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.

Angel: Season 11, Issue #1 (Review)

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Comic: Angel – Season 11 (Issue #1)

Release Date: January 18, 2017

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Price: $3.99

Angel is back – but this time, his title series has slightly changed. After two seasons of the comic book Angel & Faith, the formerly dark slayer and brooding vampire with a soul have parted ways. The balance between the pair was shockingly a major selling point of the series initially, but by giving Faith and Angel their respective individual paths, perhaps Angel will return to his roots by recreating the essence of his series. That doesn’t mean Angel is alone, but his current companion and series MVP Fred (with Illyria lurking inside of her) is back into the action as a primary figure in season 11’s narrative.

Much like the Buffy title, Angel will be condensed into a shorter series with a overarching plot – seemingly centered on Angel delving into his past from memories or visions that begin to occur and blind the titular character. Thankfully, Angel isn’t solely in the spotlight and with the inclusion of Fred, the series feels nostalgic to what the television series offered us many years ago. A majority of the core characters from Angel are long gone (Wesley is dead, Cordelia is a higher being and Spike is finally with Buffy again) but Fred was (in my opinion) the greatest strength Angel ever offered us. The naive girl turned survivor of a demon realm became the heart of the franchise and her death sent shockwaves through characters and viewers alike. Now that there has been some time between her reappearance and we know it’s truly Fred who has returned, a big piece of what was missing has come back to its rightful place.

With Fred back in action (still very excited if you couldn’t tell) this brings Illyria as a key role this season. The two must begin to learn how to balance their existences with one another as both their lives have drastically been altered due to the other. It creates one of the most complex and intriguing dynamics with plenty of potential to explore various avenues of storytelling, which I feel coming in upcoming issues. Before the line between god and human can be further developed, Illyria seems to have another purpose: guiding Angel through these flashbacks he has that she deems connected to something “coming.”

We aren’t informed of what this could be just yet (it’s only issue 1 after all) but Illyria takes it upon herself to use her abilities to help see what connection Angel has to whatever trouble is brewing. From this, we know Angel’s season 11 series will involve traveling back through time during major moments of Angel’s life and we can rest assured that his past choices will not be overlooked. Angelus, Twilight, Buffy, Cordelia and so much more elements that impacted Angel profoundly could come up in the span of the series, but with only a slight taste of what’s to come – Angel leaves enough ambiguity to give uncharted direction for his journey with Fred and Illyria down the rabbit hole.

The new writer in Angel (Corinna Bechko) does a nice job at bringing these characters back to life with transition between seasons and a new creative team, as Geraldo Borges is now taking over the artistic depiction of the season – giving readers a new spin on Angel. The first issues takes time to lay some groundwork without giving away too much information, but it’s a promising start to the series. If given the opportunity to see a few familiar faces (still crossing my fingers for a Cordy emergence) this is going to be the season to do it – who wouldn’t want to travel back to the old Angel Investigations gang? Angel Season 11 is available now and is a series that reminds us how expansive the world of ‘Buffy’ truly is.

Overall Score: 7.5/10

Aedan’s Final Thoughts:

– Keeping Fred around was one of the smartest creative choices from Joss Whedon and the other writers.

– Angel’s past has always been colorful, so let’s see where the series takes us (it will probably get pretty dark.)

– Is anyone else wondering how things are going for Faith? Just curious.