High school can be hell and no one knows that better than Buffy the Vampire Slayer, who returns to her teenage roots in a new comic book series from Boom! Studios that arrives in stores on Wednesday.
“Buffy,” written by Jordie Bellaire, illustrated by Dan Mora, colored by Raúl Angulo and lettered by Ed Dukeshire, reboots the character and her friends and resets them to their high school days — in contemporary times, not 1997, when her television series debuted. (The show ran for seven seasons and later explored her college years.)
There was also a take by Dark Horse, which published comics from 2007 to 2018 that envisioned what Seasons 8 through 12 would have been like if the show had continued. Joss Whedon, who wrote the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” film that was released in 1992 and created the TV series, serves as a story consultant for the comics.
Jeanine Schaefer edits the new series. She recruited Bellaire for the book thanks in part to her work on Redlands, about a coven of witches in a small Florida town. “It felt like the exact right mix of talking about identity issues, gender issues and still having that thread of horror and so moments of levity,” Schaefer said during a conference call with Bellaire.
Terror and humor resonate for many as an apt description of high school, including for Bellaire. “Me and Jeanine talked about how teenagers now are growing up a bit different than they did in the ’90s,” she said. “It is a trying time for teenagers. I think people are feeling a lot of pressure and negativity.”
Previous adventures will not be rehashed in the reboot, which will take all new stories. The setting allows some of the characters to begin at a new point. While Willow, for example, eventually came out as a lesbian on the TV series, she is already open about her orientation in Issue No. 1 of the new comic. “The ’90s was a different time on TV and for the L.G.B.T. community,” Bellaire said. “I’d like to think it is a little more open now,” allowing Willow to be much more confident.