More classic characters are introduced – along with some new faces – as the BUFFY re-VAMP from Boom! returns for its second issue.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer 2
Written by Jordie Bellaire
Pencils and Inks by Dan Mora
Colors by Raul Angulo

Cordelia Chase, come on down! You’re the latest Scooby to be introduced on the all-new, updated BUFFY comic book. Everyone’s favorite mean cheerleader makes her debut, barging into the library hoping that Giles would hang up a poster for her campaign for student body president. She’s running against Willow – again – and… man, something is different about Cordy here. She’s… nice… to everyone… It’s a little weird, but at the same time, it completely fits. She even introduces herself to Buffy so that she doesn’t miss out on the chance to make a new friend.

Later, as she’s walking to her car after school, carrying a balloon, she chastises herself for the balloon, because it’s bad for the environment! Who IS this girl?

To make the gag better, when her balloon gets away from her and floats into the dark woods, she runs into Spike – yes, he shows up here, too – who tells her the same thing. This new and improved Sunnydale is really messing me up. But, again, everything feels right. Writer Jordie Bellaire may have taken the Scooby gang out of their usual home in the late 1990s and transported them into 2019, but it’s done without sacrificing any of the classic feel of the original series.

There’s even a bit of an in-joke to the generational gap in the issue, when Joyce, Buffy’s mom, tells her she’s “full of teen spirit,” and Buffy chides her for making a 90s reference.

Another familiar aspect of the issue is that it opens up with a Buffy dream sequence… well, it’s probably better called a nightmare sequence, where she sees her friends turned into monsters. Probably the most terrifying image I’ve ever seen is right in the opening pages, as demon dream Giles tells Buffy she has no future. That is one disturbing Watcher. I read this issue before bed one night and, yeah, it was a while before I was able to get to sleep.

While everything about the Sunnydale gang has been modernized and updated, I think the most interesting change so far is the treatment of Xander. The lovable loser from the series always had Willow to rely on to keep him from wallowing in depression. But this Willow is a little more advanced than her TV counterpart. She’s already come out as a lesbian and has a girlfriend, so it’s not a sure thing that she’s there for Xander when he needs her. And with Buffy’s Slayer responsibilities, she has her own things taking her away from her friends.

Xander is not in a good way this issue, letting his inner demons get the better of him, and they may be scarier than anything he could face in a cemetery after dark. Anyone who’s battled depression can instantly relate with what he’s going through at the end of the issue, wanting to cry out for help but holding it in so his friends won’t think less of him… or, worse, refraining from reaching out because he’s afraid they won’t respond.

I am legitimately worried for Xander and his fate going forward. And I am definitely ready for the next issue. With Drusilla accidentally unleashing a vampire-killing bat-demon while torturing Anya, the next chapter in the story should be action packed.