Buffy Returns

Thanks to this from the kids at TeeVee, Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans – and that includes the Webmistresse – now have Season 8 to look forward to.  Yes – or to the ‘mistresse, sorry – it’s a comic.  But Buffy creator Joss Whedon hisself will be deeply involved and here‘s a Q&A with Mr Whedon that’ll whet some appetites.

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7 Replies to “Buffy Returns”

  1. yipee I figured out how to leave a comment…as promised, I reference a couple of other earlier articles (note, the following contains spoilers)…also, note this stuff is subject to copyright and should not be used fro commerical purposes:

    A Sneak Peek at Whedon’s “Buffy” Comic from EW.com
    Buffy’s Back!
    Exclusive First Look: Joss Whedon chats with EW’s Jeff Jensen about his new ”Vampire Slayer” comic — and shows off a few panels

    We miss Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We really do. The kicks. The quips. And Willow. Wonderful, wonderful Willow. Sigh. Salvaged from the floppy ruin of a 1992 campy horror flick starring Kristy Swanson and Luke Perry, Joss Whedon’s long-running television series starring Sarah Michelle Gellar was doing the Lost thing before Lost was even a glimmer in JJ Abrams’ eye — epic, mythic, character-driven serialized storytelling, told with humor and heart. And save for that love it/hate it sixth season, the show never failed to deliver the goods. Today’s serialized glamour shows now struggling to remain creatively vital could learn a thing or two from Buffy.

    Joss Whedon misses his famous creation, too. Which is why he’s returning to it three years after the show’s final episode with a new comic book series, slated to debut in March, that continues Buffy’s adventures. Whedon, 42, is running the comic as if it were a TV show; after writing the first four issues (a premise-establishing pilot), he’ll oversee other scribes who will write the remaining issues (think: episodes) in what is planned to be 25-to-30-issue saga. ”We’re calling it season 8,” says Whedon, ”and we’re picking up almost right after season seven left off. I don’t know exactly why it or how it happened. I just thought, ‘Oh, I could do that! It would be fun!’ It happens to me every now and then, and causes me to commit to things I really don’t have time for.”

    Indeed, while Whedon may seem MIA — his last project was last year’s Serenity, the feature-film spin-off of his cult TV series Firefly — he’s remained extremely, geekily busy. In addition to writing the Buffy comic, the cult-pop auteur is also writing Marvel’s best-selling title, The Astonishing X-Men, preparing to take over Marvel’s critically acclaimed title Runaways, making revisions on his original screenplay Goners (set up at Universal), and trying to get his next movie project — an adaptation of the DC Comics’ superheroine Wonder Woman — off the ground. (The Wonder Woman update: ”Everything that was hard at the beginning is still hard. I don’t feel like I’ve nailed it yet, and I think the studio agrees. So I’m still plugging away. It’s probably not as hard as I think it is, because I’m still a little fired from my TV decade. I should have taken a year off. It’s now too late to realize that. But it’s a big job. And besides her great origin story, there’s nothing from the comics that felt right 100 percent, no iconic canon story that must be told. Batman has it made — he’s got the greatest rogues gallery ever, he’s got Gotham City. The Bat writes himself. With Wonder Woman, you’re writing from whole cloth, but trying to make to feel like you didn’t. To make to feel like it’s existed for 60 years, even though you’re making it up as you go along. But who she, and what the movie, is about, thematically, has never been a problem for me. But the steps along the way, it could be so easy for them to feel wrong. I won’t settle. She wouldn’t let me settle.”)

    The true origin of Whedon’s Buffy comic lies in a much-rumored TV project that he now reveals is officially dead: ”I had been thinking about doing some TV movies based on Buffy characters, but we could never get anything resembling financing together that was realistic, so it fell by the wayside. But that whole failed endeavor made me start thinking about what would happen next, and what the stories and mythology would be. I realized there was a lot to say, and it could make for a really fun comic book.”
    The final episode of Buffy: The TV Show saw Buffy’s base of operations, Sunnydale, collapse into the earth after an apocalyptic throwdown with a super-bad known as The First and a hoary host of blood-sucking demons. She had been liberated from her vamp-killing responsibilities, having empowered thousands of girls across the world with Slayer superpowers. For the first time in her life, Buffy knew freedom.

