This year Buffy Summers, one of the greatest characters in the history of sci-fi and fantasy television and the #1 kick-ass heroine of all time in any medium celebrates a major benchmark as the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer turns twenty. Dark Horse Comics–publisher of the Buffy comic books and related characters from the series including titles featuring Angel, Spike, and Faith–announced this past week that a new trade edition of its Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The High School Years monthly series is available for pre-order, and an adult coloring book for the series was released last week.
The television series was groundbreaking, its first episode airing March 10, 1997, on The WB. With high school and college as a backdrop, the incomparable showrunner Joss Whedon was able to address racism, identity, bullying, guilt, death, first love, and heartbreak using demons as metaphors. Never before on television had a teenage girl been empowered like Buffy, with smart writing, lovable characters, fun monster-of-the-week episodes, action-packed choreographed battles, and emotional and dramatic arcs that continued over seven years from 1997 to 2003. Buffy Summers, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, would go on to inspire other great shows with smart, strong, and empowered young women, including Veronica Mars and iZombie.
It’s a subject of debate among Buffy fans, but some of the best episodes and story arcs of the series can be found in the first seasons of the series. Dark Horse’s new collected edition of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The High School Years, titled Parental Parasite, taps into fans’ nostalgia, taking readers back to the first season of the series, when Buffy’s mom starts to want more “quality time” just as Buffy must secretly fend of monsters as part of her nightly slaying duties.
Dark Horse has taken Buffy all the way into four seasons of stories beyond the finale of the TV series. Check out a cover gallery after the cut, and links to hardcover and trade editions of Seasons 8, 9, 10, and 11.