Review: ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow – Wonderland’ #1

Buffy-the-Vampire-Slayer-Willow-Wonderland-1-Lara-cover

Dark Horse Comics’ latest Buffyverse gem comes in the form of a new dynamic mini-series that follows the trials and tribulations of one Willow Rosenberg as she embarks on a quest to restore magic to the world. Considering the train wreck narrative that’s currently destroying “Spike: A Dark Place”, the anticipation and high hopes surrounding Jeff Parker’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow – Wonderland, has been quickly building momentum, and issue #1 does not disappoint. With on-point characterization from Parker, engrossing artwork by Brian Ching, and two stunning covers to drool over, compliments of David Mack and Megan Lara, this new series is off to an honorable start.

WRITTEN BY: Jeff Parker
ART BY: Brian Ching
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASE: November 7th

“Willow – Wonderland” outlines the consequences of “BtVS: Season 8’s” conclusion following the destruction of the Seed of Wonder (the heart of all magic on earth), and takes place after Willow’s foray through the pages of Christos Gage’s “Angel & Faith: Family Reunion”. Understandably, the idea of jumping into a series that runs concurrently with three related titles can be somewhat daunting, especially for those unfamiliar with the story arcs, but Parker wastes no time in catching readers up to speed at the beginning of the script. He lays out the ramifications of this magic-less world in a way that makes you understand why Willow has to venture on this quest alone; not only for her own sanity, but for the betterment of her world.

Everything that previously made life wonderful is being affected now that magic no longer exists. Without magic in the Buffyverse, inspiration is lacking, visionaries are no longer dreamers, and more disturbingly, suicide rates are increasing by the day. What’s interesting about seeing the severe impact this magic-less world has on their society, is the fact that Parker’s the first writer to actually do so since the start of “Season 9”. It’s a welcomed change of perspective, and one that’s absolutely necessary for the advancement of the narrative.

In this first issue, Willow, who used to be one of the most powerful witches on the planet, has little to no connection with that world anymore. She’s trying to find herself, but in order for her to do so, she must find a connection to a higher plane of existence. So, she travels through this dark and strange dimension full of dark and strange creatures, in hopes of succeeding in her quest. Along the way, Parker introduces Willow to a potential ally, and leaves us wanting more by the end of the issue.

Overall, it’s a worthy first issue with a lot of room to grow, and a definite pull for Willow fans. Parker captures her character so perfectly, that you can’t help imagining Alyson Hannigan’s voice ringing through your ears when reading through the dialogue. Brian Ching’s art compliments Parker’s writing well, but there’s no likeness to Hannigan in the slightest. Of course, that’s not to say his take on Willow isn’t good. I like the fact that he turns her into a more believable “Heroine” in appearance. She’s very strong and determined, and it shows in both script and artwork.

3.5/5 Skulls

Reviewed By – ShadowJayd