the coloring especially as this entire issue is set during a single night. Raul Angulo changes the tones from the Magic Shop to Buffy’s lonely walk to the well-lit coffee shop, giving each place their own atmosphere. This also helps to break the narrative into different beats, allowing the reader to shift gear from one scene to the next.

Without a doubt the highlight of the art if Mora’s character work. He produces wonderfully accurate representations of the characters when he needs to however, he also manages to make them recognisable with the simplest of lines and shapes. There is never any question of who you are following at any given moment. Add to this Mora’s amazing talent for expressive faces and you get the most emotionally identifiable characters currently in print. Even the vampire hunting beast Camazotz exudes a wide range of emotions producing a full rounded character.

Interior Art work
Buffy The Vampire Slayer #3 Credit: BOOM! Studios


Buffy The Vampire Slayer continues to grow as an exciting and all-consuming narrative under the guidance of Jordie Bellaire and Dan Mora. It has been said before and will continue to be said that this comic from BOOM! Studios feels like a part of the original series but also is new and different in many ways. The characters are so familiar but not the same, it creates a feeling of déjà vu that you just can’t shake.

Everything about this comic is exciting and fresh. BOOM! Studios picked the perfect creators to work on this and we should thank them for it. Buffy The Vampire Slayer is going to be the next big thing. Again.



Marvel 101: Do You Really Know Boom Boom?

Tabitha Smith couldn’t wait to explode onto the scene as the mutant hero Boom Boom. This week on Marvel 101, get ready to detonate, shatter, and generally cover your ears because this girl is ready to ignite.

Review: Overman Fights For The Reich in FREEDOM FIGHTERS #6

Overman faces the Freedom Fighters! During World War II, the Freedom Fighters fought against the Nazis to try and stop the Reich. Just when they...

WAR OF THE REALMS party | Marvel’s Pull List

Dive into the War of the Realms as we talk five new Marvel comics featured on this week’s Marvel’s Pull List! In this episode, hosts Ryan Penagos, a.k.a. Agent M, and Tucker Markus break down WAR OF THE REALMS STRIKEFORCE: THE LAND OF THE GIANTS #1, WAR OF THE REALMS: JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #3, WAR…


This week is a conversation about the pros and cons of fandom in relationship to Game Of Thrones, War Of Realms, animated Batman:...

Kelly Sue DeConnick Talks CAPTAIN MARVEL Behind-The-Scenes

Kelly Sue DeConnick answers YOUR questions about writing for Captain Marvel, seeing Marvel Studios' 'Captain Marvel' for the first time, and who she would want Carol to team up with.

AfterShock Exclusive Preview: ORPHAN AGE #3

ORPHAN AGE #3 hits your local comic book store on June 12, but thanks to AfterShock Comics, Monkeys Fighting Robots has a four-page preview...

Cartoonist Kayfabe: Batman Dark Knight Returns Issue 4, Kayfabe Commentary

What more can be said? Ed Piskor, Jim Rugg, and special guest Tom Scioli unpack the Frank Miller classic over the course of 4 jam-packed episodes!

Looking back with the DEATH OF CAPTAIN MARVEL | Marvel’s Pull List

Celebrate Marvel’s 80th Anniversary with the Pull List as we take you back to the 1980’s! Ryan & Tucker break down THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN MARVEL, THE SENSATIONAL SHE-HULK #1, SQUADRON SUPREME #1 and DAREDEVIL #181! ► Subscribe to Marvel: Follow Marvel on Twitter: ‪ Like Marvel on Facebook: ‪ For even more news,…
Darryll Robson
Darryll Robson
Comic book reader, reviewer and critic. Waiting patiently for the day they announce 'Doctor Who on The Planet of the Apes'.