Into every generation, a Slayer is born–but sometimes, that Slayer has no clue who she is. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Faith kicks off with an activity far too many of us are missing right now: A day at the movies. Faith is a one-woman MST3K show during the stinkers but is ready to settle in for the beginning of the perfect movie: Die Hard. That’s when she wakes up, completely dazed, in a different outfit, with few memories of recent events. We follow her journey as she tries to discover the truth; what are her real memories and what are just replays from the movies? And why do these random, creepy guys with sharp teeth keep asking for a beat-down? Unfortunately for Faith, a lot of outside parties seem invested in her powers–and her inability to remember anything.
First, let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way about the unfortunately (and almost assuredly contractually) credited creator of the Buffyverse. A lot has been said already about the allegations, and a comic review isn’t the place to dig into it further. I don’t want the sins of one man to detract from the work of the many creative souls that went into bringing this comic together. So, I hope that expectation has been aptly set.
Speaking of expectations, here’s what is useful to know about this book. The solicit from Boom! marks this as an origin story, and given the “Fin…for now” in the last panel, I’m going to go ahead and assume this is a one-shot. And, as with any licensed comicbook story, there are two inevitable questions: “Will this appeal to fans of the show?” and “Will this appeal to newcomers?”
My answer to both of those questions is, “Maybe.” For the fans, writer Jeremy Lambert captures our favorite bad-girl Slayer’s personality to near-perfection. She’s brash, disrespectful, and packs a mean punch. We also get glimpses into a pretty dark and sordid past, and backstories are always a treat for those of us who didn’t get quite enough development of a beloved character from the original source. Eleonora Carlini’s artwork also carries the story with clear action and sharp character designs. And Mattia Iacono’s colors match each dingy, grimy, vampire-y setting with just the right tone and palette.
As for the method of delivery, I get where we were going with it, but the execution was a little rough. Since this deals with a lost/stolen memory narrative, you can hardly expect a clear, linear narrative–and rightfully so. And, as someone with an already piss-poor memory (thanks, Lyme disease), there is a certain empathetic aspect toward Faith’s story. However, the disjointed seesaw ride ultimately makes the first read-through a little distracting. As you’re trying to sort out the details of one scene, the next scene hits you before you’re ready, leaving you all the more confused even as the details of the story start to reveal themselves. That–coupled with a reveal at the end that only fans of the Scooby Gang will recognize–makes this difficult to recommend as a jumping-on point.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Faith sets up some intriguing intersections for the comic Buffyverse down the road, but a bumpy narrative might make this one a bit difficult to have wide appeal.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Faith
Lead with Poor Memory6.0/10
Scooby Gang Snacks3.0/10
- Writer: Jeremy Lambert
- Artist: Eleonora Carlini
- Colorist: Mattia Iacono
- Letterer: Jim Campbell
- Cover Artist: Kevin Wada
- Variant Cover Artists: Kevin Wada, Joe Quinones, Dani
- Publisher: Boom! Studios