At WonderCon 2011, ASSIGNMENT X had the chance to sit down with Senior Managing Editor for Dark Horse Comics, Scott Allie, to talk about the upcoming new series for BUFFY – SEASON 9 and the new title ANGEL AND FAITH.

While we revealed much of the details about these comics during WonderCon (and in our previous stories from our interview with him which are listed below), Allie has much more to say on the topic including a possible WILLOW mini-series as well as information about a possible SERENITY comic coming down the pipe from Dark Horse.

SERENITY - FLOAT OUT | ©Dark Horse Comics

SERENITY - FLOAT OUT | ©Dark Horse Comics

ASSIGNMENT X: What are Dark Horse’s plans for SERENITY?

ALLIE: No immediate plans. We have been so focused on re-launching BUFFY. Anything we do with [Joss] he is really heavily involved. So, with THE AVENGERS and everything else going on, we can’t get more of his time to work out what we would need to work out with SERENITY. We have talked about what we would do. We all want to do more. It’s just a question of us putting the resources and the time into it and working with the right writers. We can’t just pull in anybody. We have an idea of what we will do to get SERENITY up and running again. But it requires the right people to have the time and most importantly Joss to have the time. So it is a ways off still. I really wanted to get something out by the end of this year, but that is clear that isn’t going to happen.

AX: Now that the ANGEL comic is coming under the Dark Horse umbrella will we see lots of interaction between the BUFFY Comics?

ALLIE: It’s not going to be a constant cross-over where you have to read both to understand what’s going on, but major events in the world will affect both [titles]. We are referring the whole project [ANGEL AND FAITH, BUFFY – SEASON 9 and other related mini-series titles] as Season 9 because both come out of the events of Season 9. People are like “If it is ANGEL then it must be Season 6 or Season 7”. We are not thinking of it so much as that but all of this takes place following Season 8. The events of Season 8 sets both series in motion.

AX: Will both the ANGEL and BUFFY comics have two covers?

ALLIE: Both will have two covers.

AX: As far as the mini-series you were talking about. Can you tell me who they will focus on?

ALLIE: There will probably be a Willow one. We have talked about a lot of other ones. Right now, the potential is every single [character]. We have talked about what we could do with Spike, what we could do with Illyria, what we could do with anybody, but it is truly going to be in service of the greater story. There is really one big story of Season 9. Just like with Season 8, we will do side projects that build that story, but we are not going to throw out random comics. We are not going to throw this stuff out to pile more books on the heap. ”

Dawn from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER SEASON EIGHT | © 2011 Dark Horse Comics

Dawn from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER SEASON EIGHT | © 2011 Dark Horse Comics

AX: Concerning the Xander/Dawn relationship, what are the plans with that? I know some fans maybe thought the relationship was a bit creepy.

ALLIE: The history they have together makes it a little bit weird, but that’s part of the reason they are so close. My hopes for those two is that they just get to be happy. I’ve always wanted Xander to be happy. Xander is the one guy that I really think deserves to be happy.

AX: Now the SPIKE mini-series is almost over at IDW, does that lead into what will happen in Season 9?

ALLIE: Everything IDW did effectively takes place before Season 8. Nothing they did leads directly into Season 9, it all leads into Season 8. The current arc that Brian Lynch is writing for IDW gets [Spike] into the bug ship and he is in the bug ship in Season 8. So anything IDW has coming out now leads into Season 8 rather than leading into what we have coming up.”

AX: Did you work with IDW on coordinating the plot for the SPIKE mini series at all?

ALLIE: There was a certain amount of interaction and some scripts and artwork being sent back and forth to coordinate a little bit. We coordinated, but we didn’t do it so slavishly that everything matches up, although it does match up. We didn’t spend all day working together.

AX: Can you tell me a bit about Andrew Chambliss’ [co-writer on the BUFFY – Season 9 comic] previous comics work?

