While Buffy is the most well-known slayer, she is far from the only one. She is the latest in a long line of slayers seeking to protect the world from evil that lurks in the darkness of night, ridding the world of demons, vampires, and any other presence that stalking humanity. BOOM! Studios' new one-shot Buffy: Every Generation puts Buffy in the spotlight once more, but it also takes a minute to feature two previous slayers, and it's in those stories where this volume truly shines. Unfortunately, those don't come until later in this one-shot, so the comic doesn't make the best first impression.
Every Generation kicks off with a look at Buffy's current predicament in the wake of the Hellmouth event. Buffy has lost one of her closest friends, and writer Nilah Magruder uses that loss to shine a light on Buffy's greatest weakness: cutting herself off and going it alone. Yet it's more complex than that, as you could also argue that trait is one of her best qualities, and we see a perfect example of that here against the Hellmother.
As time continues we learn that Buffy's decision to take this mission on by herself stopped the Hellmother's plan in its tracks, though there are consequences for that so-called win. It's a bit murky as to which way is the right way, but that conflict is what we love about this universe in the first place.
With all of that said, this story feels like it could use a trim. It is a full 22 pages, leaving the other two stories, which are far stronger, only half the space. There are several moments that could have been easily tightened to give the other stories more breathing room, or perhaps enough space to feature another contribution altogether.
The visuals from Lauren Knight and Alex Guimarães have their moments, but they are more distracting than immersive, and the characters only shine when there's a close-up or action sequence. Otherwise, things just appear awkward and stilted, and this story might have benefited from a different aesthetic.
Things completely change with the second and third stories, starting with "The Hilot of 1910." Morgan Beem and Lauren Garcia collaborate to tell a rich tale of a slayer in the Philippines called Matay, and element of this story hooked me immediately. There's a freshness to Matay's life as a slayer that begs to be explored further, and the visuals are a perfect complement to the story's tone. I'd love to read more about Matay's in the future, and the same goes for the third Slayer in this one-shot as well.
The third and final story is titled "The Sisters of Angelus," and as you might gather from the title there is a tie to Buffy's most famous vampire. That said, writer and artist Caitlin Yarsky doesn't focus this on Angel, instead emphasizing a slayer named Una and her watcher Graham. Una's lighthearted demeanor would make even Buffy seem serious, but that's part of her charm. After seeing her interactions with Graham, you'll wish there was more of this marvelous duo to read.
Those last two stories make this an issue that no fan of the Slayer-verse should miss, and while the first story has something to say, the execution doesn't hit the same highs as the other stories. Taken as a whole though, Every Generation is definitely recommended reading, it just could've used a bit less Buffy to reach its full potential.
Published by Boom Studios
On June 3, 2020
Written by Nilah Magruder, Morgan Beem and Lauren Garcia, and Caitlin Yarsky
Art by Lauren Knight, Morgan Beem, and Caitlin Yarsky
Colors by Alex Guimarães, Morgan Beem, and Caitlin Yarsky
Letters by Jim Campbell
Cover by Mirka Andolfo