In every generation there is a chosen one. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the slayer.
Who is Buffy Summers ?
She made a first appearance in the 1992 film Buffy the Vampire Slayer, before becoming the badass heroine of her own television show and comic books. Presented as a shallow high school cheerleader, Buffy is the Chosen One. She is gifted with the strength and skills to fight vampires, demons and other supernatural creatures.
As Buffy grows up, she must face the challenge of every teenager (and after, adult) life and also the darkness. She is surrounded by friends and family who help her in her mission.
Buffyverse Comic Books in order :
Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics publication begun during the television show aired. Most of those stories during that time take place in parallel to the series’s events. Despite that, they are not all considered canonical.
The first series of books were published by Dark Horse Comics between 1998 and 2004. After the show conclusion, the publisher began releasing new season and spin-offs written and/or supervised by creator Joss Whedon and officially recognized as canon to the show.
At some point, Dark Horse lost Angel rights and they were picked up by IDW Publishing, who produced a canon follow-up to the Buffy spin-off, in the middle of other non-canon stories. Dark Horse reacquired the rights in 2010 to produce more official titles.
Every good thing comes to an end, and after 20 years at Dark Horse Comics, Buffy and her friends left the publisher – the license now in the hands of BOOM ! Studios for a reboot of Buffy.
I. The Slayers through time
Let’s begin with some tales about slayers and vampires. Slayers from the past, from the future and with the one and only Buffy, of course.
- Fray – The story takes place hundreds of years in the future. To read preferably before Tales (as Fray has a story in it).
- Buffy Omnibus: Tales – short stories focused on different Slayers and vampires through time. Beware, this collection includes two stories from season 8 that will be kind of spoiler-y if you haven’t read it before. Specifically, the stories The Thrill and Carpe Noctem take place after issue #21, Harmonic Divergence.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus Volume 1 – Take place before Buffy’s arrival in Sunnydale, and include her origin story based on Whedon’s original script for the 1992 movie. Although this was not considered canon at the beginning, it is now accepted as canon.
II. Buffy : From Season One through Season 7
a. Buffy : The High School Years
Written by Kel McDonald and penciled by Yishan Li, The High School Years are set during season 1 of the television series, but before the revelation about Angel’s nature. The series includes 3 graphic novels and 1 short story, published for Free Comic book day.
- Buffy: The High School Years 1: Freaks & Geeks
- Buffy: The High School Years 2: Glutton for Punishment
- Buffy: The High School Years 3: Parental Parasite
- FCBD 2017 Buffy The High School Years
b. The Omnibus Edition
Dark Horse has published numerous Buffy stories during almost a decade (before season 8). The Omnibus edition are presented as the definitive collection, one that reunites all the material published in chronological order, in parallel to the TV series’ timeline. The first omnibus is indicated before.
It is worth notice that those omnibus contains stories considered non-canon.
- Buffy Omnibus Vol. 2 – From before season one to the beginning of season 3. Collecting issues sixty to sixty-three, as well as the graphic novels “Ring of Fire” and “The Dust Waltz”, and the one-shots Angels We Have Seen on High, Spike and Dru: The Queen of Hearts, and Spike and Dru: Paint the Town Red.
- Buffy Omnibus Vol. 3 – During season 3. Collecting the Buffy stories “Play with Fire,” “Spike and Dru,” and issues #1-#8 of the original Buffy series.
- Buffy Omnibus Vol. 4 – Through the end of season 3. collects Buffy issues #9-11, 13-15, 17-20, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Bad Dog, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike and Dru, Who Made Who, Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel: The Hollower.
- Buffy Omnibus Vol. 5 – We enter season 4. Collects Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Haunted, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Blood of Carthage, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Autumnal, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Oz “Into the Wild,” DHP 2000: Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Take Back the Night,” DHP #150: Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Killing Time”.