ALLIE: He’s done a little bit of comics before. He’s relatively new to comics but he is working closely with me and Sierra Hawn [the other editor on the Whedon comics]. We’ve been working really closely with the DOLLHOUSE scripts and loving what we have been getting. We find that Joss’ TV writers transfer really easily and naturally into comics and that works out great for us.

Buffy & Angel from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER SEASON EIGHT | © 2011 Dark Horse Comics

Buffy & Angel from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER SEASON EIGHT | © 2011 Dark Horse Comics

AX: What is the biggest strength in doing a comic based on a TV series?

ALLIE: I’ve though about that a lot lately. I don’t watch a lot of TV. I don’t like a lot of TV. Yet, I find myself really compelled by comics spun off of TV shows. I used to be purely interested in creator-owned stuff. I’ve worked with Mike Mignola forever. I’ve worked with Sergio Aragonés. All these great guys. Now I am finding myself intrigued by comics spun off of TV. It has led me read a bunch of comics from other companies. I’ve read a bunch of SUPERNATURAL stuff and TRUE BLOOD stuff from IDW.

In constructing a TV show that works, you end up with pretty interesting, strong premise and a great cast of characters, if the show works. And I think nowhere do you see that better executed than in Joss’ stuff. So, it creates really fertile ground for continuing [the show] in comics. If you have a concept, like BUFFY, that’s colorful enough, that’s action packed enough and has enough distinct interesting elements to it, than it is a suitable premise for a comic. With Joss’ stuff in particular, with BUFFY in particular, the set up to the TV show was so heavily inspired by comics that it is no surprise that it makes a great premise for a comic.

The way that Joss writes this stuff and the way he gets other people to write his stuff, is a beautiful form of character-driven genre fiction where you get these action packed, fun stories that are really about something and about people. It works great in a serialized format. That’s what I like and that’s what I have learned from working with him. I’ve learned so much from watching Joss’ shows and really trying to study his shows to figure out what they are really about. To figure out how that translates into comics. And there is a lot there that translates to comics and a lot that works for serialized fiction of any kind.

AX: Did you get a chance to look at the BUFFY motion comic at all? Do you know if there will be a second half of the season as a motion comic?

ALLIE: I did not see it and I do not know if there are plans. I don’t think they have announced yet. I don’t know why they would wait so long.

AX: ALIENS, PREDATOR or ALIENS VS. PREDATOR, anything you can tell us?

ALLIE: No news at this time. There is stuff we are talking about but nothing we can talk about.

AX: Any other franchises – TV or movies – that you are working on?

ALLIE: MASS EFFECT is a big deal for us. We are doing a lot with MASS EFFECT this year. We acquired the license to AVATAR – THE LAST AIRBENDER. We’re first repackaging all the Nickelodeon stuff in a big brick Omnibus and then we are going to be doing new stuff down the road that we are not ready to announce yet.

AX: MASS EFFECT 3 game is coming out this year, is that going to be what the comics will be?

ALLIE: The comics will continue to be tied pretty close to the developments of the game. We continue to work with the writers of the game and we are really tight with that company. It is a really good relationship.

CLICK HERE for AX’s Exclusive interview with Scott Allie on BUFFY – SEASON 9

CLICK HERE for AX’s Exclusive Interview with SCOTT ALLIE on the ANGEL AND FAITH comic book

CLICK HERE to find out how much involvement Joss Whedon will have with BUFFY – SEASON 9

CLICK HERE to read our Top 10 Good Things about BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER – SEASON 8


CLICK HERE for AX’s Exclusive interview with DAVID BOREANAZ

CLICK HERE for a review of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER – SEASON 8 motion comics DVD

CLICK HERE for more exclusive ASSIGNMENT X interviews, news and more from the Joss Whedon universe

