Although the comic book Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 has just wrapped up, Joss Whedon has plans for the future. So what's in store for Buffy in the upcoming Season 9? He gives some hints in a letter to the fans.
First, Whedon admits that Season 8 had some problems finding the right blend between the television and comic-book formats, as well as pinpointing the tone he wanted to set. But when he did, he said, "I completely changed my plan for Season 9."
Joss wrote in the last issue:
I was so excited to finally have an unlimited budget that I wanted to make the book an epic, but I realized along the way that the things I loved the best were the things you loved the best: the peeps. The down-to-earth, recognizable people.
Actually, there was a reason Season 8 was exceptionally epic—with goddesses, excruciating betrayals and multiple deaths (this is Joss, after all): Joss had to piece together the world of Buffy with the world of Fray.
Fray, a comic book Joss had written in 2001, was about a slayer without lineage; no other slayer had been born into the world for hundreds of years since demons had been banished from Earth in the 21st century.
The biggest challenge in Season 8 was that many years ago I wrote a Slayer comic and set it in the far future so that it could never affect Buffy's life. ... But the challenge of reconciling the optimistic, empowering message of the final episode with the dystopian, Slayerless vision of Fray's future gave Season 8 a genuine weight.
Joss will be toning down operatic grandeur of in favor of more human stories.
You've got a sense of where we're heading for Season 9. Back, a bit, to the everyday trials that made Buffy more than a superhero. That made her us.... No matter how interesting the world stage or mystical dimensions can be, Buffy's best when she's walking that alley, dusting vamps, and nursing a pouty heart.