The Buffyverse has not been kind to its leading witch as of late. With the world stripped of magic, Willow has found herself unable to tap into the forces that she has traditionaly found strength and power in. Without magic, the world is graying, and Willow sees a loss for not only herself and other followers of the arcane arts, but for humanity as a whole. Music has lost its pep, rainbows their color, and no one, not even children, wants to draw anymore.
In an effort to restore this lost element to the world, Willow sets out on a quest to find and bring the magic back from wherever it has been hiding. Finding herself in the strange, yet strangely familiar, world of Wonderland, Willow allies with Marrak, a fellow conjurer, in a hunt for the source of magic power.
Comic Book Resources spoke with Dark Horse Comics editor Scott Allie about the developing story of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow – Wonderland,” a five-issue miniseries following Willow on her quest. Allie spoke about the progress Willow has made so far in her quest, explained the reasoning behind Christos Gage joining Jeff Parker as the series’ co-writer, artist Brian Ching’s giant monster designs and the overall plans for Joss Whedon’s creations in the months ahead.
CBR News: Willow has found herself on this magic voyage through Wonderland — what sort of challenges will she find herself facing as the story moves forward?
Christos Gage, who also writes “Angel & Faith,” will be joining Jeff Parker on writing duties for “Willow: Wonderland” beginning with issue #3. Does that change the pacing or the direction of the story?
Jeff wasn’t in on the earliest talks about “Season Nine.” He wasn’t there at the writer’s summit at Joss’ house, so there’s a degree to which he wasn’t dialed into the whole thrust of what we’re doing. And, as we were trying to really weave together the plot lines of the “Spike” miniseries, the “Willow” miniseries, “Angel & Faith” and “Buffy,” it became useful to start talking to Chris and to get him involved. The overall direction of the story is still the thing that Jeff initially pitched and outlined for us: the major events and the major action is still all what Jeff set up.
Particularly Willow and Spike — both exist in one title, then they get their own miniseries, then they go into another title. They move around across “Season Nine” quite a bit, and it’s a trick to make their journey, as it were, a consistent arc when you’re working with multiple writers. There’s a lot of work in terms of making sure that everybody writes Willow similarly, but she’s also changing as she’s moving from writer to writer, so it’s really quite a trick. Part of bringing Chris in was to smooth out the Willow that he was writing in “Angel & Faith,” where she showed up, and the Willow that goes through some changes in this miniseries before going back to San Francisco and the story that Andrew Chambliss is writing.
The broad strokes of it and the major events are the things that Jeff set up. Some of the more nuanced character details are where Chris contributes the most.
So, we can look forward to these miniseries all folding back into what develops in the primary “Buffy” and “Angel & Faith” storylines?
Absolutely. I’m very pleased with how we managed Willow’s transition from her five-issue miniseries back into Buffy’s book. There are all these weird, interesting challenges of just the — the clothing — making sure that what Willow’s wearing at the end of her fifth issue matches what she wears in the issue that she first shows back up in Buffy’s book, and making sure that when Andrew Chambliss first writes Willow reappearing in the Buffy book, she’s in the same sort of state of mind that she was in when she wrapped up her own book. There was some challenge there, but yeah, Willow folds back into the main action for the “Buffy” climax. Spike, when he wraps up his miniseries, will pop up in the “Angel & Faith” book and get directly involved in the action there.
The one trick that hasn’t worked out perfectly for us is that we were careful in how we worked out Spike’s departure from his five-issue miniseries and his arrival in “Angel & Faith.” Now, because of some artistic scheduling problems, the fifth issue of Spike is going to be late. If it’s too late, it’ll come out after he’s reappeared in “Angel & Faith.” I don’t think that’s going to happen but, you know, that would be unfortunate. That’s one of the dangers of managing all these different artists and trying to do these really synchronized stories.
Finally, what other projects are cooking in the Buffyverse?
We’re doing these big “Library Editions,” these big, hardcover editions of “Buffy,” and we just put to bed the fourth volume with the last ten issues of “Season 8.” [Artist Georges Jeanty] got us his notes on all his artwork and everything. It’s a joy to put that stuff together a really nice, big sketchbook-sized section where the artist gets to really talk about his process. We were just wrapping that up today!
“Willow – Wonderland” #2 goes on sale December 5. The “Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8” Library Edition Vol. 4 is out March 20th, 2013.