Joss Whedon’s hit TV show, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” ended in 2003 with Season 7 — but the show has (officially) lived on in comic form from Dark Horse Comics since 2007. Each season of the comic is like a season of the show — with a specific Big Bad and overarching storyline. There’s even been an equally stellar spin-off, “Angel & Faith.”
The comic itself has been written by members of the TV show’s writing staff including like Drew Goddard, Jane Espenson, Drew Z. Greenberg, and even Joss Whedon himself. But, more recently, the Buffy-verse has been in the hands of Christos Gage. The writer and artist team of GageÂ and Rebekah IsaacsÂ are officially on board for Season 11, which will take place in San Francisco.
SPOILER WARNING: The following contains spoilers for “Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 10
11. More Angel
The first 3 seasons of “Buffy” were centered around Angel and Buffy’s relationship. Angel was her first love and they’ve stayed close ever since. Well, they stayed close until their respective shows ended up on different networks — then their relationship was kind of dead until the last season of “Buffy” when fans witnessed one last interaction. But, now that these characters don’t have to worry about network crossovers, we should see them interact more often. Angel and Buffy are not the couple they once were but they make for a great demon fighting duo and for some great drama. Maybe Buffy has to make a trip to Magic Town. Maybe all the Scoobies do. We could even see Willow flirt with Fred a little if all the Scoobies take a joint trip. But, Angel and Buffy need more time together, sexual tension and all. With “Angel & Faith: Season 10” also over, the time is right to bring Angel back into the main series. But, please, no more weird cosmic superhero sex like we saw in Season 8.
In Season 10, readers witnessed the return of the beloved and dearly departed Anyanka “Anya” Christina Emmanuella Jenkins. Well, sort of. We got a version of her created by D’Hoffryn. At first we were led to believe she was the ghost of the actual Anya but we’ve since learned she’s not the real McCoy (although, who knows what the finale could bring). We’ve also seen the returns of Jonathan and Warren — two dead characters fans weren’t exactly clamoring to see more of. So, please, for the love of Gaea, let’s see Tara make some kind of an appearance. Maybe it’s an actual ghost of her returning to help the Scoobies, maybe it’s through a time travel spell — like during the “Fray” arc in Season 8. Either way, let’s see some brief appearance from our favorite gone-too-soon witch, Tara Maclay, and then we can all have a good cry about it.
9. Buffy and Spike Forever
Buffy and Spike have spent way too much time going back and forth — not only on the TV show, but also in the comics. In the show it was frustrating and never quite got any kind of conclusion other than Buffy admitting to loving him moments before the Hellmouth closed around him. And that was that, as they never shared another moment on screen together again (let’s not talk about that “Angel” episode where we see someone in a bad wig pretending to be Buffy). But then, during Season 10, they finally kissed and started making themselves an official couple. It felt like the natural progression of their relationship; it felt as organic as any relationship in any comic book. They are both adults and both deserve to have a real adult relationship, warts and all. They’ve both grown a lot since first getting together in Season 6. Let’s give them the nice normal relationship they both deserve. Or, well, as normal a relationship a vampire and vampire Slayer can ever really have.
8. Billy the Vampire Slayer
Billy Lane grew up in California where, after he was kicked out by his parents after coming out of the closet, he lived with his grandmother. Billy suffered frequent bullying at school until the day one of his bullies was killed by a zompire and he was pulled to safety by his crush, Devon. He wasn’t born into the Slayer lineage but was inspired by the Slayers and began training with Devon, taking on the role of Watcher. He himself tracked down Buffy and helped her fight zompires before she was reunited with young Giles. Giles declared the rules of magic rewritten, and said that Billy isn’t a Slayer but that, “The essence of the Slayers has clearly accepted him as an ally.” For being one of the best characters added to the “Buffy” canon post-TV, he is criminally underused. He is a gay vampire slayer — that’s a big deal! Let’s see him become a regular member of the Scoobies or, at the very least, have a reoccurring guest role with the Scoobies.
7. Smaller Big Bads
After Season 5 of “Buffy,” the season where Buffy sacrificed herself because a Hell God named Glory opened a portal to a hell dimension, the show’s Big Bads were The Trio. The Trio worked well because after a Hell God, the show couldn’t do much bigger and The Trio seemed so comparatively small in scale. We got to see Buffy’s more everyday (albeit depressing because she’d been torn out of Heaven) life and her facing villains that were more of an annoyance than anything else (until they weren’t, RIP baby girl Tara). We got to see a world where Buffy struggled more with her attempts to take care of Dawn, pay the bills, working a crappy job, dealing with her depression, etc. In the comics, Buffy has consistently faced Big Bads that put the B in Big and Bad, and offer the same kind of world-ending threats as the ones before them. It might be a nice change of pace to see her face smaller scale, one-off villains and focus a bit more on her personal dynamics.
