Buffy the Vampire Slayer #8 // Review
With Buffy the Vampire Slayer #8, Boom! Studios kicks off its first Buffy/Angel crossover, “Welcome to the Hellmouth.” It seems a little soon, as neither title has even hit its tenth issue to establish its own identity, but the characters have been intertwined since their original TV continuity, so it’s not entirely out of left field, either.
The main event this issue is the first meeting (in this continuity) of Buffy Summers and Angel, the vampire with a soul. It’s a surprisingly understated moment--in fact, Angel is masked the whole time, so readers unfamiliar with the characters might not even realize that that’s who Buffy’s talking to. After being absent for a few issues while the Scoobies dealt with Xander’s vampirism, the series’ big bad--Drusilla, aka The Mistress--returns to steal the key to the Hellmouth from the museum, where Giles, Jenny Calendar, and Buffy’s mother Joyce all happen to be gathered.
Writer Jordie Bellaire has, at this point, an excellent handle on these individual characters’ voices. One major highlight is the banter between Buffy and Xander early in the issue, as well as the aforementioned first meeting of Buffy and Angel.
Penciler David López gets to cut loose a little with some innovative page layouts as Giles, Jenny, and Joyce tour Joyce’s museum exhibit. Raúl Angulo also has the opportunity to stretch his muscles: Buffy spends the issue at Sunnydale High’s Halloween dance, and the coloring there (and on the final page) is fantastic. The lettering by Ed Dukeshire is excellent as well.
Boom! Studios’ reboot of the Buffyverse has been an ambitious project from the start. This issue is a promising (if slight) beginning for their first crossover.