Reading order and guide to Angel and Buffy graphic novels and comics
I have often heard from Buffy fans who would like to get into the Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics but don’t know where to start. Because there are many editions and volumes out there, it can be confusing. Here is a quick guide to help you out. This guide provides some plot details without any major spoilers. My focus here on both the Angel and Buffy graphic novels is on the season arcs which followed the TV show.
I’ve included the availability of Buffy library editions, which can be an economical way to build up your comics collection. This article has been updated in December 2018 to include the final additions to the seasons which followed the TV show.
After the TV show ended with Season 7, Buffy’s story continued with 5 more seasons of comics published by Dark Horse Comics. These were created with collaboration and direction from Buffy creator Joss Whedon. 2018 saw the end of the Dark Horse run, however, us fans were soon relieved to hear that Buffy’s comic life was not over. In 2019 BOOM! Studios began publishing a new series of Buffy and Angel comics with the guidance of Joss Whedon. I’ve updated this guide in summer 2019 to include these latest arrivals.This post may contain compensated links. Read my disclaimer here
Introduction: continue the epic story with a Buffy graphic novel and comic collection that slays
In this guide you can find:
It’s always sad when a TV show that you love comes to an end. Although the TV finale was amazing, if only the Buffyverse story could continue in some way, fans could be even happier. The shows ended in 2003 and 2004 and there were rumours of spin-off shows featuring Buffy’s watcher Giles, or Faith the Vampire Slayer. Sadly, neither came about.
The news that the story would continue in comic book form was both welcome and a little daunting for me. I was excited but not sure if the comic form could do the characters justice. Though I had enjoyed some of the earlier Omnibus collections of Buffy comic books and Fray – a story of a future slayer which expanded the Buffyverse – I had not been an avid comic reader and it took me some time to get used to the style. I would recommend reading Fray before starting on the following season collections. It contains a great character and plot, which are revisited in the Buffy graphic novel storyline. Check Fray out here.
If the Buffyverse was only going to continue in comic book form, I was definitely going to have to commit more fully to the medium. I have not regretted that, and as Seasons 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 have hit the shelves I have read them avidly.
The initial Buffy Season 8 story arc took incredibly long for the plot to unfold. It was told over 4 years between 2007 and 2011. By the time it got to the end I had forgotten how it started and had to re-read from the beginning! The storyline also didn’t seem quite consistent with the Angel comics that were being published separately by IDW. Things have improved hugely since then and the comics are now more accessible and faster paced.
If you are new to the comics or are confused about the reading order, here is my guide.
Look out for links below to availability of collections. Where possible I have linked to editions which are some of the most economical options to own the comic arcs, for example, volumes or library editions. Options also include used copies.
See below for a super quick table guide of the reading order, followed by a more detailed breakdown.
At a glance: reading order for seasons 8-12 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel comics
|Title||Publisher and year of original comic publication||Notes||Check out availability here|
|Angel After the Fall |
plus further Angel comics from IDW
|IDW, 2007 - 2011||Set before the events of Buffy Season 8. Only the first 17 episodes of Angel comics from IDW (contained in volumes 1-4) are considered canon.|| |
Angel After the Fall
|Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8||Dark Horse, 2007-2011||Published as 40 issues in 8 books, was later made available as 4 library edition volumes.|| |
Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Season 8
|Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9||Dark Horse, 2011-2013||Published as 25 issues in 5 books, was later made available as 3 library edition volumes. The story arc ran concurrently with Angel and Faith Season 9.|| |
Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Season 9 Library Edition Volume 1
|Angel and Faith Season 9||Dark Horse, 2011-2013||Also published as 25 issues in 5 books, was later made available as 3 library edition volumes. The story arc ran concurrently with Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9.|| |
Angel and Faith Season 9 Library Edition Volume 1
|Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10||Dark Horse, 2014-2016||Published as 30 issues in 6 books. Was later made available as 3 library edition volumes. The story arc ran concurrently with Angel and Faith Season 10.|| |
Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Season 10 Library edition Volume 1
|Angel and Faith Season 10||Dark Horse, 2014-2016||Published as 25 issues in 5 books. The story arc ran concurrently with Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10.|| |
Angel and Faith Season 10
|Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 11||Dark Horse, 2016-2017||Published as 12 issues in 2 books. The story arc ran concurrently with Angel Season 11.|| |
Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Season 11
|Angel Season 11||Dark Horse, 2016-2017||Published as 12 issues in 3 books. The story arc ran concurrently with Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 11.|| |
Angel Season 11
|Giles: Girl Blue Season 11||Dark Horse, 2018||Four episode mini series set within the timescale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 11. Now available as a single graphic novel.|
|Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 12||Dark Horse, 2018||Published as 4 issues which were released from June - September 2018. Now available as a single graphic novel.|
Angel: After the Fall and more from IDW
Set before the events of the Buffy Season 8 comics; Angel: After the Fall was published by IDW from 2007. A 17 part series dealt with what happened to Angel and his friends directly after the final episode of the TV series, Not Fade Away. Angel had taken on the Senior Partners at Wolfram and Hart and as a result, LA was sent to hell. After the Fall was co-written by Joss Whedon and Brian Lynch.
