This 12 months, BOOM! Studios took management of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comedian guide license. The writer set about reimagining Joss Whedon’s groundbreaking tv sequence in comics type for the trendy period. It rebooted Buffy‘s continuity, sending the Slayer, Buffy Summers, again to highschool. In April the writer launched its unannounced reboot of the Buffy spinoff sequence Angel. The sequence once more follows the brooding vampire with a soul as he tries to make up for previous sins by defending the harmless in Los Angeles, solely this time he hasn’t had his star-crossed romance with Buffy. As the first 12 months of BOOM!’s Buffy-verse nears its finish, the writer kicks off Hellmouth, a crossover occasion between the two sequence.
Jeremy Lambert joins Jordie Bellaire in co-writing Hellmouth #1. Eleonora Carlini offers the artwork, enhanced by Cris Peter’s colours. The situation picks up instantly after the most up-to-date occasions of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Sunnydale High’s Halloween dance involves a halt after the vampire Drusilla begins a ritual to open the Hellmouth beneath the faculty. Buffy scrambles to defeat Drusilla’s try and finds herself joined by Angel. Buffy and Angel lose the race and, dealing with a literal hell-on-Earth state of affairs, take the plunge into the Hellmouth to set issues proper.
In the pages of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Bellaire has proven that she is aware of learn how to convey out the voices of those characters in addition to anybody. That stays true when working alongside Lambert. The alchemy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was at all times present in the writers’ capacity to mix the menacing with the mundane. The present knew learn how to slice by way of rigidity utilizing humor with out undercutting the seriousness of a supernatural menace. Hellmouth #1 achieves that very same stability; it creates pauses in the center of insanity for Cordelia to query Buffy’s selection of Halloween costume. Buffy and Angel shoot the breeze about Los Angeles whereas making a mad sprint for the Hellmouth. The artistic staff additionally peppers emotional beats into the motion. Carlini does a incredible job drawing a second between Buffy and Xander that might be this reboot’s highest emotional peak up to now.
Carlini isn’t any slouch in terms of conveying scale and motion both. As the Hellmouth involves life, Carlini depicts dragons swooping over Sunnydale. It’s a double-page unfold that contrasts Sunnydale’s suburban panorama with the demonic horde rising up from beneath it. In one other scene, Carlini brings dynamism to a tilted web page depicting Buffy sprinting as the flooring crumbles beneath her. The Slayer by no means breaks her stride as she saves a couple of lives alongside the means, and Carlini’s artwork sells that intense momentum.
These heights make the situation’s stumbles all the extra irritating. For all its model, Hellmouth #1 has some storytelling points. There are a couple of cases when Carlini’s art work isn’t as clear appropriately depicting a selected second. There’s additionally so much taking place right here, between the snappy dialogue and unleashing the hordes of the abyss, and the situation is not efficient at highlighting what’s essential. Upon a second studying, issues turn out to be far more clear since the reader has foreknowledge of the place the narrative goes. Having the occasions of the earlier situation of Buffy contemporary in thoughts additionally helps, suggesting this will not be as a lot of an issue in the collected version. As it stands, the situation could go away some readers confused or feeling like they missed one thing after their first move.
Hellmouth #1 additionally suffers from a typical drawback with highly-anticipated occasions. The first situation solely takes readers so far as what the solicitation textual content already revealed. There’s little right here that can shock anybody who was already anticipating Hellmouth. There’s additionally not a lot below the floor of this situation, although we count on it’ll go deeper as Buffy and Angel fall additional into the Hellmouth in later points.
Despite a couple of weak factors, that is an entertaining debut for Hellmouth. The artistic staff brings a major sense of scale to the situation. It’s Buffy and Angel receiving the blockbuster therapy, and that’s precisely as a lot enjoyable as you’d count on it to be. It’s additionally a credit score to all concerned that they don’t lose sight of the characters in the midst of the unfolding apocalypse. Hellmouth #1 units a hell of a tone, and we’re excited to see the place it takes Buffy and Angel subsequent.
Published by BOOM! Studios
On October 9, 2019
Written by Joride Bellaire & Jeremy Lambert
Art by Eleanora Carlini
Colors by Cris Peter
Letters by Ed Dukeshire