Buffy the Vampire Slayer – The Origin
Dark Horse Comics – Sept. 15, 1999
Writer(s): Christopher Golden, Dan Brereton
(based on the original script for the film by Joss Whedon)
Artists: Joe Bennett, Rick Ketcham, Randy Emberlin, J. Jadsen, Jeremy Cox, Guy Major
Editor: Scott Allie

In “Becoming: Part 1” we get a view of Buffy being found by her first Watcher, Merrick. Its a brief moment that is supposed to remind us of the characters’ origins. This is a callback to the film, on which the entire series is based. The story, of course, is that Whedon had the reins taken from him and the script was altered to be the… thing it ended up being. But here, finally, we get to see an adapted version of Joss’ narrative, albeit in comic form. What do I make of this?

Well, for starters this is the best story in the comics thus far. I mean, to compare it to those atrocious “Spike & Dru” stories, its a no-brainer. “The Origin” is the clear winner. But this doesn’t really mean that much, in the end. The art is a step up, yes, but the script itself is so bad. I’m a big fan of Joss Whedon, I trust that his original script was probably dynamite and a good thing. But here, truncated for maximizing page space, it is rushed, goofy (still) and just dumb. The bad guy (no longer being hammed up to holy hell by Ruter Hauer), Lothos, is a joke bad guy. If you take this narrative seriously within the context of the show, he’s so super powerful. He’s killed dozens of slayers, he says, and he’s just a bad looking mother. But then Buffy stakes him with little to no struggle at the end. Ho-hum.

Other complaints stem from the art decisions as far as animating vampires goes. They’re almost feral, furry bat-like creatures, and less like the vamps we know and love from the show. Maybe this is how the script called for their transformations to go, or maybe it was just some kind of odd liberty taken to make any attempt at Buffy’s origin story suck balls. But the fact remains that it is simply a joke, and not one that’s really funny.

The action, here, is displayed properly, and the characters seem true to what we’ve seen (although comic-Merrick is a lot less stressed out seeming, in comparison to the one featured in that flashback). We also get reintroduced to the character played by Luke Perry, Pike. He’s dumb and uninteresting, but that’s OK. I don’t mind it one bit. It simply works itself out in the end. Even though his introduction into believing in vampires is dumb and uninteresting. Aside from these three, though (Buffy included), the bad guys are lame and I don’t care about them. Lothos, for example, is one-note, and his right hand man is no-note. Yawn.

“Buffy: The Origin” works well enough as a cute nod to both that flashback and the original film, while at the same time trying to make the movie a thing of the past. It fails mostly, simply because it reminds me of the film and it just as corny, although in another way altogether. The rushed story, the lack of character development, and the stupid plot (Lothos hates California because people are shallow. Seriously. That’s what he’s there to do, kill people in L.A. because they’re materialistic. Duh.) keep this from being the step in the right direction I’m sure they wanted. Instead, its simply a lateral move.

REVIEW: Best comic, yet, but still so… so stupid. Ehhh…. maybe like a 60/100 kinda thing.