Brad Meltzer Leaps Into the Buffyverse

Brad Meltzer loves Superman. In 2008, the New York Times best selling author led the charge to save Jerry Siegel's childhood home and he also connected the Man of Steel to the biblical tale of Cain and Abel in his most recent novel "The Book of Lies."

So it makes perfect sense that his first major comic project since his top-selling relaunch of "Justice League of America" for DC Comics would be a run on Dark Horse's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8."

To quote Daniel 'Oz' Osbourne, "Huh?"

Well, thanks to recent developments in the Buffyverse, and a hefty dose of magic, Miss Summers now possesses some pretty super powers. And in a situation similar to Superman's, who now lives in a world inhabited by thousands of Kryptonians, Buffy is currently fighting the good fight with an army of Slayers.

All of this makes the leap from Smallville to Sunnydale no greater than clearing a tall building in a single bound, and the leap Meltzer made to write the series for an arc was even easier.

"Joss and I started as email buds, and then he was kind enough to write the introduction for 'Identity Crisis.' But as to how I got involved, it was rather pretty simple: He asked," Meltzer told CBR News.

Meltzer's actual involvement in the literal extension of Whedon's expanded TV universe was first announced back in 2006, but it wasn't until last week, when Dark Horse solicited its comics for February 2010, that readers got their first taste of what's to come in the upcoming arc - namely, a reveal of who the "Big Bad" really is in Season 8.

Known only as Twilight, and bearing no relation to that other vampire series, the supervillain du jour is a masked man of mystery, and it's been teased that he has a history with Buffy. He'd also like nothing more than to rid the world of all magic, both good and evil, but his methods of eradication leave much to be desired.

While no stranger to the big reveal - having written seven whodunits since his debut novel, "The Tenth Justice," in 1998 - Meltzer wasn't prepared to spill too much just yet.

"If you look back at when we did 'Identity Crisis,' one of the first things I said was that I thought surprise had been gone from comics, and that it needed to come back. That's why we never teased the killer," said Meltzer. "It's why we didn't do preview copies. And it's why I wrote nearly all of the solicits myself. So, you'll just have to wait and see."

When pressed, he added, "You know when people say cliche nonsense like, 'This is what it's building to?' Well, we mean it."

Meltzer is writing the penultimate arc of the series, which is expected to run four issues (#32-35), setting up Whedon for the grand finale. The superstar writer said that Whedon has been heavily involved in laying out his arc.

"I've been overusing ocean analogies lately, so let me stay with that theme: This is his boat. It's a big, gorgeous boat. But the best part is when you get to see him drive it," explained Meltzer. "In fact, the real reason I signed up was because of that opportunity to study and see someone I admire at work. I love seeing how people whose work I admire actually work. I can only learn and improve from that. And every single day, I want to learn and improve. So I'm thrilled that he's been so involved, rather than just tossing me the anchor."

While he was quick to gush over the mastermind of the all things Buffy, Meltzer also heaped praise on his creative partner on the arc, Eisner award winning artist Georges Jeanty.

"I'm sure every writer on 'Buffy' feels this, but I think we got his best work. Some of the moments are just so dead-on emotionally," said Meltzer. "That's all I ever look for in a comic artist. Can they pull off the emotional?"

He then teased, "Plus, he draws the greatest geek moment I hope I've ever written."

Meltzer promised to check back with CBR News once his first issue of "Buffy the Vampire: Season 8" comes out in February, but in the meantime he's going to be working on two other books, one fiction and one non-fiction.

"I'm just finishing my first non-fiction book called, I think it'll be official soon, 'Heroes For My Son,' which will be out in May," said Meltzer. "It's a book I've been writing since the day my son was born - a collection of heroes throughout history from Jim Henson to Mr. Rogers to Rosa Parks. And I'm also working on my next novel, another thriller, which launches my first recurring character."

Brad Meltzer's first issue of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8," featuring art by Georges Jeanty, is expected February 3, 2010. For more on the author including a first look at his new non-fiction book "Heroes For My Son," check Meltzer's Twitter page.

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