Georges Jeanty, Buffy Season 8 artist, led a panel discussion at Dragon*Con 2011 about Buffy Season 9, which is due out September 14 from Dark Horse Comics.
After Buffy the Vampire Slayer ended its seven-season run on television, Jeanty says Joss Whedon wanted to continue the story without the drama of tv execs and actors; thus, Buffy Season 8 comics was born. In Season 8, we follow Buffy as she tries to navigate life in a world filled with new slayers and a mysterious force trying to destroy them.
In Season 9, Buffy is living in San Francisco with two new roommates. She may (or may not) meet a new love interest in Season 9. She will definitely be forming new relationships, Jeanty coyly told the crowd. He did say that Willow gets a new girlfriend in Season 9, after dropping Kennedy in Season 8. Speaking of Kennedy, Jeanty revealed that he drew Kennedy breaking the fourth wall at the end of the breakup scene, saying, “Happy now?” in a nod to the fact that fans generally hated Kennedy.
Willow must adapt to life in a world without the magics in Season 9. Will she turn dark again this season? Jeanty either doesn’t know or isn’t saying. Besides appearing in Season 9, Willow will have her own limited series.
Jeanty stated that Joss Whedon’s decision to kill Giles in Season 8 was the most difficult plot point for him personally. He loves Giles. When he received the script in which Giles dies, he tried to dissuade Joss. However, he says that the big man told him, “Giles is no longer relevant; if we kill him, he becomes relevant again.” In Season 9, Angel, who killed Giles while being possessed by Twilight, will seek redemption. When talking about the scene in which Angel killed Giles, Jeanty said he deliberately made the scene a mirror image of Angelus killing Jenny Calendar. He snaps Giles neck, turning his head to the opposite side as Jenny.
When asked by a fan if he shipped any specific characters, Jeanty laughed that Scott Allie, Dark Horse editor, is tormented by the different shippers. Jeanty believes that Angel and Buffy are soulmates, but she and Spike have a much more workable relationship that he thinks will be able to be sustained. Spike will appear in Season 9. Dander shippers (Dawn and Xander) will be pleased that the two will continue dating in Season 9.
While Season 8 had a long run with forty issues, Season 9 will be much more streamlined. The comic will have 25 issues, with new issues coming out monthly.