New comic series takes 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' back to Sunnydale High

buffy cover.jpg
Matt Taylor's cover for Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1. (BOOM! Studios)

Buffy Summers is apparently heading back to high school as creator Joss Whedon and BOOM! Studios reboot the cult-favorite franchise for a new comic book series early next year.

Announced Friday, the book will be written by Jordie Bellaire, with art by Dan Mora. Whedon will serve as “story consultant” on the series.

The character originally appeared in a very 1992 film starring Kristy Swanson and Luke Perry. Whedon revived the property with Sarah Michelle Gellar as the lead for a much more beloved TV series that ran for seven seasons, premiering on the WB in 1997 and wrapping up on the UPN in 2003.

“Buffy has brought my life so much joy and to be part of that now is ridiculously overwhelming on many levels,” Bellaire said in a statement. “My very favorite aspect of Buffy is how we have a wide group of characters that love each other, hurt each other and sometimes, they even kill each other. I can’t wait to dabble within that universe to find new stories, explore older ones and forever maintain the theme of self discovery and growing up, whatever that means.”

The information released so far suggests the new series will return to the character’s high school years. The most recent runs of the series at Dark Horse Comics had picked up where season 7 of the original TV series left off, telling five more “seasons” of stories in that continuity.

According to the description released by BOOM!:

This is the Buffy Summers you know, who wants what every average teenager wants: friends at her new school, decent grades, and to escape her imposed destiny as the next in a long line of vampire slayers tasked with defeating the forces of evil. But the Slayer’s world looks a lot more like the one outside your window, as this new series brings her into a new era with new challenges, new friendsand a few enemies you might already recognize. The more things change, the more they stay the same, as the Gang – Giles, Willow, Xander, Cordelia and more – faces brand new Big Bads, and a threat lurking beneath the perfectly manicured exterior of Sunnydale High, confirming what every teenager has always known: high school truly is hell. WELCOME BACK TO THE HELLMOUTH, FOR THE FIRST TIME!

Jeanine Schaefer, executive editor for BOOM! Studios, said the creators are “reimagining the story of Buffy and the Gang for a new generation” to tackle the themes of the show in the modern world.

Separately, Monica Owusu-Breen is working on a TV revival of the series that will feature an African-American lead.

BOOM! has also picked up the license for Whedon’s sci-fi western series “Firefly,” with a new ongoing series launching in December.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1 is scheduled for release on January 9. In addition to a main cover by Matthew Taylor, the book will feature variants by Kevin Wada, Royal Dunlap, Becca Carey, and Jen Bartel.