BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER’s First Season Launched 10 Years Ago Saturday!! Season 8 Begins Wednesday!! “You think you know what you are, what’s to come. You haven’t even begun.”
I am - Hercules!!
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” came to The WB on March 10, 1997. I didn’t fall in love with it until the 15th episode, which ended with a new punk-rock vampire named Spike hoisting the season-one vampires’ imperious “chosen one” into the sunlight as Spike made this declaration:
“From now on, we’re gonna have a little less ritual - and a little more fun around here!”
And what fun we had!! There are many subsequent episodes I would come to love even more, but you never forget your first.
Buffy and Dawn Summers, Xander Harris, Willow Rosenberg, Rupert Giles, Anya, Andrew, Spike, Angel and who knows who else all begin returning to us Wednesday, when the new “season eight” Buffy comic, written by Joss Whedon and a lot of the other old series writers - including Jane Espenson, Drew Goddard, Doug Petrie, Drew Greenberg and Steven DeKnight - finally hits the comic shops.
We’ll only get (at most) 12 Dark Horse Comics episodes a year (instead of the 22 we got via The WB and UPN), but we know it’ll run at least 30 issues.
Copies of the first issue are floating around. Here’s a few invisotexted hints of what you can look forward to this week:
* First a recap of what we learned in this space previously. Season eight starts about 15 months or so after Sunnydale got sucked into its own hellmouth. Buffy’s in Scotland, running Slayer Central Command with Xander Harris. (It turns out she was never in Italy; that blonde Spike and Angel saw in Rome near the end of “Angel’s” final season was a clever Buffy decoy.) Dawn is attending Berkeley but visiting her sister. Dawn boned a local “thricewise,” which caused her to grow some 60 feet in height.
* We learn via Buffy’s opening “voiceover” that about 1,800 young women have been transformed into slayers.
* The season begins with a Buffy-led assault on a church, which in turn gives Slayer Central a mystery to solve.
* The Initiative, or something like it, is seen on the edge of Sunnydale Crater. Something happens there.
* Buffy craves a boning of her own. Apparently no Angel, no Spike and no Immortal is servicing her twentysomething needs.
* The issue ends with the return of a character we met in one of the earliest of the first-season episodes. It’s not Willow, it’s not Giles, it’s not Jonathan, it’s not Jesse, it’s not Joyce, it’s not Principal Flutie, it’s not Darla, it’s not Harmony, it’s not The Master, it’s not The Chosen One, it’s not Angel and it’s not Cordelia Chase.
Can’t wait till Wednesday? Whedon and some of the other “Buffy” writers made sort of a dry-run at season eight by authoring these two volumes. They don’t focus on Buffy Summers, but they’re all about her universe. And they’re kinda cheap!