Buffy the Vampire Slayer returns — on pages of comics
By KATE AURTHUR
Los Angeles Times
When audiences last saw the cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in May 2003, Buffy and her friends had won a nearly apocalyptic battle between good and evil. Their hometown of Sunnydale, Calif. — also known as the Hellmouth — was a gargantuan pit as a result. After peering into the crater, Buffy, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, walked away with a smile, and the television series came to a close after seven seasons.
On March 21, Buffy the Vampire Slayer will return in comic book form.
Joss Whedon, Buffy's creator, has written the first five issues and will oversee — or "executive produce," he says — the whole arc as if it were a television show. Whedon has enlisted former Buffy staff writers, along with a few comic-book writers, to join him in continuing the story, which is scheduled to run for at least 30 issues to be released monthly. Whedon, the show's fans and the series' publisher, Dark Horse Comics, have deemed it "Buffy Season Eight."
"When you create a universe, you don't stop living in that universe — I know a lot of the fans didn't," Editor's Note: Well it sure beats living in the REAL world. Heaven knows....Whedon said. "But I was surprised to find myself back in it so firmly as well."
It's yet another reinvention for Buffy, which Whedon turned into a TV series after being disappointed with the results of the frothy 1992 movie he had written. So, in summary: "Buffy Season Eight" is a comic book run like the television series from which it came, which itself evolved out of a feature film.
The common element is Whedon, 42, the movie-TV-comics auteur behind Buffy, Angel and X-Men comic series, the screenplay of Toy Story and the flop television show Firefly as well as its movie resurrection, Serenity. In recent years, he has expressed frustration with both the television and movie businesses.
Scott Allie, senior managing editor at Dark Horse Comics, knows his company is benefiting from Whedon's urge to create more Buffy stories. Excitedly and without hesitation, Allie said, "Oh, it's gonna be huge."
A moderate ratings success on the WB and for its final two seasons on UPN, Buffy nevertheless inspired as worshipful a cult as you can find in the pop landscape. It told the dark coming-of-age story of a young woman who was special, in that she was chosen to save the world from vampire-led evil, but yearned to fit in. Buffy was surrounded by loving friends and family, bad boyfriends and demons. She died a couple of times during the series, and as her tombstone once read, "she saved the world — a lot."
Since the show ended, Buffy fans have made do with what was left to them. Across the Internet, the show continues to be parsed: its feminism, its use of language, its influence on current shows such as Lost, Heroes and Veronica Mars.
As Whedon was getting "Buffy Season Eight" up and running, he was supposed to be writing and then directing a high-profile comic adaptation: the movie version of Wonder Woman with Warner Bros. Whedon announced he was quitting last month on the fan site Whedonesque.com, writing, "We just saw different pictures."
He said he will now focus on Goners, an original screenplay he wrote and is developing to direct for Universal that he called "a ghastly tale of female empowerment — something new for me!"
Editor's Note: And then more "Firefly".....she says.....batting eyes and looking like a lost lambie.....