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First look: Jordie Bellaire and Dan Mora take a stab at Boom!'s new Buffy The Vampire Slayer #1
Have a hankering to head back to the Hellmouth? Your wish has been granted in Boom! Studios' wildly entertaining new Buffy the Vampire Slayer series, which takes a primal bite out of the comics market starting today.
To prime you for the toothy terror to come, SYFY WIRE has a look at Wednesday's premiere issue, including all variant covers, with an added exclusive peek at the Feb. 13 follow-up, plus an invigorating chat with the creative team assigned to the task of resurrecting the Chosen One.
Written by Eisner Award-nominated scribe Jordie Bellaire (Redlands) and injected with gorgeous art by Dan Mora (Klaus, Go Go Power Rangers) and saturated colors via Raul Angulo, the storyline travels back to the origins of creator Joss Whedon's pop-culture sensation Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The cult TV series starring Sarah Michelle Gellar was an adaptation of Whedon's 1992 feature film of the same name, and ran on The WB/UPN from 1997 to 2003. This new ongoing series is a modern reimagining crafted under the guidance of Whedon and Boom! Executive Editor Jeanine Schaefer.
Bellaire and Mora have respectfully revived the Buffy Summers fans know and love, the precocious girl who simply wants what every average teenager wants: a group of friends at her brand-new school, satisfactory grades, and to escape her fateful destiny as the next in a history-spanning lineage of nosferatu hunters battling the forces of evil. With Willow, Xander, and Mr. Giles at her side she just might survive the perils of young adulthood in the sinister shadow of Sunnydale High and some old enemies.
SYFY WIRE spoke with Bellaire and Schaefer to bring into focus what this playful resurrection project entails, learn about the immortal appeal of the Buffyverse, and see what fans can latch onto when this supernatural story unfolds.
How involved was Joss Whedon on this refreshed title, and what was his input?
Jeanine Schaefer: Joss has been incredibly generous. He read all our plots and the year-long story that we have planned. We walked him through the character beats to make sure we are servicing them properly for the fans, and for them as characters and for the universe. He’s also asked us some tough questions and set some parameters we had to answer before we moved forward. Making sure we answer those questions is the most important part. He’s really on board.
Where is the story headed in this first arc, and what can fans anticipate?
JS: We’re trying to play with a lot of the established pieces of the Buffy canon and putting a bit of a spin on it to make it fresh and new for fans that stuck around, but also make it a satisfying story and intro to the universe for new readers. This first arc is dealing with Drusilla as the mistress and really digging into the core questions of Buffy. Questions about identity, relationships, about how to communicate, and the way in which we all come together and break apart. Every character is struggling with that, and the fallout from it is what’s informing our first part. What happens in Issue #4 is going to change everything! It’s a huge character turn that sets everyone in the plot on a different trajectory.
In translating this material to comics, what were you most respectful of?
Jordie Bellaire: Buffy means so much to me. I'm trying to be respectful of the entirety of it, while also trying to update it and make our own story. I'm always thinking about what made the show great before, which is that it’s a great character piece.
What made Jordie the perfect candidate for a rebooted Buffy series?
JS: I read her creator-owned Redlands and knew this was who I wanted writing this, who I want talking about the kinds of issues that are core to the Buffy Universe, and the issues that make her story so important to so many people. Jordie is an artist and a storyteller, and I just she was going to nail this.
What was the hardest part of transitioning from mainly a colorist to a writer for this project?
JB: This was my first time time playing with licensed characters, and a big character as well. The biggest transition was getting over the fear that I’m a colorist first and always and forever. When Jeanine first approached me for the gig I thought maybe she made a mistake. (laughs) But she was very supportive and said I was definitely the one she wanted to move forward with. Joss seemed pretty excited too and approved my pitch, and I’m very grateful to have such a supportive team.
What was it like working with Dan Mora and his evocative art?
JB: I’m just a huge fan of Dan and really liked him on Power Rangers as well. I think he’s a ridiculously talented artist, and when Jeanine first told me she had Dan I was kinda struck. He’s incredible with all the likenesses and the energy that he’s bringing to every page. He makes me look like an amazing writer because he’s so good at hitting all the beats and getting the whole groove of Buffy. I just write the thing and he sends me these beautiful pages. I’m pretty much in the back seat on this great ride. Dan is just killing it. I’m very lucky.
Sink into our preview of Boom!'s Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1 and #2 in the gallery below, then let us know if you'll join the Scooby Gang in their paranormal quests beginning Jan. 23!