Buffy the Vampire Slayer # 51
(Dark Horse) (Volume 1, 1998-2003)
Creators: Scott Lobdell (plot); Fabian Nicieza (script); Cliff Richards (pencils); Will Conrad (inks)
Setting: Between Movie and Season 1
T.V./Movie Character Appearances: Buffy, Pike, Dawn, Joyce, Hank Summers, Giles, Quentin Travers, Angel,
Major Original Characters: None
Summary: In the weeks after accidentally burning down her high school's gym fighting vampires (and facing the death of her Watcher, Merrick), Buffy continues the fight against vampires with the help of her friend Pike. She intervenes when a group of vampires attack police officers and, with Pike's help, stakes several of the monsters. When he drops her off at home late at night, she sneaks into her room to find that Dawn is sleeping in her bed. She and Dawn argue until Joyce comes in to settle the fight. The next day, Joyce, Hank, and Buffy attend Buffy's school (Hemery High) for a meeting on whether she can be readmitted. The petition is denied, and she is expelled, causing Hank to lash out at Buffy. Meanwhile, in England, the Watchers Council realizes that Merrick is dead and decide to find a replacement. Quentin Travers says he is considering two candidates: William Bryardale and Rupert Giles. Rupert beats up a demon to get a spell he can cast on a classmate. Back in Los Angeles, Buffy watches her parents argue and then sneaks out to fight more vampires with Pike. After dusting them, she gets a lead that they may be coming in from Las Vegas. On the spur of the moment, Buffy accepts Pike's offer to head there. Little does she know that one of the most feared vampires of all, Angelus, has also heard about vampires having a welcome invitation to Las Vegas . . .
This is good! It nicely fills in a gap in Buffy's story by telling us what happened after the end of the movie and before the first episode of the TV show. We were given clues to some of this (Hank & Joyce fighting, the expulsion, etc.) but seeing how it played out is very cool. I think they should have played up more of Buffy's "valley girl" persona that was a big part of the movie, as she's a bit too much already like more down-to-earth TV series Buffy. It's also going to be interesting to see more of the Watchers Council decision to send Giles. A strong start to a new story arc.
* Buffy gives Dawn the famous "Mr. Gordo" before running away
* The letters page has some missives complaining about the delays with Fray, and it's clear editor Scott Allie is annoyed too.