Willow #3 Review: An Introspective Buffy the Vampire Slayer Spinoff

Mariko Tamaki and Natacha Bustos's Willow spinoff has been the best Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic in BOOM! Studios' reboot of the classic Joss Whedon series. It centers on Willow Rosenberg after the events of the Hellmouth crossover, as she goes on a road trip that leads her to a witchy community Abhainn. In this issue, Willow investigates her feelings about this place, wondering if she has found herself in the loving embrace of a community of like-minded women… or a cult.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow #3 cover. Credit: BOOM! Studios
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow #3 cover. Credit: BOOM! Studios

Willow #3 continues everything that makes this Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff a standout series. There's no action, no demonic fights, no huge thrills, and that is, in this series, the draw. Tamaki writes an introspective Willow that can make an issue full of internal thoughts and conversation, like this one, as compelling if not more than the witch vs. demon action we'd see in the main title. Tamaki's Willow Rosenberg is funny and warm, and the slight bits of out-of-character judgment we saw in the last issue is gone, replaced by a patient, inquisitive character who wants to understand the situation she's in without rushing to conclusions.

The artwork in BOOM!'s Buffy titles has overall been strong, but the work we see on Willow is just the next level. The original Dark Horse Buffy, Willow, Spike, and Angel & Faith titles were a draw largely because of the role Whedon played in writing and overseeing the series, but the art wasn't always incredible. Here, though, Willow #3 is brought to beautiful life by Natacha Bustos and colorist Eleonora Bruni. It's all gelled together by letterer Jodi Wynne's light but confident touch. The covers are standouts as well, with Jen Bartel delivering stunning covers bursting with color ever issue, and Mirka Andolfo and Rosemary Valero O'Conner delivering incredible colors as well for Willow #3.

Though I personally still strongly feel that BOOM! Studios didn't need to reboot Buffy to tell current, relevant stories; Willow is worth a read even for skeptical fans of the classic show.

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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