Boom! Studios has recently breathed new life into Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Jordie Bellaire, Dan Mora, Raúl Angulo, and Ed Dukeshire have created a universe that is respectful and familiar for old-school fans, but relevant and entertaining for a new generation to meet the Scoobies and fall in love with them as they slay demons and tackle Big Bads and teenage troubles with all the charm, wit, and drama of the '90s TV series. More recently, the publisher revealed the surprise launch of an Angel solo-series, with Angel #0 due to hit shelves this week.
As Buffy’s core remains the same in this modern era of slaying, it will be interesting to see if and how the lore and mythos changes in Boom!’s Buffyverse to reflect the demons and concerns modern audiences face. Looking through its extensive history of myths, monsters, legends, and ghouls, we thought it would be fun to see which villains could do with a revisit, overhaul, or modern update through this new venture into Sunnydale and the Hellmouth.
Darla is the first Buffyverse character viewers ever met, appearing in Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s cold open for episode one. Her introduction would set the tone for the entire show, flipping horror tropes of cowering women hiding behind their boyfriends on its head as Darla revealed herself to be a vampire, killing an unsuspecting young man in the middle of Sunnydale High. Darla is a brutal but integral player in both Buffy and Angel.
A young woman sired by The Master himself and later becoming Angel’s sire, it’s hard to imagine rewriting the Buffyverse mythos without including her in some way, undoubtedly with devastating and bloody effects for everyone involved.
9 Zachary Kralik
Buffy has fought off her fair share of vampires over the years. While a few of them do have distinct personalities, most of them merge into forgettable piles of dust once they've encountered Mr Pointy. Zachary Kralik, however, brought a new twist to “Helpless” (Season 3, Episode 12). Before he was sired, Zachary was a serial killer, murdering over a dozen women, including his mother who he killed and ate.
He was locked away in an asylum for the criminally insane before breaking out as a vampire. Fighting vamps without powers is hard enough, but adding a true crime twist where Buffy needs to use her wits to track down and outsmart an enemy who enjoys toying with his victims is a disturbing take on the average vampire foe.
8 Warren Mears
Warren is the absolute worst, but he’s, unfortunately, a character we still readily recognize today. He’s horribly selfish, deeply misogynistic, and completely toxic. But he can’t hide behind the mask of being a demon or something the Hellmouth spewed up. Warren is human. Instead, he blames his dark impulses on the world’s “injustices.” He believes the world (and women) owe him something.
At first, Warren appears to be a laughable nerd, but that’s exactly what makes him dangerous. He makes not one but two female robot slaves to assert control over, and feeling powerless leads him to gun violence. Unpacking his toxic attitude could lead to a timely story, even twenty years after he first appeared on screen.
7 The First
Ultimate power: the manifestation of all sin and evil in the world, combined in one giant ghost-monster which predates time itself. The First was the Big Bad in Buffy’s final season, plotting to eradicate all future slayers and raise an army to destroy the world, but its roots go back as far as season three, occasionally appearing to take on the form of dead cast members.
With no physical body, it’s difficult to kill, making it a formidable foe. But it also made it … a bit of a drag to watch, as it needed to embody the dead or manipulate others to do it’s will. In a fast-paced action-adventure TV show, it’s doesn’t necessarily make for the most interesting villain, but the power of the comics page might allow the real threat of The First’s evil to shine through in a far more menacing way.
6 Ethan Rayne
Ethan Rayne was the diabolical mastermind behind some of the gang’s most entertaining adventures in the early seasons. A warlock and general lover of chaos, he arrived in Sunnydale to give his old schoolmate Giles a hard time and give all Hell the chance to break loose.
A theatrical rogue who found deadly pleasure in causing havoc, his most important role is to reveal Giles’ darker side as Ripper. The two naturally go hand in hand, with Giles forced to loosen the tweed and confront his dark past whenever Ethan showed up in Sunnydale, adding depth to the outwardly-stuffy librarian and Watcher. If Boom! wanted to dabble in young Giles’ rebellious dark side with a Ripper spin-off series, we wouldn’t object!
5 Moloch the Corruptor
When re-watching Buffy, some elements can feel a little … ahem … dated. But in the '90s, the show was at the forefront when experimenting with commentary about the dangers of technology, including internet stranger danger and the dark forces of the online world. In “I Robot, You Jane,” Moloch the Corruptor slid his way into Willow’s DMs pretending to be Malcolm Black, promising love, knowledge, and power to her for doing his dark bidding.
He was able to soak in all knowledge on the internet and control computers. Now, in the fully digital age where no one is ever far from a cellphone, laptop, or tablet, Moloch would be a fun demon to revisit – and may even give us an explanation behind Twitter trolls.
On paper (and once Gina Torres arrives to play her), Jasmine is a great villain. Turning up in season four of Angel, Jasmine is a deity who wants to create a “Utopia” where people are completely devoted to her. As her nickname, “the Devourer,” reveals, she literally feeds on humanity to maintain her human appearance and manipulate people with her mind powers in an effort to create her version of Paradise.
Unfortunately, Jasmine’s onscreen portrayal received mixed reviews from fans. Using Cordelia’s body as a vessel for a while, the arc nearly completely butchered Cordelia’s character. Cordelia has already received a wonderful reimagining in the new Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics, so perhaps this revamped version wouldn’t have to suffer a similar fate her onscreen version did, unhampered by Jasmine’s arc, thereby preserving both characters.
One of the most dangerous villains in the Buffyverse, the list wouldn’t be complete without mention of Glory. Her story is an interesting one – really, she just wants to go home. But for demon goddess Glorificus, going home means unlocking a portal on Earth which would cause every dimension in existence to merge. Given that Buffy’s sister is the key, it’s best Glory doesn’t get to return to her home dimension. Completely unhinged (she literally drinks sanity to try and keep it together), unpredictable, hilarious, and willing to stop at nothing to get what she wants, this bratty goddess is the only villain to ever shake Buffy down to her core.
Add to that the interesting “inner conflict” with her twin, Ben, Glory makes for an interesting villain with countless storytelling possibilities. Plus, we can’t be the only ones curious to see what Glory’s modern wardrobe would look like!
2 The Gentlemen
The Gentlemen only made one appearance in Buffy – the only episode to be nominated for an Emmy Award – “Hush.” It’s one fans regularly cite as being a favorite, which is down to the nightmarish appearance of the gliding fairytale-like demons which arrived in Sunnydale to collect seven hearts, and the episode’s extensive use of silence. This same combination could make a comic book appearance just as chilling.
Actions sometimes speak louder than words, and silent comics don’t necessarily need balloons and captions to tell an impactful story. Introducing The Gentlemen would give the creative team a chance to really play with their storytelling, but could also explore how we communicate without words – while cellphones and laptops might be our downfall in Morloch’s case, it could be our savior by spreading the word when The Gentlemen come to town!
1 Dark Willow
There are few things scarier than one of your closest friends taking a turn down the wrong path, intent on destroying themselves and the world. When absolute-worst Warren shoots Buffy and murders Tara, Willow loses her bright-eyed optimism and becomes engulfed in all-black, pure rage. Turning her emotions and empathy off, she vows to murder those who hurt the ones she loves and not letting anyone stand in her way.
Dark Willow isn’t possessed by a demon intent on using her black magic for destruction, but a powerful young woman struggling with loss, grief, and anger. Buffy centers firmly around friendship, and Boom!’s latest reimagining has already cemented the importance of the Scoobies. Seeing an emotional struggle like Dark Willow’s is an important tale for audiences old and new – but perhaps don’t kill Tara (or Rose) to unleash her powerful dark side.