Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 12 Announced With Joss Whedon

 

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Dark Horse Comics

 

It’s a glorious day to be a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan because not only has Season 12 been officially announced – but it will see the return of Joss Whedon as a writer on the project.

For several years now, the iconic series by Whedon has been adapted as a comic book continuation through Dark Horse Comics (as I have actively reviewed and loved.) The season 11 finale left the series on a perfect note as the scoobies established normalcy through chaos – but as we feared, things could be taking a dark turn as Whedon series are known to do. In a press release from Dark Horse, the 12th season is confirmed to be titled Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 12: The Reckoning, with a shortened four issue arc. As sad as I am about the shortened season, the news that it will include another major return has completely raised the stakes… the return of Fray!

In case you need to be reminded, Fray was a Joss Whedon comics that set the tone for the future of the Buffyverse by showing a potentially darker world than the one we knew of. We met the twin sibling Slayers Fray and her brother-turned-vampire sibling Harth, but additionally learned that Willow survives 200 years into the future – speaking in riddles and embracing the Dark Willow aesthetic. To top off an already mind-blowing announcement, this crossover season will bring Angel, Fred, Illyria and even Wolfram and Hart back into the mix. The season is set to begin publication June 20, 2018, so keep up with PopWrapped for more coverage and check out some of the exciting announcement below!

“Following the world-altering finale of Season 11, Buffy and the Scoobies have had a laid-back year in the saving-the-world department. But as they’ve learned over their years of fighting the forces of darkness and thwarting many an apocalypse, nothing stays quiet for long. When Dawn and Xander�s housewarming party is crashed by some familiar faces with news of an amassing force that must be reckoned with�Wolfram & Hart, a legion of demons, and Harth, a vampire from the future�Buffy finds herself in a time warp that could alter the fate of the world and could spell the end for Buffy, her friends, and the Slayers, forever.”

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Buffy The Vampire Slayer Gets New Merchandise For Its 20th Anniversary

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – for those of you who don’t know the name, you are either a pop-culture recluse or in desperate need of some supernatural goodness in your existence. The cult classic series (helmed by Joss Whedon and starring the talented Sarah Michelle Gellar) will come up on it’s 20th anniversary on March 10, so Fox has decided to grace the dedicated fan base with new exclusive merchandise ranging from new clothing, comic books, books, stationary, board games and even more! BTVS rightfully earns the special treatment after showcasing the struggles of growing up, transitioning to adulthood and all the curveballs life can throw our way – with a supernatural twist.  Though the series has been off the air for years (she was slaying before any pop-star used the word) it has lived on through the collector’s DVD sets, streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, or even the comic book continuation that takes place shortly after the series concluded. Buffy has been and always will be around, so what better way to celebrate than to enjoy some new Buffy goodies to excite our inner-Scooby?

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Hot Topic / Fox

Fox Consumer Products launched a partnership with various companies to sweeten the deal and expand the exclusives, some of which include new Buffy the Vampire Slayer clothes. Hot Topic has designed a special line of Buffy-inspired items, beginning with Buffy’s “Graduation Day” blood-red trench coat, Willow’s “Dopplegangland” frilly sweater and even Faith’s recurring black leather jacket to channel your rebel slayer persona. Ripple Junction has provided their own line of Buffy tees for men and women, with a limited sale on the items up until March 10. The store Box Lunch will additionally sell items centered around Buffy (shirts, jewelry, etc.) that launch on the 10th itself.

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Dark Horse / Fox

On the other end of the spectrum, a large amount of Buffy comics will be available through Dark Horse Comics which is the company behind seasons 8-11 (season 11 is currently being published.) Dark Horse will release an omnibus version of season 8 that includes several volumes in one bundle to ease the reading process or join your BTVS collection. The series is produced by Joss himself, another reason to catch up and find out where your favorites are now –  I can personally promise it’s a major treat to all BTVS lovers. The publishing company will include two new adult coloring books to embrace your inner Giles art (hardcore fans will catch that one) with scenes inspired by the series and comics.

A few different publishers (Simon & Schuster, Insight Editions and Harper Design) have a few Buffy related books down the pipeline, from a collection of Buffy handbooks with spells and mystical focus – to an encyclopedia to the Buffyverse (and that is simply a few of several in the works.)  If you are looking for more action, look no further! Jasco has released a Buffy board game that uses a multiplayer function for people to battle major villains of the franchise (here on Amazon) and Legendary will be releasing a deck-building card game where teamwork is key (available August 2017.)

