Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Casey Gilly
Artwork: Joe Jaro
Colours: Joana Lafuente
Lettering: Ed Dukeshire
Release Date: 8th December 2021
It has become something of a popular trend in recent years to give comic book characters the “old man/woman” treatment, slingshotting the reader into the future and providing creators with the opportunity to tell some exciting non-canon stories – albeit with varying levels of success. And with BOOM! Studios already dipping their toe into these waters a few years back with Big Trouble in Little China’s Jack Burton, it was only a matter of time before Buffy Summers got the “Last Vampire Slayer” treatment.
Set in the not-so-distant future, this new series sees a world beset by a magical catastrophe which has all but blotted out the sun. As a result, Vampires now roam the streets freely, coexisting with humans via a fairly fragile treaty where both have agreed not to harm the other. In the midst of this uneasy status quo, Buffy Summers – now in her fifties – wages a one-woman war against the forces of darkness, friendless and alone, as the last of the Slayer line.
As set-ups go this is definitely a strong one, and series writer Casey Gilly makes sure to capture the familiar tone of the fan-favourite show here, seamlessly blending humour with drama and action as Buffy’s travels take her to London. There’s something faintly tragic about Buffy monologuing away to herself in the absence of any Scoobies, and the flashback sequence midway through the issue does a great job of establishing the stakes and threat of the current world, not to mention Buffy’s slightly broken outlook on life.
Joe Jaro does a great job with the artwork, blending detail and dynamism to deliver a style that has just a hint of Dan Mora to it, and which keeps the pages turning smoothly throughout. Joana Lafuente also does a typically stellar job on the colours, from the hazy purples of the Vampire-infested pub to the fiery oranges of the mid-issue tragedy, and her work here proves to be bit as vital as Jaro’s when it comes to selling the tone of this story.
The final pages introduce an unexpected wrinkle to this freshly established status quo, and should be more than enough to ensure that any Buffy fans, lapsed or otherwise, are well and truly hooked and already fired up for issue two. While these “old man/woman” style stories can be a bit hit or miss, the creative team here have done a good job of staying true to the source material while injecting some fresh-yet-logical ideas into this established world.
An exciting reimagining packed with plenty of the classic Buffy charm, The Last Vampire Slayer is a new series that comes highly recommended.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]