6. More Characters
The comics have done a really great job of adding characters to the Buffyverse who aren’t just, to quote Anya from Season 7, “cannon fodder” (although, there has been plenty of cannon fodder). Billy, Devon and Anaheed — keep these characters coming and keep their appearances consistent. Make the readers care about these new characters, care whether they live or die, or disappear from the book for issues at a time. “Angel & Faith” has done a great job using new characters like rogue Slayer turned magical guardian Nadira and Giles’ aunts, Sophronia and Lavinia Fairweather — the aunts being like Cordelia/Anya and Nadira being more of magical presence. “Buffy” has given us characters to care about in the vein of Nadira but none of them seem to stick around long enough for us to remember them when they’re gone. It’s time to rectify that.
5. No More Dawn and Xander
One of the weirder things to come out of the new comics canon is the Dawn and Xander romance. In the Buffyverse these characters are not actually that far apart in age (about 3-4 years, depending), but Dawn has always looked (thanks to actress Michelle Trachtenberg) and felt a lot younger than she is. Dawn has always been the kid-sister of the Scoobies, so her dating Xander can feel a little icky at times when you remember what a baby she looked like last time we saw her on screen. In the comics, their love hasn’t always felt so organic. But, due to some recent magic wackiness, Dawn has forgotten her love for Xander. They even got lost in another dimension and managed to lean on each other without it leading to any making out. They should stay separated this time and find other people to date and find comfort with next season.
It may seem like a no brainer, but we haven’t seen nearly enough of Buffy slaying vampires, or even enough of her patrolling. Although, to be fair, all the old rules have changed with the whole magic being rewritten thing — but that should actually lend itself to really new and fun vampire stories. They can walk in the sun now! We’ve had The Master return for a quick second, Harmony has shown up a few times, Dracula is always a fun supporting character; we’ve seen a great return for Drusilla over in “Angel & faith,” and there have been a lot of zompires. But let’s see some good, old-fashioned vampires. A new Big Bad that’s a vampire wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. Think “Buffy” Season 4’s Sunday (who would’ve made for a better Big Bad than Adam, but, alas…) or someone in a similar vein. A gang boss vampire who could employ zompires as hired thugs. Or have the first new post-Seed of Wonder vampire, Vicki, become a new Big Bad. You’d build on the past and pay off the promise of the premise.
3. Andrew needs to cut the crap
Andrew has had a very Joss Whedon-y character arc. A nerd who was a part of the silliest, least threatening “Buffy” Big Bads until they weren’t and had a hand in murdering Tara and nearly killing Buffy. He then returned to Sunnydale in Season 7 and ended up helping the Scoobies and potential Slayers all fight The First and close the Hellmouth. Andrew recently came out, and we’re proud of him. Andrew has long been the voice of gay “Buffy” fans, not unlike Xander being the voice of the straight male “Buffy” fans. But Andrew seems to continually betray the Scoobies at every turn while still wanting to be their friend. He needs to pick a side — which should’ve happened after he helped the Scoobies in Season 7. Andrew needs to grow up, finally, and we’ve started to see that toward the end of Season 10. In Season 11, let’s make sure he cuts the back and forth crap for good.
2. Stop Separating the Scoobies
They’re all BFFs and they have been for years now. In Season 4, on their way to defeat the Big Bad, Adam, they realized how disconnected they’d been for that year and had an adorable group hug in an elevator shaft. In Season 6, the same thing happened — the main Scoobies spent the year being depressed until Willow turned evil and they all came together (kind of) and everyone cried about the yellow crayon. We don’t need constant rifts coming between them; let them be happy and content in their relationships. Have other shakeups, drama and whatever, but no more disbanding. Keep the Avengers assembled, damn it! What made the show great was the dynamics of the ensemble cast and that’s what we need to keep the comics compelling. Willow and Buffy can still have friend fights, but don’t try and make us think these life-long best friends are going to suddenly stop being friends over a disagreement — not even a disagreement over how to handle the most recent apocalypse.
1. More Slayers
We already have confirmation that a new Slayer named Morgan will be appearing, but we need to see more Slayers overall. “Angel & faith” has Nadira and “Buffy” previously introduced a number of great Slayers, but none of them seem to stick around for very long. There are currently a ton of active Slayers in the Buffyverse, with Buffy still the most famous of the bunch — and it’s hight time we met more (if not all) of these ladies. Maybe even introduce us to more Slayers like Billy, those inspired by the actual Slayers and who trained themselves how to fight vampires and demons. We already know a lot of these Slayers work for Kennedy (who we also wouldn’t mind seeing again, if you’re asking) but what are the rest of them out there doing? These semi-newbie Slayers should be seeking Buffy’s help/advice/sage wisdom. Think Season 7 and 8’s Slayer brigade, but newer and more fun (and with far less complaining). For a world full of Slayers, we don’t seem to meet enough of them.
What are you hoping to see from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 11”?
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