IDW continued to publish further Angel comics up to 2011, highlights included Drusilla focused episodes written by Juliet Landau. There is a detailed breakdown of the episodes and collections here. I am indebted to the Buffyverse Wiki for reminding me of the many complicated plot twists.
There are many rewarding moments, but basically, good luck getting through this lot. If you are eager to get on with Buffy’s narrative you may want to skip these and go directly to Buffy Season 8. For those who are concerned with canon, only the 17 After the Fall episodes (contained in Angel volumes 1-4) are definitely considered to be canon.
However, a real highlight of IDW’s Angel run was the special short book, Lorne created in memory of Andy Hallett. This brought closure to the story of the much-loved green empath demon played by Hallett.
Click on the buttons for availability, editions and prices of Angel: After the Fall Volumes 1-4 from:Amazon Abe Books
SEASON EIGHT: Buffy
It was soooo exciting to get the first comic in Season 8 of Buffy. The story was continuing. The story was continuing! As perfect as the final episode of the TV show Chosen was, to get more Buffy in any form was something to sing about.
Published by Dark Horse Comics, the story is set after Season 7’s finale and begins with Buffy leading squadrons of slayers in the ongoing fight against evil. One of the great things about Season 7’s Chosen was it hinted that Buffy would get to have a break now that lots of new slayers had been activated by Willow’s spell. But, unfortunately for her, she still had a lot of work to do.
The season saw the slayers in tension with the military and the appearance of an ominous villain named Twilight. (Note: Nothing to do with the novels by Stephanie Meyer!) Enjoyable aspects of the comics included the return of several recurring characters from the TV show and new relationships for the lead characters. And oh, Dawn was a giant.
Despite being complex and long-winded, as the first of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer graphic novels, Season 8 was an exciting ride, with episodes written by Joss Whedon and many other established Buffy writers including Jane Espenson, Steven S. Deknight and Drew Goddard.
Highlights include several Faith-centred stories and episodes featuring Fray and Dracula. Eventually, Twilight’s identity was revealed. The season drew to a close in 2011 after 40 issues which can be found in 8 collections or books:
- The Long Way Home
- No Future For You
- Wolves at the Gate
- Time of Your Life
- Predators and Prey
- Twilight and
- Last Gleaming
Buffy Season 8 library editions
Click on the buttons for availability, editions and prices of Buffy Season 8 from:Amazon Abe Books Waterstones
Buffy Season 8 Motion Comic DVD
If you are not yet fully convinced by the comic book format; for a quick taster of Buffy’s comic book narrative you could try the Buffy Season 8 Motion Comic DVD. Unfortunately it only goes as far as the first 19 episodes of Dark Horse’s Buffy Season 8 and no further Buffy Motion Comics were released.
Click here for prices and availability of the motion comic.
SEASON NINE: Buffy & Angel and Faith
Following Season 8’s finish and the end of Angel’s run with IDW, Angel and Buffy’s arcs were brought back together with Dark Horse producing both Buffy and Angel & Faith comics. This led to much more coherence. Both the Buffy and Angel and Faith comics now went under the heading of Season 9; their story arcs were connected and their events take place at the same time.
The Angel and Faith comics worked well, building on the dynamics between the two characters at a difficult time for Angel. Angel and Faith were relocated to London. Readers in the UK may appreciate the realistic minor details relating to life here. The season saw the return of an old favourite character, Whistler who was last seen in Buffy season 2.
Buffy Season 9 began with Buffy having relocated to San Francisco, living in a world without magic. She was seemingly dealing with a series of more down to earth crises than in the previous season. However, things were not as they seemed and the supernatural world soon came back into play in Buffy and her friends lives. Buffy Season 9 consisted of 25 issues which were later released as the following collections.
- On Your Own
- Welcome to the Team and
- The Core
Buffy Season 9 library editions
The whole of Buffy Season 9 was also published as a 3 part library edition.
Click on the buttons to check availability, editions and prices of Buffy Season 9 library editions from:Amazon Abe Books Waterstones
Running alongside Buffy, the Angel and Faith Season 9, also contained 25 issues. It was published in the following collections and also in a 3 part library edition.