    So where does the comic find her?

    ”Not so much with the freedom,” quips Whedon. ”Not that everything is dire and angsty and season six-y, But she’s dealing with the consequences of having empowered thousands of girls around the world. She may have closed the Hellmouth under Sunnydale and defeated The First. But evil? Still rampant!”

    In the Buffy spin-off TV series Angel, it was established that the Slayer was living in Italy and dating. The new comic fleshes out her time abroad, ”as we want to keep everything canon and in line with the shows. But right now, she’s out of the country and training a new squadron of Slayers.” Whedon had once discussed the idea of a spin-off TV series unofficially titled Slayer School, and he says the comic will include some of those ideas. ”There will be some new slayers that you’ll meet, and by the second issue, you’ll find out there are different camps across the world being run by various characters that fans will know. The comic focuses a lot on this new generation of slayers — the problems they will face, and the problems they will cause.”

    And yes, Buffy fans, the supporting cast — the Scooby Gang! — will factor into the epic as well. ”All the old pals, getting wacky! I’m bringing them in slowly, because there’s a lot. Remember, I wrote Serenity,” says Whedon, citing his feature film spin-off of his TV series Firefly. ”I had to introduce 10 people in two minutes. I’m not doing that again. I’d like to give everyone the entrance they deserve. Over the course of my four-issue arc, you’ll get a sense of where most of our major supporting characters are now.”

    How’s Xander doing with his one eye? ”He’s still got one, and if he can hold onto that one, he’s golden. ” Will he be dealing with the ramifications of the death in the series finale of gal pal Anya? ”Well, yes, but not in the way you think. It is not the next day. A lot of time has passed for the fans, a lot of time has passed for me, and you can’t pretend that no time has passed for the characters. We’re keeping with the original mandate of the series: The audience has to identify with the characters. And time has passed. So we find them anew and have to relearn them. Buffy is in an odd place at a different part of her life. It’s like we’re sitting down to chat for the first time in a long while. There’s a lot to catch up on.”

    Will we be seeing the two great vampire loves of Buffy’s life, Angel and Spike? ”Yes — but. The characters from the show Angel are owned by another company who picked up the comic book publishing rights. That doesn’t mean I can’t use them, it just means I’m sparing in my use of them because I don’t want to interfere with another company, who are working hard on that property. But Angel and Spike are characters that I would use sparingly, anyway. They are important to Buffy, but too much is too much.”

    Whedon also notes that readers of the Buffy comic won’t be learning what happened to Angel after his canceled TV series, which famously ended on an unresolved cliff-hanger: ”That’s a story for another time, another place.”

    And how about wonderful, willowy Willow? ”Well, what Willow is up to is not revealed right away, but she will show up. But I just got the cover of the first issue she appears,” Whedon teases, ”and all I’ll say is that it’s awesome.” Consider us officially slain anew.


  2. True, I do like Buffy. And, to think it started with an average movie that grew into a good TV series. By the way, we do need to play the PS2 Buffy game at your place as the lovely game makers did not bother with a PC version. Anyway, I have to admit that I grown to like the Angel TV series more than Buffy.

    Interestingly, the final series of Buffy and Angel are now being played on Sky TV on Sunday afternoons. This is good news for me as I have missed both finales in the past. Although, I have to say that the last series of Angel suffered due to budgetary constraints. Just to further clog up the airways on Sky, an earlier series of Angel is now playing on Saturday mornings. I quite like seeing a happier version of my favourite character, Wesley. My only concern regarding the Sunday screenings is that the Warriors league games do not interfere too much with the scheduling. It does not help that repeat screenings are put on the unfriendly time of Monday mornings. So if a league game falls on Sunday, you are not given a chance to catch up if you work regular hours, even if the story progresses. If I miss again either of the final episodes due to the Warriors playing, I will be pissed off.

  3. you’re a rare breed, Mr Webber.

    i don’t believe the SkyTV (New Zealand) programmers have your demographic in mind: “Follows football though will watch league, too; and appreciative of intelligent, genre-busting television (eg., ‘Buffy’)”.

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