- Buffy Omnibus Vol. 6 – Season 4 continues and concludes, and we go to season 5. Collects City of Despair, Jonathan: Codename: Comrades, Giles: Beyond the Pale, One Small Promise, Punish Me With Kisses, Past Lives (crossover with Angel), Out of the Woodwork, WannaBlessedBe, Demonology Menagerie, False Memories.
- Buffy Omnibus Vol. 7 – During season 5 and 6. Collects the stories Roll All Night (and Sleep Every Day), Wilderness, The Death of Buffy, Reunion, Withdrawal, Hellmouth to Mouth
III. Angel (and Spike) World
a. The non-canon stories
Like Buffy on TV gave an Angel spin-off, it is natural to see the same phenomenon on paper. The Buffyverse extends beyond the Slayer and give us stories about famous vampires, among other things.
- Spike: Into The Light – Written by James Marsters. Takes place before season 7.
- Spike Omnibus – Mostly during season 5 of Angel, with the exception of Spike vs. Dracula. Collects. Lost & Found, Old Wounds, Old Times, Shadow Puppets.
- Angel Omnibus (Dark Horse) – You can read it between Vol. 5, 6 or 7 of Buffy. Those stories take place during seasons 1 and one during season 2. Collects Angel #1–#14, #17, Angel: Long Night’s Journey #1–#4, Dark Horse Presents #153–#155: “Hunting Ground,” Dark Horse Extra #25–#28: “Angel,” and Angel: Point of Order. Missing from this omnibus : the crossover with Buffy, Past Lives, placed in Buffy Omnibus Vol.6.
- Angel Omnibus Vol. 1 (IDW) – Nothing is quite simple with Angel, the proof with omnibuses from two editors. This one from IDW collects Angel: The Curse, Angel: Old Friends, Angel: Spotlight, and Angel: Auld Lang Syne. Takes place during and after season 5 (but before After The Fall).
- Angel Omnibus Vol. 2 (IDW) – This omnibus collects adaptation of several episodes from season 5, which includes Smile Time, A Hole in the World, Barbary Coast, Only Human, and Not Fade Away.
b. After The Fall, also known as Angel season 6 (mostly canon)
Originally intended as a 12-issue limited series, After the Fall expanded into a 17-issue Angel series. After the Fall was then followed by an ongoing series, with rotating writers and artists but without the input of Joss Whedon and has also spawned multiple spin-offs of its own. All of this has been published between November 2007 and April 2011.
- Angel: After The Fall Vol. 1 – Collects issues #1-5.
- Angel: After The Fall Vol. 2 – Collects issues #6-8.
- Angel: After The Fall Vol. 3 – Collects issues # 9–12.
- Spike: After the Fall – Collects issues # 1–4.
- Angel: After The Fall Vol. 4 – Collects issues # 13–17.
- Angel: Aftermath Vol.5 – Collects issues # 18–22. Non-canon.
- Angel: Last Angel in Hell Vol. 6 – Collects issues # 23–27, Angel Annual #1. Non-canon.
- Angel: The End – Collects issue #28–44, Angel Yearbook. Also publishing in Angel: Immortality for Dummies, Angel: The Crown Prince Syndrome, Angel: The Wolf, the Ram, and the Heart. Non-canon.
- Angel: The John Byrne Collection – All the John Byrne stories in one place. This includes Angel vs. Frankenstein, Blood and Trenches (before Buffy season 1) and After the Fall: First Night (between Angel season 6 and The End). Non-canon.
- Spike: The Devil You Know – Angel issue#29 but before #33. Non-canon.
- Illyria: Haunted – between the second and third arc of The End and the Spike series
- Spike Complete Series – Collects issue #1-8. Prequel to Dark Horse Comics’ Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight.
IV. Buffy Season 8
Buffy continues officially her fight on comic book form published by Dark Horse. After the destruction of the Hellmouth, the Slayers–newly legion–have gotten organized, but it’s not long before new and old enemies begin popping up.
It’s Buffy’s success that would prompt Whedon and IDW to create After The Fall.
