BOOM! Studios has been rebooting the Buffyverse with 20th Century Studios and are continuing with a new five-issue limited series focused on everyone’s favorite witch: Willow. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow #1, is written by Mariko Tamaki, with art from Natcha Bustos, colors by Eleonora Bruni, and letters from Jodi Wyne. This limited series promises to bring Willow face to face with the truth of her pasts and plant the seeds for a future no one could’ve predicted.
Willow #1 showcases how dynamic the characters of the Buffyverse can be when allowed to thrive outside base tropes – outside of Joss Whedon’s writing. For the first time, I feel like I’m getting to really know just who Willow is and that is facilitated by the fact that she is now, truly alone for the first time in her life. While BOOM!’s Willow has shown herself to way more self-reliant than her on-screen counterpart, this series is set to show how she can rely on herself and Willow must rely only on her instincts—and her magic—to save herself from a threat Buffy never prepared her to face or the rest of the world will pay the price.
In this debut issue, there isn’t any action, but there is emotion. From the first page to the last it’s clear that Willow is struggling, and she’s alone. The majority of Willow #1 is told through narration. Willow leaves to study abroad and then returns to the States only to find herself unable to step back into Sunnydale. When she finds a small town tucked away in the woods, she meets a mysterious woman and they immediately hit it off. But, of course, nothing is as it seems.
Willow #1 is a perfect debut issue for those who are fans of the character and those who haven’t heard of her. In fact, although this issue is informed by the events of both the Hellmouth event and the previous issues of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Willow’s narration provides enough exposition to see the scene for those out of the loop on the current Buffyverse comics. The opening of this issue does a wonderful job of dropping you into Willow’s struggle and placing it within the larger narrative by showing her remove herself from it.
Additionally, Bustos’ art is beautiful, adding an element of whimsy in conjunction with Bruni’s colors. The comic itself is vibrant and even with its brightness, Tamaki is able to write narration that showcases the darkness brewing beneath the surface of it all, whether it be Willow’s sadness of the dangerous mystery in the small town. While I wish I could discuss more, Willow #1 is slim in regards to plot points I can discuss without offering up spoilers.
That said, Willow #1 is well-worth the read for the die-hard Scoobies and the people who just love witches. Between the art and the story, this is an amazing addition to the Buffyverse and honestly, a needed one.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow #1 is available now where comic books are sold.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow #1
Willow #1 is well-worth the read for the die-hard Scoobies and the people who just love witches. Between the art and the story, this is an amazing addition to the Buffyverse and honestly, a needed one.
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.