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  4. I do not consider it hybrpeole to talk about the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as scaling operatic heights, culminating with the glorious aria of Becoming, Part 2, which I still relentlesly tout as one of the ten best dramatic hours on television I have ever seen in my life. I have watched a lot of television and have been teaching classes about this topic for over half my life, so I believe I can make a pretty convincing case. We witnesses the potential of this series in Season 1, when creator Joss Whedon held off on the revelation that the mysterious Angel was really a vampire, who just happened to have a soul and loved the Slayer, until half way through the abbreviated first season. In Season 2, we find out just how far true love can go wrong.Love continues to be a very painful thing for the Scooby Gang, as Cordelia ( Some Assembly Required ), Xander ( Inca Mummy Girl ) and Joyce ( Ted ), find out. Then again, prospects look much better for Willow ( Phases ), although we never really do take the Cordelia-Xander romance ( Go Fish ) to be anything more than a cosmic joke, which does offer up the delightfully twisted Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered as the exception that proves the rule (footnote: Buffy spends most of the episode as the Buffy rat because Sarah Michelle Gellar was hosting SNL that week). Of the off-arc stories, Halloween and Ted are clearly the best of the bunch. But when it comes to romance, Buffy and Angel are truly on the road to hell paved with the best of intentions.It is clear in the season premier episode, When She Was Bad, that things are different. When Buffy dances seductively with Xander, taunting him with her sexuality, the ante has been upped considerably. The pivotal point in the season comes with episode 13 (of 22), Surprise, when Buffy unknowingly undoes Angel’s curse on the night of her 17th birthday by making love to him. Why the gypsies put in the Faustian (in the Goethe sense) escape clause via the moment of true happiness and contentment is debatable, but the galvanizing effect on the show is truly impressive. When Angelus brutally slays Jenny Calendar in Passion, leaving her body in a grotesque display for Giles to discover in his bed (while opera music soars in the background), it is the symbolic Hellmouth of the show opening up. The audience is shocked into realizing how bad things can get, only the worst is yet to come. Giles’s anger buys him one shot at Angelus, but Buffy has to rescue him. They turn on each other in anger, and Buffy actually slugs him to the ground before they collapse weeping in each other’s arms. Buffy tells him, I can’t do this alone, but this proves to be most ironically incorrect.Clearly Whedon constructs each season around two half-season story arcs. The first half of Season 2 heralds the arrival of Spike and Dru, and the quick departure of The Annoying One. Of course now we look back and are amazed at what James Marsters has done with the role of Spike, but at this point it is Juliet Landau’s ditzy psychotic vampire who provides the flair of the dark side. Whedon brings the first half to a climax in What’s My Line?, the show’s first two-parter, where we are introduced to Kendra the Vampire Slayer. It seems Buffy’s brief moment of death at the hands of the Master in Prophecy Girl has some long reaching implications we only begin to appreciate at this point. But with the return of Angelus everything changes. Spike and Drusilla are trying to reassemble the Judge, a grotesque who cannot be killed by any weapon forged. Then everybody learns the truth about not only Angel’s transformation but also Jenny’s betrayal. Thus begins the deadly game of cat and mouse between Angel and his former allies, which culminates in the two parts of Becoming. Both parts of Becoming are written and directed by Whedon, and represent the apex of his work on the series. When Angeleus opens the portal to Hell, only his blood can close it, but things are not going to be that easy for Buffy. The dramatic culmination contains the best fight sequence (with swords) in a show that prides itself on innovative staging of its fights, and is an ultimately emotionally shattering experience captured beautifully by Sarah Michelle Gellar’s slow dissolve into tears while the haunting Sarah McLachlan song Full of Grace is played. Joss Whedon had set this moment up from the first episode of the series. It is a payoff usually reserved for the final episode of a series and not simply the end of the second season. Becoming is truly an astounding accomplishment in the history of dramatic television and when you watch the entire second season again you can appreciate how brilliantly this shattering conclusion is set up. The original theatrical film was a teaser, the first season on television was an appetizer, but the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was epic and once you see this, whether again or for the first time, you are not going to want to stop here. It is especially nice to see that the extras have gone up a couple of notches for the Season 2 DVD collection which is clearly priced to be accessible to BtVS’s loyal fans. Yes, we all appreciated having the entire first season, just like our Buffy brethren across the sea, but certainly we expected more goodies from Whedon and crew, especially given the high quality of The Watchers Guide, the show’s official companion volumes. Clearly there is a lot of thought put into this show, which means any and all insights and looks behind the curtain are greatly appreciated.

