Finally, Joss Whedon has lost all budget, studio and special effects limitations. I adore the cover - Willow, Buffy and Xander with helicopters overhead that clearly belong to them - but the inset art is even better: Buffy wrestling with the enormous T-Rex-style jaws of a green and scaly demon.
NB: Some TV Series spoilers ahead!!
If you're under thirty, you may actually be unaware of what "Buffy" is (other than the worst possible abbreviation of "Elizabeth"). It's a well-known horror trope that the pretty girl wanders off alone an empty street. . . hears something coming after her. . . and dies horribly. Joss Whedon's original "Buffy" concept was the question, "What if the monster follows the girl. . . and IT dies horribly instead?"
Buffy is a Vampire Slayer - the one girl from each generation chosen to keep the monsters at bay, and given great powers to do so. Except she's not the only one any more. At the very end of the TV series, Willow did a spell turning all potential slayers - thousands of normal women around the world - into actual slayers, with all the power and knowledge that entails. So, as Buffy says in the comic, "People call me ma'am now."
So things are different, and yet oddly similar. There are familiar villains, and a mysterious big bad pulling strings. Things are awkward between love interests; Dawn is in trouble; and there are undead monsters on the rise.
In short, Buffy is back. This is an extremely good graphic novel, and it stays on track and excellent all the way through to the end of the entire series (quite a few books down the track, but the whole "season" is out now). And yes, it smells deliciously of Joss Whedon's trademark humour on every page.
The artwork is full-colour and flawless. Everyone looks exactly as they should, and I could pick dozens of panels to enlarge and frame.