- Live Through This
- Daddy Issues
- Family Reunion
- Death and Consequences and
- What you want, Not what you need
Angel and Faith Season 9 library editions
Check availability of Angel and Faith Season 9 library editions at:Amazon Abe Books Forbidden Planet Waterstones
SEASON TEN: Buffy & Angel and Faith
Buffy Season 10 again ran alongside Angel and Faith Season 10. Buffy oversaw the return of magic to the world and shared the duty of establishing new rules for a changing supernatural world with old enemies. Angel was looking after an area and community of London which events of Season 9 had left forever changed by magic.
Both series’ saw the return of familiar and much missed characters. A highlight of the series included Faith and Fred working under cover in a school.
Buffy Season 10 ran for 30 issues, and was collected into 6 books:
- New Rules
- I Wish
- Love Dares You
- Old Demons
- In Pieces on the Ground and
- Own It
The Buffy Season 10 stories were later published within three library edition volumes.
Buffy Season 10 library editions
Check out availability of Buffy Season 10 library editions (published between July and December 2018) at:Amazon Waterstones
Angel and Faith Season 10 collecton volumes
- Where the River Meets the Sea
- Lost and Found
- A Little More than Kin and
- A Tale of Two Families
Check here for prices and availability of Angel and Faith Season 10 volumes from:Amazon Abe Books Waterstones
SEASON ELEVEN: Buffy & Angel
From Season 11 there has simply been a Buffy title and an Angel title; Faith’s narrative having been separated from Angel’s. Buffy’s story gained a political edge, with the internment of all magical beings including Buffy, Spike and Willow. Buffy made a choice which was reminiscent of Season 3’s Helpless, leaving her physically vulnerable. Meanwhile Angel and Fred/Illyria were travelling through time and coming up against their former selves.
Buffy and Angel Season Eleven contained twelve issues each and have been released as volume collections.
The seasons story arcs were:
- The Spread of Their Evil
- One Girl in all the World
- Out of the Past
- Time and Tide
- Dark Reflections
Season 11 also contains a four episode mini series Giles “Girl Blue“, written by Joss Whedon and featuring the watcher going back to school. This is also available as a paperback volume.
Buffy Season 11 volume collections
Check prices and availability for the two volumes of Buffy Season 11 from:Amazon Abe Books Waterstones
Angel Season 11 volume collectionsAmazon Abe Books Waterstones
Giles: Girl Blue Season 11
And order the Giles: Girl Blue volume release from:Amazon Waterstones
SEASON TWELVE: Buffy
Buffy Season 12: The Reckoning was the final installment in the Buffy story arc which began with Season 1 of the TV show. This season was four episodes long and is now available as a graphic novel. With only four episodes, the season was a huge scaling back from the epic Season 8. Although the season was short it was sweet and brought about some resolution. It featured guest appearances from many of the runs characters including Faith, Fray, Ilyria and Angel. It was sad to find out that Season 12 was to be the last Buffy comic from Dark Horse. But it was soon revealed that the stories of the slayers’ were far from over.
Check prices and availability of Buffy Season 12 here:Amazon Forbidden Planet
Buffy the Vampire Slayer from BOOM! Studios
An entirely new story arc for Buffy has begun with new comic releases from BOOM! The series takes us back to the beginning of Buffy’s time in Sunnydale and reimagines her story as if she were at high school today. With Joss Whedon’s support and guidance the BOOM! team is bringing a different perspective to the Buffy narrative. In the first few episodes, we’ve seen how different life might be in 2019, both for Buffy and her friends. Exploring these well-known characters – and how different their paths could be – in a different generation has proven fascinating so far. The series has begun to unfold in early 2019 with individual episodes currently available, and a graphic novel collection of the first four episodes available now.
Check prices and availability of the latest Buffy comics from BOOM! as they are released here.
And check out news of Buffy’s first BOOM! event coming up in October 2019.
Check prices and availability of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Volume 1 graphic novel, including episodes 1-4 here:Amazon Forbidden Planet Waterstones
Stop the press! – New Angel comics from BOOM! too!
What is Angel up to in the 2019 rebooted BtVS universe by BOOM! studios? Is it just me or does he is look less broody than usual on the first comic cover? The new Angel comics feature Angel hanging out – yeah alright – brooding, in Los Angeles before he receives a mystical message which guides him to no other hellmouth than Sunnydale itself.
Check out the latest Angel comics here.
The first volume (episodes 1-4) of the new Angel series is available for pre-order now.
If you are new to comics and a fan of the Buffyverse, give the comics a chance and they are sure to grow on you…
Let us know your thoughts on the Buffy and Angel comics in the comments below.
If you are looking for more great reads for the grown-ups, check out our reviews and features here. And if you love graphic novels why not check out our guide to Marvel’s Star Wars graphic novels here and also our Marvel books and gifts guide here. If you are interested in learning about how to start your own book blog, check out my tips here.
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