I’m currently in the midst of a tandem Buffy/Angel rewatch, while listening to the episode-by-episode companion podcasts Buffering the Vampire Slayer and Angel on Top. It’s turned into quite the commitment and I feel very immersed into the Buffyverse once more. It feels a bit like coming home.
Coming of age alongside Buffy was a formative experience. As a teen, Buffy was my constant companion. As she was slaying physical demons, I was slaying mental demons. I watched her fall in love for the first time as I did the same. Her heart was broken alongside mine. Season 6 came along at a particularly rough time in my life and hit me like a tonne of bricks (IYKYK).
Now, re-watching the series as an adult, I’m seeing it through an entirely new lens. Armed with what I know about the problematic elements of the show (and its creator… *cringe*), I still love it… or at least, I think I do. I’m aware of the comic book continuation of the show after season seven ends and have no interest in going down that road. It just sounds like madness, honestly (giant Dawn? Angel and Buffy do the nasty and give birth to a new universe? Huh?!?).
But when I heard about this 4-part series, featuring a wizened aging Slayer, my interest was piqued.
Buffy the Last Vampire Slayer doesn’t pick up exactly where the show left off. Certain characters that died in the series are inexplicably alive, and the world has a dystopian air. The sun has been scorched and vampires and humans now live in supposed harmony (heh), and Buffy is the last survivor of the broken line of Slayers. She now lives in the shadows, and her greying hair and aging body are telling the story of a life hard lived.
Volume 1 brings Buffy together with a secret coven led by Spike who are trying to heal the sun. She is joined by an orphaned girl with magic powers, who Buffy learns is the child of Willow and Tara.
There was just enough familiarity here to make the first entry in the series comfortable, while also leaving room for growth and change. The story was solid enough to hook me and I’m now hunting down Vol 2 – 4. Wish me luck!
4 traumatic flashbacks out of 5.