Writer: Jeremy Lambert
Art: Marianna Ignazzi, Raul Angulo, Ed Dukeshire
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Release Date: December 1st, 2021
I discovered the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” show not during its original run back in the late ’90s to early 2000s, but years later on Netflix, where I instantly fell in love with the show and binge-watched it so much, I lost a few pounds because I literally forgot to eat some nights. I called it “The Buffy Diet”.
Well here we are at the close of 2021, and Boom! is rolling out the Buffy goodness.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #32 continues the multiverse saga and Buffy’s battle against Silas, who has a Thanos-style plan to save hundreds of universes by destroying a few choice ones, and Buffy’s universe happens to be one of the ones slated for destruction.
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I love multiverse stories because we get to see different versions of existing characters. Last issue, in Buffy the Vampire Slayer #31, we got to see different versions of Buffy and Willow, and my favorites were the roided out version of Buffy (who looked like Chyna if she were a blonde) and the adult version of Willow who never met a whiskey bottle she didn’t like.
This issue slows things down, as the characters deal with the repercussions from the last issue. Writer Jeremy Lambert gives each character a moment, even Buffy’s mom Joyce, as some of them struggle with self-doubt and others simply lick their wounds. Lambert really brings out the difference between Buffy and Faith here, as Buffy is her usual perky determined self and Faith is ever the more streetwise Slayer with the darkest sense of humor.
Silas, the “big bad”, seems a bit one-dimensional. It’s obvious that he’s very powerful, but he doesn’t seem to have any quirks or attributes that make him memorable, as some of the “big bads” on the TV show were. Nevertheless, I love issues like this, which aren’t wall-to-wall action, but more reflective moments between the characters. And if you’re looking for action, the last few pages deliver, perfectly setting up the next issue’s epic showdown.
Marianna Ignazzi’s art for Buffy the Vampire Slayer #32 is at its best when conveying the characters’ emotions. Her art style reminds me a bit of classic artist Gene Colan, where the protagonists perpetually move through shadows and the story is told as much through their facial expressions as through the words themselves. Each page follows a 5 to 6-panel layout, and when the characters take action, the progressions flow perfectly. I especially love how Marianna shows Willow hovering with emerald fire coming from her hands. Those panels nearly glow in the dark and give you the sense of Willow’s power.
However, the only downside is that in some cases, it’s hard to tell which Willow version is speaking because the teen Willow and adult Willow look so similar and even dress similarly. I had to read the issue twice to make sure I knew which character was which.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #32 is the calm before the storm, setting up the big showdown with Silas’ next issue.
It’s filled with great character moments and it’s nice to spend some quiet time with everyone. The scenes with Silas drag a bit, but the various confrontations and conversations that occur throughout the book make up for it. The ending sets up a major battle next issue that should be great fun, involving characters from multiple universes, hopefully, some of which will stay around a while.