Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chosen Ones is a collection of six short stories set in the world of the TV show. The collection was released in 2020, over 15 years after the series finale, and investigates the show’s legacy through five historical Slayers and one story about Buffy herself. Each story explores either how the Slayer was told she was chosen or examines a time in a country’s history where the Slayer worked to make things better for women.
“The Mission” takes places in 1808 America as the indigenous Hutash works against the Spaniards and shows the origins of a Hellmouth, which fans will immediately recognize from the TV show. “The Eating of Men” shows how Silvia must stake her own nanny after witnessing the vampire kill her father in 14th century Bologna—this just after we are shown how much Silvia adores her vampiric nanny and the way this woman encouraged Silvia to develop her cleverness. “Behind the Mask” is a delightful piece that follows Adelaide at a masque ball in 1820 Paris. She’s seen discussing the recent disappearances from other high society events just before being led away from the ball by a mysterious gentleman, where it is revealed that she was hunting him. “Where All Paths Lead” features Buffy and is the most confusing story in this collection. She appears to be trying to stop the opening of the Hellmouth by battling the demon mother amidst little recollections of the past during conversations with a helpful demon full of dire news. “The Hilot of 1910″ is set in the Philippines and combines Western vampire lore and local aswang lore into a story that has our protagonist, Matay, questioning how to define a real demon. Our last story is “The Sisters of Angelus.” Set in 1947 Dublin, Una knows that she is the Slayer, working with her tinkerer grandmother, when her friend is sent to an asylum for unknown reasons. While trying to rescue her friend, Una discovers that the nuns running the asylum are actually vampires who worship Angelus and feed on their charges.
Overall, this collection expands on the diversity seen in the Buffyverse while examining historical prejudice or stereotypes. Each story looks at a cultural aspect or stereotype of women while challenging the truth behind it. The art ranges in style to match the time period or culture while managing to be cohesive, which is not always the case in anthology graphic novels. The artwork does get a bit graphic during the violent scenes that accompany each of the six stories, so it probably shouldn’t be placed in a collection where younger readers will easily find it. If you have adult or older teenage fans of Buffy, this book would do well in your collection as they will pick up on the hints and Easter eggs nestled within these pages. (Fans of Buffy who have been conflicted about reports of creator Joss Whedon’s abusive behavior will likely be relieved to know that Whedon himself has had no involvement with this title.) This collection might also be of interest to anyone that likes to read vampire stories in general, although it may not resonate with them as well if they’re unfamiliar with the lore of the Buffyverse.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chosen Ones
By Mairghread Scott, Celia Lowenthal, Alexa Sharpe, and Nilah Magruder
Art by Ornella Savarese, Lauren Knight, Moran Beem, and Caitlin Yarsky
BOOM! Studios, 2020
Related media: TV to Comic
NFNT Age Recommendation: Adult (18+), Older Teen (16-18)