To celebrate the release of the latest Buffy the Vampire Slayer one-shot, Buffy ’97, BOOM! Studios has released a variant cover that brilliantly mashes up the Slayerverse with the world of Scream, pointing out some striking parallels. It is perfectly apropos for this new comic to place Buffy at the center of 1997 (specifically, in the context of the comic’s storyline, inside of a ’90s fashion magazine). After all, it was in 1997 that Buffy the Vampire Slayer made its debut on the airwaves, paving the way for a fanbase that continues to endear itself to the franchise both onscreen and on-panel today.
That was 25 years ago, but 26 years ago, a whole different phenomenon hit the screen for the first time. December 20th, 1996 would marked the country-wide release date for the first Scream movie. Directed by Wes Craven, the movie is a self-aware slasher movie that acknowledges the tropes of the genre. Much like Buffy which would arrive a mere three months later, Scream cultivated a devoted following that continues to support the franchise to this day.
Now, these two distinct worlds within the horror genre collide in one major crossover cover crafted by Paulina Ganucheau. The cover takes the original cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s first season and places them in the setting of the iconic Scream movie poster. In the context of Buffy ’97, the timing for such a crossover could not be more perfect as it highlights exactly the kind of throwback it tries to be. Buffy ’97 #1 is written by Jeremy Lambert with interior art by Marianna Ignazzi and Mattia Iacono, and is out now wherever comic books are sold.
With Buffy and Willow literally trapped inside a ’90s fashion magazine, the story serves as a throwback look that showcases the key aesthetics of that era. Above anything else, Buffy ’97 is a celebration of both the 25 years the franchise has contributed to pop culture and a celebration of ’90s culture. Buffy ’97 fully embraces the decade with a wink and a nudge that celebrates everything visually recognizable and beloved about the ’90s. It also doesn’t shy away from critiquing aspects that haven’t aged the best, namely how ’90s fashion magazines promoted a specific stereotypical standard for beauty and the damages it caused to young teens of that era.
This is the same era that produced the inception of both the Buffy franchise and the Scream franchise, both of which are famous for popularizing a more satirical, sharp-witted, and self-aware tone in horror. Both franchises clearly love the genre they represent, but also playfully poke fun at tropes that no longer hold up, much like Buffy ’97 does with the ’90s aesthetic. All things considered, it seems like a natural match made in Horror Heaven (or Hell?) to mash the two together for the occasion of a comic book cover. The crossover variant cover helps puts a special cherry on top of this one-shot that helps make it truly feel like a special homage to ’90s culture by embracing two staples of ’90s pop culture.
The importance of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Scream in the overall horror vortex helps contribute to the strengths of Buffy ’97, which is available now in both local comic book shops and digital stores where comic books can be bought.
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