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Dark Horse Kicks Off the Next Phase of the Whedonverse with Buffy, Angel & Faith, and Serenity

Dark Horse has announced plans for the next phase of the Whedonverse in comics, as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel & Faith enter season 10, while the Browncoats rise again with Serenity: Leaves on the Wind.

On the fanged front, perhaps the most exciting announcement is that writer Christos Gage and artist Rebekah Isaacs, the creative team behind Angel & Faith‘s inaugural run, will be taking over the main Buffy title. Over 25 issues on Angel & Faith, Gage and Isaacs nailed the voices and physical characteristics of the characters again and again while telling a story that felt entirely of a piece with the beloved TV series, often overshadowing the main book in the process. “[It’s] not as intimidating as setting foot in the Buffyverse for the very first time,” Gage tells Comic Book Resources. The book will “pick up fairly soon after the end of the previous series,” and while Buffy and the Scoobies are still cleaning up after the Zompires, “a new [threat] is coming, ready or not.” As the gang confronts a world in which magic has returned, Buffy will face a “crushing sense of responsibility,” Willow will attempt not to succumb to her past addictions, Xander and Dawn will re-examine their relationship, and Spike? Spike is apparently in hero mode, though knowing what the Whedonverse does to heroes, that may not be a good thing. One other thing Gage teases: Buffy and Giles will finally be reunited.

As for Angel & Faith, it will be overseen by the new creative team of Victor Gischler and Will Conrad, both names familiar to Whedon fans. Gischler wrote last season’s Spike: A Dark Place mini-series, while Conrad served as artist on the two previous Serenity minis, Those Left Behind and Better Days. While Angel & Faith turned into something of a team book, with the titular characters joined by a resurrected Giles and several new faces, it seems that, at least for now, Angel is on his own. In the same CBR interview, Gischler says of everyone’s favorite brooding vampire and badass Slayer, “[It’s] safe to say they won’t immediately reunite. They each have some issues to explore on their own, and it’s important we give the characters room to do that.” With Faith “not even on the same continent,” Angel will have to deal with London’s Magic Town, where the mutated victims of Pearl and Nash’s schemes have gathered. “People who were once friends or neighbors have been turned into –things. It’s going to be a long time before this community feels ‘normal’ and it’s never going to be the same … [Angel] has to try to get on top of that situation right away, if he can.”

Now for the big damn news: more than eight years after Serenity, we’re finally going to see what happens to the crew following the events of the film. Zack Whedon, brother of Joss, will be penning the six-issue mini-series Serenity: Leaves on the Wind, which picks up nine months after Mal broadcast the Alliance’s darkest secrets. Having written the graphic novel The Shepherd’s Tale, as well as a few online comics set in the ‘Verse, Whedon is no stranger to the cast of Firefly. Speaking to Nerdist, Whedon says, “the challenge is to create something that feels of a piece with the existing franchise… but the Serenity/Firefly world is where I feel most confident.” What can we expect from the book? “Hijinks do not ensue much in this series. … They are on the defensive a bit, they’ve been painted one way by the media and the Alliance is trying to stamp them out harder than ever.” As Nerdist points out, the nine-month time frame is pretty specific, and if you’ve read Patton Oswalt’s Serenity: Float Out one-shot, you’ll remember that Zoe is pregnant. Perhaps a new crew member is in the offing? Joining Whedon is Georges Jeanty, the long-time Buffy penciler who worked on both seasons 8 and 9.

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind, a six-issue mini-series, is set to debut on January 29, 2014. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 will arrive in shops on March 19, with Angel & Faith following on April 2. Both series are slated to run 30 issues. With so much change in the air, it may very well be a good time to be a Whedonverse comics fan.

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Arlo J. Wiley

Arlo J. Wiley