Talk To The Hand: Reviewing ‘Buffy ’97’ #1

by Scott Redmond


Strap on the roller blades, grab your Discman, and head on down to the mall for some shopping fun because Buffy the Vampire Slayer is taking a trip back to where it all began in the radical ’90s. Boom Studio’s latest Buffy story is a really fun one-shot that is pure fun in every aspect while it maintains the spirit and character of the beloved television series.


Comics books are a medium where a great many ideas, especially the fun ones, can find a life that might not work out in some other mediums. Like what if one had the idea to take Buffy the Vampire Slayer and turn the coming-of-age drama series into any other teenage-style sitcom lite series from the ’90s?

Well, that is now a reality with the nintiestastic Buffy ’97 from BOOM! Studios.

Series starring versions of a character from a specific era, generally carrying on from movies featuring that character, are pretty common recently. This one-shot is very different from those though. This isn’t just taking the Buffy show from the 90s and carrying it on in this medium. No, this comic is actually like if the aforementioned Buffy ’90s drama sitcom existed, and this issue is one of the episodes of the series.

It’s clear that Jeremy Lambert is not only having fun playing with these characters in this type of world but just likes these characters overall. While they are the most 90s ever versions of themselves in the best way possible, there are elements that pop up that reference things that we knew from the original show. Spike’s inclusion here pretty firmly sets up where this fits adjacent to the timeline of the original show. Overall, this story is just so over the top and amazing in every single way.

From the way that the characters talk to the emphasis on things like roller blades, the fashion, the overuse of internet lingo, and even the appearance of their version of Tamagotchi like digital pet devices. Serious comics are great, but sometimes one just needs comics like this that are pure fun, especially in the world we’re living in currently.

Marianna Ignazzi and Mattia Iancono’s artwork and colors help make things even more authentic and fun as the imagery/style they are putting down feels ripped right out of the 90s. There is a classic comic feel to the imagery that Ignazzi is putting down, yet it is also modern in many sensibilities such as the paneling and the way things are laid out giving the best of both worlds. The colors are bright and stand out greatly but also are somewhat toned down or given a sort of washed-out feeling which makes it feel like this is a classic story that has been picked up to read now. We’re given a lot of really cool visuals when it comes to the idea of characters being pulled into a magazine, and it just works so well.

Letters across the various Buffy books are the domain of Ed Dukeshire these days, and he does them so well. All the dialogue and other lettering flow well across the pages and there are great little things done to make the energy and personality of the characters show up well in the dialogue. Always love the vampire bubbles being rough compared to the smooth bubbles of humans.

Buffy’ 97 #1 is now available from BOOM! Studios

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