BOOM! Studios’ Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot is almost 10 issues in and experiencing great success. It has remained more or less faithful to the source material while creatively adding to it. Impressively, the series has so far maintained the feel of the original show. It has also managed not to go overboard (yet) with the unlimited power of illustration. The same can’t be said for its predecessor, Dark Horse.
Canonically covering seasons eight to twelve, Dark Horse’s Buffy series often jumped the shark. It was so eager to expand and change Buffy that it felt nothing like what fans left in season seven. That said, there are many things this iteration did well. Here are five things from the Dark Horse series we hope to see in the reboot (& 5 we don’t).
10 Hope to See: Dawn (With Powers)
Buffy’s sister Dawn has always been interesting, in that she originated as a ball of mystical energy. Throughout her time on the show, she never demonstrated supernatural abilities other than being “The Key,” which was one-time use only. During season 10, magic was returned to the world and Dawn exhibited superhuman powers including (not surprisingly) creating portals.
Assuming Dawn shows up in the BOOM! reboot, it would be exciting for her to display more abilities related to her origin. This could go a long way in making the character more exciting and a bigger part of the Scooby team.
9 Hope We Don’t See: Dawn & Xander’s Romance
While it would be great to see Dawn with supernatural abilities as Joss Whedon original considered, Dark Horse can keep the Xander-Dawn romance. The idea of Buffy’s best friend dating her kid sister is a bit nauseating. Season 8 did try to lay the groundwork for this relationship, and it lasted, more or less, through the season 12 series finale.
The two even had a child together in-between seasons 11 and 12. While the BOOM! reboot does not yet include Dawn, if and when it does, her love for Xander would be better off mirroring that of the show.
8 Hope to See: Team Buffy & Team Angel Crossovers
One thing the Dark Horse Buffy comics did that was definitely an improvement over the live-action Buffyverse was more Buffy/Angel team crossovers. Having all the characters under one publisher allows for so much more to happen. Dark Horse took advantage of this with exciting results.
Look at that season 12 finale! To a degree, BOOM! appears to be on board with this idea. Fred is already at Angel’s side and they actually met in Sunnydale rather than LA or Pylea. Between the upcoming Hellmouth event and the new ways characters are appearing, more crossovers are a must.
7 Hope We Don’t See: Twilight
Season 8 featured Twilight (Angel), a masked villain (generally) trying to create the Twilight dimension by amping up Buffy’s power and sleeping with her. The plot exemplifies a terrible misuse of characters that BOOM! will hopefully avoid. Angel being Twilight was a shocking reveal but…why was he evil?
Angel really worked with Amy and Warren? Too much didn’t add up, even if his actions could be chalked up to being manipulated by a strange entity. Angel’s already toting a mask in the reboot’s flashbacks, but a bizarrely convoluted and ill-executed plot like Twilight doesn’t seem near.
6 Hope to See: Out Andrew
Buffy was certainly ahead of its time and Willow’s coming out was a big part of that, but when it came to Andrew, all signs pointed to him also being gay, but it (and he) never came out. Maybe he didn’t need to.
Andrew continued on in the Dark Horse comics, playing a larger role, and eventually coming out and finding love. BOOM! is sure to introduce Andrew, especially since his brother Tucker went to Sunnydale High. In today’s day and age, BOOM! doesn’t need to skirt around Andrew’s sexuality, and we hope they don’t.
5 Hope We Don’t See: Zompires
If fans didn’t think Buffy started to jump the shark during season 6, many began to see it happening throughout the Dark Horse seasons. The series came up with some crazy ideas and zompires may just be the worst.
They appeared in season 9 and they are exactly what they’re named: Vampire zombies. They have all the strength and might of vampires but none of the intelligence and… why? BOOM! take note: These are a no-no. This new breed of vampires reeked of creative desperation. Just look at the name (which Xander is credited with)!
4 Hope to See: Melaka Fray
While BOOM!’s Buffy is far from exploring time travel, Dark Horse fans can’t help but hope that Melaka Fray eventually appears. A Slayer from a dystopian future, Fray enjoyed her own series before crossing over with Buffy the Vampire Slayer's season 8 and 12.
Fray is a straight-up awesome Slayer who stands out among the many Slayers fans have met. She also brings the future into the narrative with her, which could make for interesting plots. However, Fray alone is not enough. BOOM! would be wise to give fans the well achieved Buffy-Fray dynamic demonstrated in the Dark Horse titles.
3 Hope We Don’t See: Warren & Amy Together
Making Amy and Warren into the surprise villain couple from hell in season 8 made for an odd pairing and a bad idea (not as bad as Xander and Dawn, though). Bringing Warren back undermined the conclusions of season 6. Amy is also a strong, literally powerful woman, making her the living definition of the thing Warren hates most.
Even if BOOM! paired them early on in high school and pre-evil, it would fail because it would completely compromise their character foundations. Basically, create couples that fundamentally change the characters. BOOM! maybe rebooting, but the characters are already established.
2 Hope to See: Billy Lane
The idea of a male Slayer certainly spoke to Dark Horse’s ability to build on Joss Whedon’s ideas (Whedon created Fray’s twin brother who had the Slayers’ memories). Billy didn’t have slayer strength but he trained hard, became a Scooby, and got Slayer visions. He eventually became an ally accepted by the mystical essence of the Slayers, gaining their collective memories.
BOOM! may already be heading down a similar road. The comic's standard “into every generation” opening uses “they” rather than “she” regarding the Slayer. The Slayer should always be a woman, but that doesn’t mean Billy can’t stick around.
1 Hope We Don’t See: Spike Traveling Space with a Bug Army
In what is one of Dark Horse’s most bizarre Buffy narratives, Spike finds himself in outer space, traveling with an army of sentient bugs. After saving the bugs from the threat of Wolfram & Hart, Spike is appointed their king. At one point, Buffy even joined him in space.
The Spike-in-space story detracts from the feeling of being in the world of Buffy. While BOOM! has already demonstrated its commitment to expanding on the supernatural elements of Buffy that can become limitless on paper, they’d be wise not to get too out of control with needless intergalactic narratives like this.