If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I started my journey into the Buffy Comics/Graphic Novels a while back after finishing a rewatch of the show. I read the Vampire origin story and the Slayer origin story. This one focuses on Buffy’s origin story before the show started. Let me tell you, for people that think graphic novels are a walk in the park, I am going to have to politely disagree. Maybe it’s the fact that I had a 3 year old running around in the background reciting all 45 presidents while I was simultaneously trying to read the conversation bubbles in the correct order and analyze the pictures, but it definitely takes some brain power. I commend those of you who regularly read comics/graphic novels/manga because I feel like they exercise your ability to multi-task while reading.
So, we get to see more into Buffy’s life before finding out she’s a Vampire Slayer and during her first moments of dealing with the revelation. If you’ve watched the show, you know we get the briefest look into that and this really expands on that time in her life. I thought it was curious that Dawn is in this series from the beginning, as she doesn’t become a part of Buffy’s life until later in the show (no spoilers). I am wondering if they’re going to keep that show storyline as part of this or go in a different direction completely. One part of Omnibus Vol 1 that I loved was visiting Buffy’s stint in the mental institution. That’s another thing we don’t find until later in the show, that Buffy was wrongly institutionalized when her parents first found out she “thought” she was a Vampire Slayer, we also don’t get to see much of how she spent her time there. Seeing a little of Giles’ time as Ripper and how he came to be Buffy’s watcher was also a cool insight.
The thing that knocked this down to a 4/5 star read for me was that weird casino moment. I get that we are supposed to see that Angel has been following her to care for her and that Pike had to leave because Buffy doesn’t need distractions, but the whole thing was confusing and kinda creepy. Making a fifteen year old girl dress up in this sleazy outfit while this old vampire follows her is still weird, Angel immortalized is still quite a bit older than her in the show, but maybe they’re bridging that age gap in the comic? We will see.
I love the illustrations though and the witty commentary! It still feels like Buffy and very connected to the show. I liked the continuity from the show and the comic, and these little hidden Easter eggs, such as Buffy bringing April Doublemeat burgers (you’ll understand if/when you watch the show). Really cool and exciting to have more Buffy to explore! I found a blog link that has a really thorough reading order for Buffy, if you’d like to take a look here: Buffyverse