Buffy The Vampire Slayer #4 is published by BOOM! Studios and is the fourth issue in the revamping of Joss Whedon’s classic series of the same name, and it closes out the first arc in the new series. Written by Jordie Bellaire, with illustrations from Dan Mora, colors from Raúl Angulo, and letters by Ed Dukeshire, issue four jumps in time after the events of the last issue which left Spike and Drusilla hunted down by Camazotz, before the Scooby Gang put him away.
In this issue, we see an exhausted Buffy. Sure, she isn’t fighting off Spike and Dru, but she is still fighting every night and its taking a toll on her. However, as much as Buffy the Vampire Slayer #4 is about the titular character, it is really about Xander. As an overlay for almost every scene in the comic we get a small blue box filled with anxiety and self-doubt. Much like what happened in issue two, halfway through the issue you realize that these aren’t Buffy’s thoughts, they’re his.
Like I’ve said in other reviews of previous issues, this series is proof that rebooting existing properties can work. While Xander’s self-doubt is not new to his character, this exploration of it from the jump is, and its refreshing. Although I’m sad to see him in danger, I am overwhelmed with the joy that Bellaire is writing complex and three-dimensional Scoobies.
This newly rebooted series is also filling in some plot issues from the television series, specifically, both Willow and Xander train along side Buffy. Although they are certainly less capable than the Slayer, they are learning to take care of themselves. While it can be assumed at lease some of this happened in off-screen in the show, we never get to see the two training to keep up with their friend.
In the montage that shows the group fighting off baddies in the “lull” after Spike and Dru disappeared, we get to see all three of our main characters fighting together. That being said, as Xander’s thoughts paint the captions, its apparent that his best isn’t good enough for him. He is struggling with more than blood-sucking vampires. Failing grades, walks alone, Xander isn’t okay and this leads tragically right into Spike and Dru’s hidden plan.
The finale to this issue is shocking, scary and hits you hard. With a fan favorite character lurking in the shadows, Buffy the Vampire Slayer remains a comic series for every horror and Buffy fan to read.
Overall, this issue brings out a vulnerability in Xander, and it showcases situation that he has found himself in before: the knight in distress, whether it be because of a mummy girlfriend, a preying mantis demon, or in this case an evil plan of seduction. Xander is a character whose self-doubt and heart have made him one of my favorite male characters ever brought to life and this issue taps into that. Buffy the Vampire Slayer #4 is a bloody good time that keeps it’s foot on the gas pedal and a hand on your heart.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #4 is available everywhere now.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #4
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #4 is a bloody good time that keeps it’s foot on the gas pedal and a hand on your heart.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.