Taking its title from the opening dialogue of the series, Boom Comics new series takes quite an impressive approach. When I first heard Giles speak that phrase it carried an extreme weight. The idea is that there is only one for every 20 years. That a Slayer could die and the world would be without until the next was activated was a heavy role for one person to bear. Buffy seemed to be the exception living longer than the others. I always suspected that this was due to some of the unorthodox approaches Buffy took with the role. Between having allies to trusting demons she did things differently. After reading Boom Comics new series it seems Buffy may not be as unique in her approach to living as a Slayer. And even if she is it may not matter in the end.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Every Generation # 1
Where All Paths Lead
Written by Nilah Magruder
Illustrated by Lauren Knight
Colored by Alex Guimaraes
The Hilot of 1910
Written by Morgan Beem and Lauren Garcia
Illustrated by Morgan Beem
The Sisters of Angelus
Written and Illustrated by Caitlin Yarsky
The first issue of Every Generation sees three tales delivered by three different creative teams. I never felt the stories were disjointed. Instead all three provide tales that speak to the larger narrative of the Slayer. Easily overlooked as it has what may seem on the surface as the least connection to Buffy is tale number two, “The Hilot of 1910”. However, writers Morgan Beem and Lauren Garcia would have the reader understand one dilema we thought only Buffy experienced. Who are the real monsters? Story number three “The Sisters of Angelus”, centers on Slayer Una. Caitlin Yarsky reveals a hidden aspect of the way this Slayer lived and ultimately died. Buffy was clearly not the first to realize saving the world was only important if you were doing it to be part of the world.
Into Every Generation
As for the art, each style works with the story and more specifically the time period it is based in. The first tale, “Where All Paths Lead”, takes place during the current Buffy series. Illustrator Lauren Knight makes sure the reader stays connected to it. The art could easily be added to a previous issue. It would be one book with some more dialogue. Story two takes place in the Philippines. Illustrator Morgan Beem chose to give this tale what I can only describe as a “bedtime” story art. The story fits this style as I can imagine a mother reading this tale to her children to caution them and keep them safe. The finale has a medieval or Old World feel. Given the name that comes up in this story I can’t imagine it taking place anywhere else or any other colors scheme would work.
While I have spoken about the writing and art for the other two tales, up until this point I have only spoken of the art of tale one “Where All Paths Lead”. Paths Lead is the longest story in this issue and probably the most profound. Add this title to the other prophetic Buffy-verse statements like “Death is your gift” and the previously mentioned “Every Generation”. If the other two tales were to show Buffy as similar to the other Slayers, then this one serves to prepare Buffy and the reader for what it truly means to be a Slayer.
The decisions Buffy makes in this story and the implications they have seem to be in conflict with everything we know about Ms. Summers. It was an unspoken idea that she survived longer than others because she did things differently. Now it seems less like she was making decisions and more like destiny.