Thursday, March 06, 2008

Lay, Ladies, Lay

As we all know by now, Buffy the Vampire Slayer continues to live on as creator Joss Whedon has decided to pick up where the long-running TV series left off and carry on the story arc in comic book form. Season 8 went into publication last year and has continued to find success each month, with each new issue. Many new and very surprising plot developments have occurred in the comic book storyline (hello, Warren comes back from the dead!) but none have been as surprising as the latest development which occurs in issue #12 -- Buffy Summers, queen of all Vampire Slayers, has moved on from bedding men (well, dead vampire men mostly) and has begun to dabble in the waters of same-sex lady lurve ... check it out:

Buffy Summers, the vampire slayer of film, television and comic books, is all confidence in fighting the forces of darkness. But she's often shakier in her intimate relationships. Her liaisons include Angel, a vampire who is arguably her true love; Riley, a military operative who combats the supernatural; Spike, another vampire; and Parker, a fellow college student and one-night stand. In a new issue of the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" comic book series, being released Wednesday, Buffy sleeps with a fellow slayer. And, oh yeah, she's a woman. It's an unusual development for a lead character of a series, whether on television or in comic books. The story line "evolved naturally," said Joss Whedon, who created Buffy for the 1992 film and the 1997 television show, which ran for seven seasons. Mr. Whedon is also executive producer of the comic book, published by Dark Horse Comics and promoted as "Season Eight." He has written several stories for it, including an opening arc that introduces Satsu (pronounced SOUGHT-sue), one of nearly 2,000 slayers activated in the television show's finale. One of Buffy's prized disciples, she ends up sharing her bed. Mr. Whedon has developed their liaison over several issues. In No. 3 Buffy is overcome by a "Sleeping Beauty" spell undone only by a kiss from someone who loves her. In No. 4 Buffy realizes that Satsu saved her. Last month the pair discussed Satsu's feelings. Buffy, although flattered by Satsu's attentions, said the risks of involvement were too great. "People who love me tend to ... oh, die," she said. Or, she added, they leave, because "sooner or later everybody realizes there's something wrong ... something wrong with me, or around me." The matter seemed resolved, but in the newest issue, No. 12 -- written by Drew Goddard, the screenwriter of "Cloverfield" -- Buffy and Satsu are in bed, naked under the sheets. "It puts the reader in this 'Oh my God' moment," Mr. Whedon said during a telephone interview. "And it puts Buffy in an 'Oh my God, what did I just do?' moment." But before fans start blogging frantically, they should know that Mr. Whedon is clear where this is headed. "We're not going to make her gay, nor are we going to take the next 50 issues explaining that she's not. She's young and experimenting, and did I mention open-minded?" This is not the first same-sex encounter to affect the Scooby Gang, as Buffy and her friends are known. Willow, the group's spell-caster, came out in Season 4 of the television series. In response, Mr. Whedon said, "there was some prerecorded outrage," including an Internet post from a fan who vowed never to watch again. He recalled his response: "We'll miss you." Numerous fans appreciated Willow's revelation. "When it became clear how much this meant to people, we knew we could not take it back," Mr. Whedon said. "O.K., this was a life change." Not so for Buffy. "I wouldn't even call it a phase," he said of her intimate moment with Satsu. "It's just something that happens."

Firstly, I think it's amazing that this story comes from The New York Times. Secondly, the rest of the article HERE is a really great read ... it goes on to discuss where this new development may be headed and there is even a small bit about Tara, Willow's girlfriend who was killed on the show and about how her death affected the storyline. I've been reading the comics and have really been enjoying them. Sure the storyline does have a markedly different feel than the TV show did but it's presented in a new medium so it's to be expected. I absolutely trust Joss Whedon on this and all Buffy-related matters. He has never done Buffy fans wrong in the past. At first, I, too, bristled when I heard about this new development ... but I also completely understand the whole "things happen" scenario. Issue #12 has yet to arrive in my mailbox but now I'm more eager than ever to read it. [Source]