In 1997, Buffy the Vampire Slayer rebooted an otherwise forgettable cheesy teen flick into one of the most influential television series of the era. Now even as there's a revamp (ha!) of the television show currently in the works, BOOM! Studios has also announced a reboot of the franchise's comic book incarnation.
Much like the television show, the new comic will be a full blown modern reboot. While it will still center around Buffy Summers coming to Sunnydale and combating the evils that spawn from the local Hellmouth alongside her friends, it will kick off with a teenage Buffy in the modern day, with an eye towards accurately reflecting the current world.
The comic, which is being helmed by Joss Whedon, Jordie Bellaire and Dan Mora, has released four covers for the upcoming first issue. While two of them show off a familiar looking version of Buffy, and a third focuses on the Hellmoth under SUnnydale High School, the fourth variant (by Royal Dunlap) features a decidedly different looking Slayer.
Is this variant cover just that, a cool looking take on the premise and nothing more? Or does the cover hint at a new take on a classic character from the original series?
Is It Buffy?
One theory suggests that it’s just a variant cover, that it’s simply a different look at Buffy Summers. Of course, it would stand to reason that BOOM! would be making a bigger deal out of recasting Buffy as a young African-American woman, which isn't part of the initial announcement.
The other two character covers suggest we’ll be seeing a Buffy that more resembles Sarah Michelle Geller in the comic. Thus, the variant might just be that: A one-off alternate cover by a talented artist that wonders how the character could look, not how they will look. It’s worth noting, though, that characters created for variant covers sometimes take on a life of their own, though, like Marvel's Gwenpool.
Is It Kendra?
The stake in the character’s hand suggests that this is probably a Slayer, or at least someone who knows how to handle themselves like one. If you eliminate Buffy as a candidate, the next logical guess would be to suggest that it’s a new take on Kendra, perhaps hinting at a larger role in the rebooted comic's mythology.
Trained from her youth in case she was ever called upon to be the Slayer, Kendra arrived in Sunnydale, having been empowered after Buffy’s brief death while fighting the Master. She doesn’t last long, though, as she’s pretty quickly killed by Drusilla.
The comics could be looking to explore and expand Kendra in a way the original show never could, which would explain her prominence in the variants. But we’re not sure. The Slayer on the variant cover has an edge of grunge to her that the proper Kendra never exhibited. It could just be a character change, but we’ll see.