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Saturday, 6 February 2010

Tales of the Slayers

Writer: Various but includes Joss Whedon, Amber Benson, David Fury and Jane Espenson
Pencils: Various but includes Tim Sale and Karl Moline
Colours: Various but includes Dave Stewart
Inks: Various but includes Andy Owens
Letters: Various but includes Michelle Madsen
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

What's it about?
Based on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series. This book features eight short stories of other Slayers who have lived throughout the ages, all written by people involved in the Buffy TV show.

We meet the first Slayer and learn how other humans view her, there's a Slayer from the middle ages with narration told in rhyme, a slayer living in Nazi Germany, Nikki - the Slayer Spike stole his infamous black leather coat from, and four others.  Each story centres on a pivotal moment in the Slayer's life and gives us a glimpse into the history of a well loved and well respected lineage.

What's good about it?
These aren't merely tales of young women in fights.  Each story has something to add to the Buffy mythos and many examine the morality of the time they are set in.  This may be the relationship between witchcraft and the church, the restrictions placed on women in the 1800s, the French revolution of the culpability of all citizens in Hitler's Germany.

The art is different for each tale and I find this helps with separating the different eras out and distinguishing each Slayer's life and personality.

For fans of the Buffy TV show this volume is really a must-read as it adds so much to an already excellent and fairly complete world.  It continues the themes of women's empowerment and self sufficiency and creates some truly memorable heroines.

What's bad about it?
If you're not familiar with the TV show some of these stories may not mean much to you.  Certainly the tales of the first and last Slayer won't resonate as much as they will to Buffy fans.  The other stories may be enjoyable without knowing the TV canon, but I'd imagine that if you like the idea of vampires and Slayers you've probably already made up your mind about Buffy.

If you didn't like the TV programme I can't see why you'd like this book.  But by all means, if you dislike the show and like this comic, please tell me in the comments!

What's the art like?
Each story has a different artistic team which works nicely.  There is no cheesecake or sexy poses here and all of these women look incredibly dangerous.  This is not a book where women are sexy first and heroic second.  They are broad shouldered, muscly and will hold their own against any number of beasties, be they demon or human.  Take a look:


Other information
Price: I think this may be out of print, but as with the other out of print books we've recommended you will be able to get this from ebay or Amazon.  I would pay around 10 or 11 pounds for a brand new copy, so I'd suggest paying no more than about £6 for a second hand copy.
ISBN: 1840233672


  1. just ordered it from Amazon US. should be here next week, and then a few weeks after, BtVS book "Retreat."

  2. Great! I plan to do a review of Tales of the Vampires and Fray at some point too. I heartily reccommend then for all Buffy fans!