Wednesday, June 12, 2024

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‘The Vampire Hunter Issue #14′ Does Well Continuing Series’ Overall Story

Courtesy: Boom! Studios
Cover Art by: Skylar Patridge

The multiverse is and has been big business for the comic book industry.  Reaching as far back as the industry’s silver age, the multiverse has created countless stories especially for Marvel and DC. It has been largely at the center of Marvel’s cinematic world ever since the studio ended its initial phase with the “Infinity War” story and has continued to play a role in so many of the studio’s movies ever since then.  For DC, the multiverse will become a thing this year with the new Flash movie as DC works to reset everything created by the so-called “Snyder-verse” (and justifiably so, considering the damage Zack Snyder did to DC’s beloved comic characters).

Considering the impact of the multiverse on the comic book world’s two biggest companies, it should come as no surprise that other comic book companies would eventually launch their own multiverses.  Enter Boom! Studios’ The Vampire Slayer series, which was launched in April 2022.  In this alternate universe series, Buffy is replaced by Willow as the bearer of the mantle after an attempt by Buffy’s friends to help her deal with the emotional and psychological strain of being the infamous hunter of all things evil.  Over the course of the series’ 13 current issues, Buffy has worked her way back to her former self so that she can once again be the series’ titular character, and in the new forthcoming Issue #14 – due in stores Wednesday – it would look to be that she is continuing to make progress.  The story in this issue also turns the attention to Spike and Buffy’s other friends as one of Spike’s old flames enters the story, which allegedly is now in its final arc.  The story will be discussed shortly.  The issue’s dialogue adds its own touch to the presentation and will be discussed a little later.  The book’s art rounds out its most important elements and will also be addressed later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of this issue’s presentation.  All things considered they make The Vampire Slayer Issue #14 an interesting new chapter in the series’ current run.

Courtesy: Boom! Studios

The Vampire Slayer Issue #14, the forthcoming latest chapter in Boom! Studios’ current entry in its Buffy The Vampire Slayer comic book adaptation franchise, is an interesting addition to the series, which launched last year.  The interest comes largely from its story.  Spanning 22 pages (not counting the cover and opening credits page), the story in this issue finds Buffy, Faith and Spike breaking into a vacant building in search of the monster “baby crab”, which has been terrorizing Sunnydale since the current series launched last year.  The crab is not the only matter of interest for the trio, as writer Sarah Gailey reveals early in the story.  Drusilla, a former love interest of Spike, happens to be in the building and captures Spike.  She tries to force Spike to reveal what he knows about Buffy and her friends, and of course her method of getting information out of him works, too, setting up the cliffhanger for Issue #15.  Drusilla and her minions find Buffy’s friends thanks to Spike’s forced confession.  The random opening to this issue’s story makes the issue a good jumping on point for readers, but then as the story progresses, it becomes clear that readers will have to have to some familiarity with the series’ overall story.  This is made clear through the mentions of the crab in the dialogue, considering it is really at the center of this story arc.  This is hardly enough to doom the story, but again, without some form of clarification for readers or even an understanding of the background set up in the series by readers themselves, the overall engagement and entertainment in this issue is decreased to a point.

While the dialogue presented in this issue does create a little bit of an issue for new readers, it also offers some high points, too.  Case in point comes right from the issue’s outset as Spike and Faith argue about whether or not he is going to go into the building as Buffy is kept busy fighting Waltirr and some of Drusilla’s other minions.  The pair’s back and forth juxtaposed with Buffy having to do the hard work herself is a classic comedy bit that has been used countless times in so many movies and TV shows of so many genres.  Even used here it creates such a great moment because of how Faith and Spike playfully bicker with each other as Buffy tries to ask for help.  Shortly after this sequence, Waltirr is choking out Buffy as she battles him, and randomly starts having a casual conversation with Spike since the pair know each other, and Waltirr is surprised to see him again.  As with the previous scene, this moment makes for its own entertainment because of the casual nature of the pair’s conversation as Waltirr is about to kill Buffy.  The irony of the situation and that conversation makes for another comical moment that makes the dialogue even more enjoyable.

Courtesy: Boom! Studios

On a different note, Drusilla’s monologue about her evil plan and her demeanor as she talks about having gotten therapy is funny, but also really shows her truly diabolical nature.  Seeing the look in her eyes (credit to the art team) as she raises the matters helps so well to raise that level from her.  It is just one more example of the role that the dialogue plays in this issue of The Vampire Slayer.  When it and the other moments noted here are considered along with the rest of the issue’s dialogue, the whole gives readers who are familiar with the series’ overarching story all the more engaging and entertaining.

The story and its dialogue collectively do a certain amount to make Issue #14 of The Vampire Slayer worth reading at least once and are just part of the overall presentation.  The issue’s art does its own share to add to the presentation.  The use of the coloring in the scene in which Drusilla first enters is a prime example of the role the art in this issue.  The look – Drusilla’s white bridal dress – and the way she holds herself is another classic style scene.  Even with villainesses, it is such an entry that has been done before in other TV shows and movies, so that familiarity and the coloring used to highlight the room and even her look works well here.

Courtesy: Boom! Studios

On another note, the use of light and dark, the shadows and general coloring in the basement scene – in which Faith and Buffy explore the building’s basement for the crab – helps to give the room a great aged look.  It helps to accent the situation that the group has gotten itself into and in turn leads to its own form of engagement.  Back at the magic store, the scene involving the spell cast by Buffy’s friends makes for its own interest.  The way the visions play out, audiences could just as easily see them on screen thanks to the use of colors and the general approach, as if they were in a crystal ball.  It is another notable example of the role of the issue’s art that makes the art important, too.  When it and the other examples noted here are considered along with the rest of the issue’s art, the whole therein proves just as important to the issue as its story and dialogue.  All things considered they make Issue #14 of The Vampire Hunter that the series’ established audiences will find engaging and entertaining.

Courtesy: Boom! Studios

The Vampire Hunter Issue #14 is another successful entry in the series started early last year in the ongoing story of Buffy and her friends.  Its success is due in part through its story.  The story turns the attention from Willow, whose plight had dominated a large part of the story initially, back to Buffy and the ongoing search for the baby crab monster.  It should be noted, again, that the story here is not necessarily the best jumping on point.  Only audiences familiar with this matter – that of the crab for which everyone is searching – will fully get this chapter of the ongoing story.  The dialogue, which finds Buffy and Faith clearly talking about the search makes clear that readers must have some knowledge of the series’ previous issues in order to appreciate this aspect of the issue.  Staying on the topic of the dialogue, it does actually create some funny, light moments early on.  It also leads to a great tense cliffhanger in the issue’s final pages as Drusilla goes in search of Buffy’s friends.  The art exhibited throughout the issue plays its own role here, too, giving impressive looks to various scenes.  Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the issue.  All things considered they may the issue another presentation that established fans of The Vampire Hunter will appreciate.

Courtesy: Boom! Studios








Courtesy: Boom! Studios

The Vampire Hunter Issue #14 is scheduled for release Wednesday.  More information on this and other titles from Boom! Studios is available at: