Boom! Studios’ Willow is a five-issue limited series set in the Buffyverse. The story follows Willow as she leaves Sunnydale after the events of Hellmouth. In the second issue, Willow explores the town of Abhainn – a place where she feels strangely at home.
Check out our review of issue #2 below. (Note: review contains plot spoilers!)
What happens in the story?
Willow #2 picks up immediately where the first issue left off.
As Willow settles down for her first night in Abhainn, she dreams of the friends she left behind in Sunnydale. But the dream quickly turns into a nightmare. Is it just her lingering guilt about leaving? Or does the dream portend something sinister?
Shaking off the dream, Willow heads out to explore the town. She gets a strange vibe from the people there. They’re not hostile towards her, but she’s got the sense that they all seem to know something she doesn’t.
After a little retail therapy, Willow goes for a walk in the woods. There she runs into Aelara. Feeling a strange sense of kinship with the woman, Willow spills her whole story. She tells Aelara about all the events that led to her ending up in Abhainn. It’s a moment of deep catharsis, and one she drastically needed.
When Willow walks away, she feels lighter and more free than she has in months. It’s great to see the change wash over her. Willow thinks Abhainn might be the place she truly belongs – even though she can’t explain why.
It doesn’t take long for her to realize the source of that feeling, though. Heading back into town, Willow finds the bonfire party Aelara had invited her to. Then, everything becomes clear: Abhainn is a witch town.
As Willow joins her fellow witches in dancing around the bonfire, she feels that same sense of belonging – only now she knows magic is the cause.
Willow #2 review
Willow #2 continues to place Willow’s emotions at the center of the story. This gives it a very real and relatable edge. The contrast between the Willow who left Sunnydale – dejected, depressed, alone – and the Willow dancing in Abhainn – joyful, surrounded by her fellow witches – could not be more clear. We definitely feel for the character and celebrate when she lets loose at the bonfire.
However, for a series about witches, there hasn’t been a lot of actual magic yet. In this issue, the most magical thing that happens is a woman in a shop finds Willow the perfect sweater. Now, I wouldn’t turn down a little magical shopping assistance. But in the grand scheme of all the impressive magic done in the Buffyverse? It’s not particularly notable.
In a longer arc I could more easily forgive the lack of overt magic use. But Willow is only supposed to be five issues. With the first two chapters being magic-lite, I’m expecting some pretty impressive witchy stuff to make up for it in the later three.
While I’d like to see a little more magic, the Willow #2 does continue the sort of witchy vibe set up by the first issue. From Willow’s ominous dream to the crows in the woods, the story has a nice spooky, autumn-like feel. If that’s your aesthetic (it’s definitely mine), this story is worth the read.
Willow #2 is available from Boom Studios now.