Kaching Comic Reviews

Published on August 4th, 2017 | by Kevin Given


Review: Buffy: The High School Years – Parental Parasite

It’s been twenty years since the hit show Buffy the Vampire Slayer first premiered, and Dark Horse Comics is celebrating with the release of the third installment of Buffy: The High School Years, featuring executive producer Joss Whedon, author Kel McDonald (Misfits of Avalon), and artist Yishan Li (Buffy: The High School Years—Freaks and Geeks) in Buffy: The High School Years—Parental Parasite.

In Parental Parasite, Buffy struggles to deal with her mother Joyce’s sudden interest in spending quality time with her. Balancing this new development with her schoolwork, her friends, and her regular vampire-slaying duties proves to be a challenge. However, when Joyce becomes hypnotized by a childlike demon that craves motherly care, Buffy experiences a new kind of sibling rivalry—except in Buffy’s case, her “sibling” is actually a monster!

Set in Season 1 of the hit show, Buffy: The High School Years—Parental Parasite goes on sale June 28, 2017.

This issue opens with Buffy’s mother concerned about her daughter’s grades. She sits down with Buffy and says she’s going to get more involved with her life and help her get her grades up. The mother is wondering what is happening with her daughter and why they’ve grown “distant” If she only knew! Then we cut to a vampire attacking what he thinks is a mother and ten-year-old daughter…if he only knew!

The Creative Team:

Kel McDonald captures the typical dramatic tension of teen-age life perfectly, then adds a good dose of the supernatural to the proceedings to bring us a great horror/comedy classic as only Kel can do it. Buffy and the gang are in the school library when, lo and behold, who shows up? Why it’s Buffy’s mom of course. What teen-ager wants their mother showing up in their school to ruin their day? So, Buffy makes a quick excuse to get rid of her and Mom leaves, but promises that latter they will have a movie night. The mother/daughter night makes Buffy late for her normal vampire hunting fare but they do come across the vampire and ten-year-old in a cemetery. The story is great fun and the ten-year-old has a few surprises of her own that no one was expecting. It’s The Joy Luck Club meets the Lost Boys. In an epic tale of teen angst and a vampire that chooses the wrong meal. I loved it!

Yishan Li brings the appropriate mix of horror and satire to the proceedings as she conjures up the perfect complement to Kel’s words. In true manga style, the characters are wide-eyed and doe-eyed, giving the issue a feel for Asian art. The panels flow smoothly and there’s a great splash involving Buffy, her mom and the chief antagonist for this issue. Great stuff!

In Conclusion:

A great little tale involving the High School age Buffy. One of the main themes is the importance of family and Buffy grows closer to her mother in this issue. The Vampire is not the chief antagonist in this tale but does provide a few chills along the way. It’s a clever twist that allows for Buffy to face something far worse than what she’s used to. I highly recommend this book to fans of the series. *** (7.9 rating)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Parental Parasite

Writer – Kel McDonald
Art – Yishan Li
Color – Rod Espinosa, Tony Galvan
Letters – Richard Starkings, Jimmy Betancourt
Publisher – Dark Horse entertainment
Publication date – August 2017

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About the Author

Kevin Given has studied with "Longridge Writers Group" and "Writer's Boot Camp" a speech/communications major from the University of Maine Presque-Isle/Orono sites. He has created the "Karl Vincent Vampire Hunter" franchise which includes 2 novels and 8 comic books. They can be found on amazon, Indyplanet and Kindle. For a limited time you can get digital copies of "Karl Vincent: Vampire hunter" #1 and "Files of Karl Vincent" #1 for free on Indyplanet. Kevin is producing the third novel in the series "Dracula Rising" (working title) and developing "Foul Blood" into comic book form.

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