Written by Erika Alexander & Joss Whedon
Illustrated by Jon Lam
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Fanfic writers who spent their waking hours filing their blogs/vlogs with stories of the Ripper will get to see their dreams realized to some extent with Giles: Girl Blue, a stand-alone tale in “Season Eleven” in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer saga.
Penned by Erika Alexander and Buffy guru Joss Whedon, the tale of the teenage Watcher takes place after the events several books ago, in which the one-time middle aged librarian was resurrected after a small bout of death.
Unfortunately, it didn’t go as planned, as Rupert was able to keep his intellect, but only ⅓ of his years and twice his hormones.
He was reborn a teenager, younger than the Scooby Gang he once mentored.
Now, separated from Buff and the rest of the Scoobies, young Rupert is forced to enroll in a local high school and go through the motions of living live of a “normal” teen.
Well, a normal teen that is secretly on the hunt for scary monsters, vampires and demons.
But as normal of a teen one can expect in the Buffyverse. Complete with girl problems.
Set in the Living Legend Academy Charter School in the sunny city of Artesia, Giles infiltrates the student body, which has been getting thinning with each passing day. Under the guise of Ralph Columbo, Giles is a far cry from his bad boy persona as the Ripper. Instead, he is navigates the halls of high school as a doofus nerd, proving that despite the anti-bullying cries of today’s “woke” nation, kids will still be kids.
Giles return to high school is an a way a return to Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s original roots, where monsters were both the kind with claws and lockers. As Giles is quick to learn, there doesn’t need to be a Hell Mouth under the school for it to be hell on Earth.
This time around, Giles is the center of the action, with all the danger, all the romance and all the quips.
The book offers Whedon’s characteristic wisecracks as Giles channels his inner Slayer, retorts and all, as he battles the demon that lurks within the walls of the school and romances a vampy member of the student body, Roux.
The tale of young Giles is a nice one off from the recent Buffy books, which have been going a bit off the rails these days, unable to wrangle in the freedom provided by the page.
Without the limits of budgets, station managers and network execs, Whedon and the gang have recently gone on a bit of an expedition with the storyline. And while the recent development of teen dream resurrected Rupert Giles seems on track for the bananas story arc of recent books, this is actually the most Buffy-esque story fans have gotten in a long while.
So, while Buffy, White Witch Willow, Spike and the rest of Scoobies are off dealing with thousands of other storylines, adventures and issues, die-hard devotees of the original series can take shelter in Giles. The graphic novel reboots the Buffy story back to square one, giving fans what they want: good, old fashioned demon slaying, a little romance and a whole bunch of sarcasm.