All-Different Sunnydale Gets Even Better

How many Slayers?

Business is about to pick up for Buffy and her friends.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer 19
Written by Jordie Bellaire and Jeremy Lambert
Pencils and Inks by Ramon F. Bachs
Colors by Raul Angulo

Anyone who was expecting a Sunnydale that resembled the iconic late-1990s teen drama may be disappointed by the twists and turns the revamp from BOOM! Studios have taken. But this 21st Century BUFFY Summers definitely lives up to the great storytelling that’s been associated with the property. The paths that have been taken may be different, but one central tenet will always hold true.

Buffy’s life is chaotic, but for all the extranormal things that go on around her, the normal things about being a teenager – relationships, best friends, school – are still all relatable.

With no ANGEL to play off of here, Buffy’s romantic entanglements come in the form of Robin Wood, a young watcher who is falling for Buffy but can’t wrap his head around the idea of Slayer with romantic entanglements. He’s pushed her away just as the couple was getting closer because he feels that she should be more committed to being the Slayer. But he still cares for her and wants to be with her despite his own hesitations winning out. The complicated minds of teenagers in love can drive any adult crazy, as Rupert Giles finds in this issue.

Meanwhile, Robin’s Slayer, Kendra, is starting her own relationship with Rose, Willow’s ex-girlfriend. Like her watcher, Kendra questions if it makes sense to get caught up in a relationship when her duties as a Slayer could take her away from Sunnydale. But Rose pushes her to live in the moment and enjoy what’s directly in front of her instead of worrying about what’s over the horizon. It’s a nice counterpoint to Robin and Buffy’s frustrating inability to see eye-to-eye.

The third relationship writers Jordie Bellaire and Jeremy Lambert explore in the latest issue is probably the most poignant. The friendship between Willow and Xander has always been a hallmark of the Buffy series. But now that Xander is a vampire – and no longer has a piece of Willow’s soul to keep him in check – the relationship between the two best friends is strained.

While searching for teacher Jenny Calendar – who Xander has captured – Willow’s astral projection confronts her former best friend, who swears he needs Willow in his (un)life. But the Wiccan is understandably hesitant to believe her soulless former bestie.

Just because Willow and Xander are at odds doesn’t mean that their connection is any less central to the series. Some things never change.

The issue ends with the debut of a major Buffy player to the BOOM! revamp: Faith, the third Slayer to be introduced in the original TV show finally makes an appearance as she saves Robin from a trio of vampires.

This has been teased for a bit, especially as the Watcher’s Council realized that Kendra went down into Hell to battle the Hell Mother with Buffy during the HELLMOUTH crossover, which technically means she died, triggering yet another Slayer.

Can Sunnydale handle three Slayers at the same time? And how different will this Faith be from the original? Can an evil Mayor be far behind?

I’m genuinely excited to see where this goes.