Fox will be revealing more items as they are released throughout the year, but with this much focus on the Buffyverse, this 20th anniversary (still utterly shocked it’s been 20 years) will be a glorious one – Buffy the Vampire Slayer only gets better with age!

Make sure to share your thoughts on the  marvelous anniversary as well as your favorite Buffy moments with the hashtag #BuffySlays20 on social media.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 11 Issue #4 (Review)

Buffy Season 11

Comic: Buffy The Vampire Slayer – Season 11 (Issue #4)

Release Date: February 15, 2017

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Price: $3.99

‘Buffy’ exudes strength, charm and realistic life lessons in yet another successful chapter of the 11th season.

After last month’s phenomenal issue of Buffy season 11, we find Buffy, Spike and Willow relocated in the government aided “Safe Zone” for supernatural beings. When it picks up, they’ve already been living in the quarantined camp for a few weeks, but not without struggles. The issues takes place almost solely there and primarily focusing on the trio’s developments with a situation nobody is quite clear how to handle efficiently. In my previous review, I pointed out how strong the series has been from the start and I will confirm that this season has only gotten stronger due to an increasingly impressive fourth chapter to a season unlike the others.

The Safe Zone doesn’t live up to its name, seeming more and more like a demonic camp with trailers, fencing and plenty of pissed off supernatural beings locked away. Buffy, Spike and Willow have attempted to integrate themselves with the others but it wouldn’t be the Scooby gang if they didn’t take on some responsibility. For starters, rations of blood have been handed out to vampires but the resources are scarce which makes a lot of hungry vampires ready to savagely feed. Spike is one of these starved vampires yet Buffy decides she will aid him with her own blood, something she had only previously done for Angel (season 3.) It is evident that this action will put her at a greater risk of dying, but that’s one more reason Buffy’s love for Spike is crystal clear (later, Spike nearly dies from sunlight to save her, it’s a reciprocated love.)

Spike isn’t so keen on taking blood from the woman he truly loves, putting up a fight (non-literal) with Buffy about her gift. Even with both Buffy and Spike having an understanding on the necessity of blood, his impulse to keep feeding is the only point of contention between them, just subtly enough to show us Spike hates what he is and Buffy knows she’ll always be the one to draw the line. Barring their issue with life and death, the connection between the pair continues to flourish partially because of experiencing these extreme circumstances in the company of each other. A simple act of grabbing each others hands when surrounded by fellow supernatural beings and a goodbye kiss when worried about one another adds to their love unlike anything either of them had experienced in past relationships.

Speaking of relationships, Willow is shown to be the guardian of the wiccans in the Safe Zone, who all look up to the most powerful Wicca alive. It may be brief, but we see Willow has grown close to one particular witch who is noted to have a significant other outside of the Safe Zone. (Leave it to Willow to develop a complex relationship, she will never find another Tara.) In the last few seasons there has been budding conflict between Buffy and Willow, but this season having them confront the same issues has given them common ground again to do what they to best: work together. By the end of the issue, Buffy makes a choice that will (hopefully) keep her friends safe and also gives us a nice throwback to the second season of the series as Buffy finds a new role in the Safe Zone – additionally placing Buffy in direct danger.

The art brought back veteran Buffy the Vampire Slayer artist Georges Jeanty, who drew seasons 8 and 9 almost entirely. His art easily captures the Buffy essence and feels comfortable/familiar given how much time was spent observing his take on the Buffyverse – a major welcome back is in order because Georges has created visual wonders once again. From his action sequences that use multiple panels to the smaller attributes like fashion, facial characteristics and the colorful night sky, he’s a perfect fit for BTVS. As we approach the midpoint of Buffy season 11, the art, story and characters are true reasons that continuing Buffy was Dark Horse’s best decision in comic publishing.

Overall Score: 8.5/10

Aedan’s Final Thoughts:

– This season consistently impresses with exceptional development and new territory.

– Buffy/Spike nuances are the best kind of reminder of the fact that they are the series best strengths.

– There’s no telling where ‘Buffy’ will head in the second half of the season, but my gut is telling me it’s going to get very serious.