- Buffy: Season 8 Library Edition Volume 1 – issues #1-10, Always Darkest.
- Buffy: Season 8 Library Edition Volume 2 – issues #11-20, Willow: Goddesses and Monsters.
- Buffy: Season 8 Library Edition Volume 3 – issues #21-30.
- Buffy: Season 8 Library Edition Volume 4 – Season 8 issues #31-40, Riley: Commitment through Distance, Virtue through Sin.
V. Season 9
Buffy is back for a new season, with a spin-off for Angel & Faith, and two miniseries – one about Willow and another about Spike.
- Buffy: Season 9 Library Edition Volume 1 – issues #01-10, In Space No One Can Hear You Slay!
- Angel and Faith: Season 9 Library Edition Volume 1 – issues #01-10.
- Angel and Faith: Season 9 Library Edition Volume 2 – issues #11-15 and the miniserie Spike: A Dark Place.
- Angel and Faith: Season 9 Library Edition Volume 3 – issues #16-25.
- Buffy: Season 9 Library Edition Volume 2 – issues #11-15 and the miniserie Willow: Wonderland, to read after Angel & Faith #14.
- Buffy: Season 9 Library Edition Volume 3 – issues #16-25, Love vs. Life)
VI. Season 10
A new season for Buffy, but also a new season for Angel and Faith. For those two, the events take place before the fourth issue of the Fray comic book series and at this stage, there is no Library edition yet, just the paperback edition.
- Buffy Season Ten Library Edition, Vol. 1 – issues #01-10.
- Buffy Season Ten Library Edition, Vol. 2 – issues #11-20.
- Buffy Season Ten Library Edition, Vol. 3 – issues #21-30, Where Are They Now?
- Angel and Faith: Season 10 – Volume 1: Where the River Meets the Sea – issues #01-05.
- Angel and Faith: Season 10 – Volume 2: Lost and Found– issues #06-10.
- Angel and Faith: Season 10 – Volume 3: United– issues #11-15.
- Angel and Faith: Season 10 – Volume 4: A Little More Than Kin– issues #16-20.
- Angel and Faith: Season 10 – Volume 5: A Tale of Two Families – issues #21-25.
VII. Season 11
After overcoming the struggles of Season 10, Buffy and the Scoobies give themselves a well-deserved break from fighting evil. Unfortunately, the momentary peace comes to a screeching halt when a supernatural disaster wreaks havoc and the gang is forced to save the world from imminent doom, again.
No Library Edition yet from Dark Horse Comics for this shorter season – with Buffy and Angel consisting of 12 issues per series and a 4-issue Giles miniseries.
- Buffy Season 11 Volume 1: The Spread of Their Evil – issues #01-06.
- Buffy Season 11 Volume 2: One Girl in All the World – issues #07-12.
- Angel Season 11 Volume 1: Out of the Past – issues #01-04.
- Angel Season 11 Volume 2: Time and Tide – issues #05-08.
- Angel Season 11 Volume 3: Dark Reflections – issues #09-12.
- Giles Season 11: Girl Blue – issues #01-04.
VII. Season 12
Buffy’s world as we know it comes to an end with the four-issue series Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 12: The Reckoning. This action-packed miniseries reunites the Buffyverse with the return of Angel, Faith, Illyria, and Fray, the Slayer from the future
- Buffy Season 12: The Reckoning – issues #01-04.
VIII. Buffy, The Reboot
This is a new beginning, a new Buffy Summers (who still looks like Sarah Michelle Gellar). Go back to high school with this reimagined Buffy the Vampire Slayer under the guidance of series creator Joss Whedon.
Buffy Summers wants what every average teenager wants: friends at her new school, decent grades, and to escape her imposed destiny as the next in a long line of vampire slayers tasked with defeating the forces of evil.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer (2019), Volume 1 – issues #01–04.
Thanks to my friend Carole for writing this guide.