  5. With the features-packed DVD of Buffy Season 2 due to hit our malxboies any month now, it’s time for a look back at the episodes that arguably turned the show from closet-watching fascination to cult phenomenon.Season 2 was Buffy s first full-length run of 22 episodes, up from 12 the previous spring. David Boreanaz (Angel) joined the cast full-time, and in his first episode, When She Was Bad , it’s clear that his feelings for Buffy have not gone away during the season hiatus. The romantic tension between the leads is intense in the season premiere, with Buffy challenging Angel to a fight (which would come back to be very important later), and Xander and Willow nearly kissing. School Hard introduced the season’s recurring villains, Spike and Drusilla, the Sid and Nancy of the vampire world. Spike hunts down Buffy through dark school characters, and Principal Snyder drops the first hint of the dark Sunnydale conspiracy of silence. Inca Mummy Girl and Reptile Boy are two fun monster shows. David Greenwalt, later the driving force behind the Angel show, will give audio commentary to the latter story, and this is anticipated to provide a great glimpse of how he’s influenced both shows. Halloween , Lie To Me , and The Dark Age explore the characters of Giles, Angel, Spike and Drusilla much more thoroughly, each showing scary glimpses of their dark pasts. The first of these stories introduces the recurring warlock Ethan Rayne, an old friend of Giles. The second features Jason Behr, who appeared in every WB teen series ever. What’s My Line? , a two-parter, here with audio commentary by executive producer Marti Noxon (another huge cog in the Buffy wheel), introduces the notion of the second slayer , sends the Buffy/Angel romance to a new level and features a surprising coupling between two other regulars. It’s the first of the season’s three two-parters, and you’ll be impressed to know that this is the weakest of the three. Ted is notable for Special Guest Star John Ritter. At the time, this bit of casting was seen as a triumph for the show, just getting attention in the national media. He’s a great psychopath, Jack Tripper-style. Surprise / Innocence is the next two-parter, presented with Joss Whedons commentary. Innocense moved Buffy from Monday nights to Tuesday, getting out of the Seventh Heaven shadow and anchoring its own night on the WB. Buffy and Angel have their moment of true happiness; Xander and Cordelia give Willow a moment of true unhappiness, and suddenly Spike and Drusilla are no longer the only villains. These two hours are among Buffy s greatest achievement. Phases is a funny werewolf show, moving Seth Green’s popular Oz into the inner-circle Scooby Gang. Bewitched, Bothered and Wildered is Xander’s comic Valentine’s Day nightmare, with another appearance by Amy the teen witch. Passion revels again in Buffy s ability to kill off regular characters. Many BtVS fans name this their favorite episode of all time.The season ends with a final two-parter, Becoming , and when part two aired, the four-month hiatus until Season 3 began, became unbearable. These two hours show, via flashback, the origins of Drusilla, Angel, and Buffy. The Buffy/Angel forbidden romance of all time comes to a shocking conclusion, and Spike comes to a sudden decision about his loyalties. Pay special attention to his fight with Buffy at the beginning of Part Two. Five years gone by, he’s still with us.The final episode changes every basic premise of the show, and if you haven’t seen it before, you’ll be left stunned. Indeed there’s barely a rotten episode in the bunch, with only a couple of the 22 hours you won’t watch more than once. With a sixth disc full of production featurettes, and hours of commentary from the production time and at an extremely reasonable price for a 6-disc set this is the must-buy DVD set of the year.


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