Buffy the Vampire Slayer: New School Nightmare

by Casey Nowak

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: New School Nightmare
Click to Purchase

This was a super cute reboot of the Buffy story with a heavy “what-if” twist. It can easily be an entry point for young audiences that don’t really know anything about the original series as it really has nothing to do with it other than easter eggs that are sprinkled throughout.

I appreciate how the easter eggs make sense in terms of what could realistically be found in the new home location of Cleveland Ohio instead of Sunnydale. You don’t need prior knowledge, but the fan nods are cute.

I will completely admit to laughing a few times and I found the story very comfortable for a young reader too.

“Heckmouth”

Full Review with Spoilers

I actually really loved this comic. It was very cute and put a really interesting twist on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BtVS) story. It does a sort of “what-if” idea with the story.

What if Buffy moved the Cleveland when she was 12 and then was told she was the Slayer? This book does a really good job of answer that question. It follows some of the basic formulas that make it BtVS. Buffy meets her Watcher Miss Sparks, a librarian of course with a love of funky tie designs and she accumulates a couple of friends who have their own talents to bring to the Scooby Gang, namely a witch and a werewolf.

With this being reboot, or retelling depending on how you look at it, you really need no prior knowledge when going into this story. Everything about what a slayer is is explained and nothing is referenced from the original that would go over your head if you hadn’t watched the series. There are references to characters from the original BtVS but only in terms of someone they heard about or someone who did bad stuff somewhere else. It’s fun to see these appear, but it doesn’t take aware from the experience in any way.

Obviously this falls into the category of middle grade young adult, and it fits perfectly. The direction things take, like vampires poofing into a group of bats and use of the term Heckmouth instead of Hellmouth. Everything follows these guidelines very well and I even found myself laughing several times. This was partly for the young adult humor and partly for the highly entertaining art in the book.

Buffy acted pretty much as I expected a preteen Buffy would. The supporting characters, both friend and foe, were unique and all really added something to the story. The big bad of this story was of course to be expected and I feel it sort of speaks to the way 12 year-olds think in their school life.

Overall

This was really fun read. A new and relaxing way to experience the story for new fans and seasoned veterans both young and old. The story is predictably preteen but never boring and the art is perfect for this format.

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