Buffy The Vampire Slayer #6 is published by BOOM! Studios and written by Jordie Bellaire, with colors from Raúl Angulo, letters by Ed Dukeshire, and with David López. At the end of the last arc, a dejected Xander unknowingly walked into Drusilla’s trap, leaving him sired and his transformation into a vampire underway. Last issue saw the start of the new arc in the series where Willow, Buffy, Giles, and Jenny are focused on saving his soul.
Buffy The Vampire #6 starts in a jungle-esque area that looks about as different from Sunnydale as you can imagine. Reminiscent of a still from a Tomb Raider game, Buffy and Willow are in the middle of tracking down the soul tie, the only way to save their best friend. Fighting beetles and deciphering a map to find the next test, the two are doing everything they can to save Xander. Like the issues before it, we get to see Willow doing more than stand there clutching a spike or lightly hitting a baddy as we did in the television series. Instead, we see her in the middle of it, fighting with Buffy, even if she needs to be saved.
While the focus of the issue seems to be the quest, it quickly turns to focus on character relationships. The first of these is Willow and Xander. While it is brief, Will is devastated for not calling Xander. For inviting Robin to the movies. For not noticing that he wasn’t well and acting to help him. Truthfully, Bellaire’s words are Will to a tee. Including the great lengths that she goes through to help bring the soul tie back to save him.
One of the other large focuses in Buffy The Vampire Slayer #6 is the friendship and stress between Willow and Buffy. When an unexpected friend shows up, the two have to move to the side and have a conversation. The dialogue here was perfect in bringing out the humor the original series was known for. While the way the two girls butt heads it showcases some of the character flaws that they both see each other as having. While this exchange is there to show increasing stress fracturing two and testing them, it does a lot to show them as more than just one dimensional best friends. They are real friends who disagree and hold onto baggage when things are going wrong but who will ultimately be there for each other.
Out of the stressful exchange between the two, Buffy’s self-assurance is under fire. Her strength is also the thing that endangers those around her because doesn’t ask for help. This isn’t the only time in Buffy The Vampire Slayer #6 that Buffy’s strength comes up. As Giles and Jenny sit watch over Xander, the latter of which is actively keeping up a protective spell around him, Buffy’s vulnerability comes into question. Specifically, Jenny scolds Giles for not protecting her, for not recognizing that she deserves to have her innocence protected.
The exchange is frustrating at first, as Giles states that hhe isn’t Buffy’s father. That’s the truth, he isn’t her father, he’s her Watcher. That being said, the character of Giles is one of the best father-figures that has existed in a television show. But as I continued reading, Bellaire showed us a great understanding of the character.
Giles isn’t there to hold her hand, he’s there to believe in her and guide her. He knows what she is capable of, not because of Slayer powers or strength, but because she will do what is right. In a heartwarming response to Jenny, Giles stresses that unlike her real father, he won’t leave her, and he will be there if she falls. It’s a touching bit of dialogue that finally put Giles and his bond with Buffy in the spotlight and if Bellaire continues writing him this way, he’ll be one of the best dads in all of comics too.
In addition to adding more to Buffy’s character through those around her, Buffy The Vampire Slayer #6 also makes a great point to highlight that the rest of Scoobies are more powerful than Buffy believes. It took years for the show to explore this, to showcase the lengths that Willow and Xander would go to to help and to save the world. This issue sets the groundwork towards highlighting the strength in them all, not just Buffy.
While I have nothing negative to say about the story or Angulo’s colors, I am still attempting to adjust to the change in the artist. Lopez’s work isn’t bad, it just seems tonally different than the story – which is escalated by the vast difference in style between the main cover and the interior pages. While they are done by different artists, I feel like Dan Mora’s art, which was featured in issues one through four fits the new covers done by Marc Aspinall. Beyond that, even with explaining that that “jungle setting” is actually down a hole in the woods of Sunnydale, it’s a weird location with little explanation to help me buy into their map leading them there.
With all of that said, Buffy The Vampire Slayer #6 is a solid issue with enough heart and character progression to build out the world further. I am truly in love with these characters, their relationships, and I’m ready for more.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer #6 is available wherever comics are sold.
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.