Let’s face it – there are a lot of Buffy comics out there. Most of them matter, while others…don’t so much. People praise the latest releases from Dark Horse (as well they should; Season 10 has been a blast) but they tend to forget that Buffy has had a long legacy in the comic book world that started way back when the show was still airing, before Dawn showed up and Spike started porking the leading lady on the balcony at the Bronze.
(By the way, if you’re not familiar with the history of Buffy comics whatsoever, you need to read this immediately.)
Despite my (sometimes mixed, lets be honest) enjoyment of the latest issues that the big black equestrian beast continues to crank out with Whedon’s guidance, my personal favorite Buffy comic of all time is still a one-shot that was published back during the final years of the show. You may or not remember it – it was known as “Reunion”, and it was written by one of the TV show’s most hilarious writers: Jane Espenson.
Like any good Buffy media tie-in, this fills in a nice little gap in the show’s narrative. Remember at the end of “Flooded“ (6×03) when Buffy received a phone call from Angel, asking her to meet up somewhere halfway between Sunnydale and LA? At the beginning of the next episode, ”Life Serial“ (6×04) Buffy returns from said meeting, which happened off screen because the two love birds did not share the same telvision network anymore. Teasing much?
Well, this particular comic is all about that meeting. Or, rather, what the other characters think might have happened during it.
We are treated to Xander, Dawn and Anya sitting around the table at the Magic Box and speculating on what went down between the two. The funniest is definitely Anya’s, of course, since it’s the most absurd and pokes fun at the starstruck sap of the lovers’ relationship dynamic.
But it’s all fun and games until a fire demon shows up. Which is exactly what happens. It starts showing up throughout all of their stories, causing havoc. And it wants them to keep talking about it so it can attack Buffy and Angel in the stories her friends are telling her. Oh, look! It’s like a metaphor for gossip or something.
After all is said and done, Buffy takes on the fire demon itself after it materializes in physical reality to take her down. This leads to an appropriately ass kicky fight, but what’s really great is the last few panels of the comic, which carry a pretty snappy little punchline.
If you haven’t yet read this comic and are mildly infuriated with vague details, you’re in luck. The entirety of “Reunion” was published online on the BBC’s Buffy webpage, which is still archived here. So if you don’t mind a smidge of early 2000s internet aesthetic, you too can treat yourself to an authentically funny Buffy story that deserves to be a classic. Go on. You know you want to
Stephen Harber could never ever live in a world without shrimp. Bunnies, maybe. But shrimp? No way. He’s co-writing a graphic novel called Occult Generation right now, which has nothing to do with either of those things. But he thought you should know because shameless self-promotion encourages cash flow. He also has a Twitter @onlywriterever. We thank you for your patronage!