The world of the Buffy-verse is vast. As the slayer, Buffy is only one in a long line of chosen women to bear the weight of the world on their shoulders and face dangers that are worse than nightmares. With Buffy The Vampire Slayer: The Chosen Ones from BOOM! Studios, fans of Joss Whedon’s Buffy-verse are set to discover the first full appearances of the Slayers from past eras.
We got our first peek at these heroines in the variant covers for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Now, in The Chosen Ones, we get to see into their lives as each issue of this one-shot contain multiple stories. For those familiar with the Slayer timeline of the established Buffy-verse, these histories fit into the new reimagined timeline started with Buffy The Vampire Slayer #1 earlier this year.
In The Chosen Ones #1 we get three stories of historical slayers, the first of which is titled “The Mission.” Written by Mairghread Scott, with art from Ornella Sacarese, colors from Wesllei Manoel, and letters by Jime Campbell, we watch the creation of the Hellmouth in 19th century Sunnydale and meet a Native American Slayer named Hutash.
The monsters in “The Mission” are two-fold, the Spanish who are vampires and the Spanish who are not. Both carry a sense of superiority that leads them to view the indigenous people as less-deserving of the land and less-deserving of life. While this story builds out the lore of the Hellmouth in the heart of Sunnydale it also offers a look at the monstrosity of colonization. There is no difference between the vampires looking to turn the indigenous population into food and the colonizers looking to turn them into slaves.
Through Hutash, we see a fight against both monsters as she pushes her Watcher away and chooses her people over the Council’s mission. Scott’s writing is powerful here and Sacarese’s art is breathtaking. Both worked to bring a powerful story, accented with a beautiful narration of the story from Hutash herself.
The second story in The Chosen Ones #1 is titled “The Eating of Men” and follows a slayer named Silvia, a young girl in 14th century Italy. Written and illlustrated by Celia Lowenthal, this story is far different than the first in this issue. While Hutash is a capable, strong, and aware of the dangers of the world, Silvia is naïve, a child, and still living her life as if that the “man-eater” her friends talk about is nothing more than a legend, not a reality.
“The Eating of Men” follows Silvia as she discovers the truth about the world and awakens. The story is wordy but effective and the art is hard to adjust to given the strength and style of “The Mission.” This story is bathed in reds and blues, with thin linework accenting pages that use simple colors. It adds a pop art feel that grows on you as the story picks up.
“The Eating of Men” is effective as a coming of age story for a Slayer. It offers up a child-like view of the world while breaking it in the same narrative. The variances in Slayer experiences is one to be commended in The Chosen Ones #1 as the third and final story brings more differences.
The last story of this issue is “Behind the Mask,” written and illustrated by Alex Sharpe. It follows a Slayer names Adelaide in 1820 Paris. Adventurous and unafraid, “Behind the Mask” offers up a story that is very different than the other two in The Chosen Ones #1. It’s just fun. There isn’t a larger emotional message, just a slayer who is good at what she does and is unafraid.
While Sacarese’s art from “The Mission” remains my favorite of the three stories in this number one, Sharpe’s art is a beautiful Nouveau-Vaudeville style that flows on the page, leading you to hear the music from the masquerade as you move through the pages. It’s simplistic in its story and its coloring, mostly yellows with pops of red, but it gets the job done, rounding out the Slayer stories.
Perhaps the saddest part of The Chosen Ones #1 is that “Behind the Mask” takes place 12 years after “The Mission.” Given that only one Slayer can be awakened at any given time it means that Hutash did not live into old age. That being said, Buffy The Vampire Slayer: The Chosen Ones #1 proves to be a wonderful and inspective piece of Slayer lore that also aims to move its audience. As a die-hard Buffy fan, I can’t wait for the rest of this one-shot and how it expands the Buffy-verse.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer: The Chosen Ones #1 is available now.
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.