Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Buffy Season 9 Draft Picks

Even though there are four issues left of Buffy Season 8, the discussion has turned to Angel's return to the Dark Horse stable and the multiple titles that will represent Buffy Season 9.  Scott recently mentioned at Dragon Con that he had locked down an artist for the Angel comic which only spurned me to be more curious.  I've been thinking a lot about what titles I'd like to see, what characters I think should get their own books.  I've come up with eight, four ladies and four gents, each who brings something to the table to merit a miniseries at least.  For each book I will pitch a concept and an artist.  With that, our premise, let's begin with some minor characters and slowly build our way up to the big leagues.

See the full draft picks under the cut!

Joelle Jones
Dawn - I feel like this is a little unlikely but, at the very least, Dawn deserves to break free from the shadow of her older sister and get a miniseries of her own.  I would propose a story where Dawn goes to a magical sleep away school full of mysterious goings on.  It would give her a chance to go deep under cover and take charge of her own life for once.  I also like the idea of putting Dawn with other characters of her own age as well as using her story as a vehicle to get back to the old "high school is hell" style of storytelling that Buffy thrived in during it's first three seasons.  Assuming Satsu doesn't bite it, I'd love to see her along for the ride, too.  Dawn and Satsu would make a really fun team.  As for style, think Veronica Mars meets Harry Potter with just a dash of Gossip Girl

My pick for artist on this book is Joelle Jones who you're familiar with because she recently tackled the Doctor Horrible one-shot but you'll also recognize her from Madame Xanadu as well as Fables.  She's no stranger to drawing characters, young and old, and I feel like her playful style would match up perfectly with Dawn's acerbic yet bubbly ways.

Georges Jeanty
Xander - I guess there aren't any non major characters but, like Dawn, I'm not sure I see Xander getting an ongoing story, but something more akin to a six part mini series.  We've seen Xander get to enact a few fantasies thus far.  He's taken army guy to the extreme with his Nick Fury act but I'm anxious to fulfill yet another dream of our young Mister Harris's: Bond.  James Bond.  That's right.  I want to give the man some fancy drinks, maybe a tux, and send him on some high flying spy adventures.  Think of it as a comic book version of Chuck that's actually worth reading (sorry, Wildstorm).  Throw in a little bit of Batman for grit and you've got the perfect opportunity for Xander to step out from behind Buffy and do a little day saving of his own.  Think of it as an extended The Zeppo where, as Buffy is busy handling her own threat, Xander is dealing with something underneath the surface that no one else even realizes is there, a story that starts local but takes him to destinations exotic.  When Dawn is all done with her own series, I'd love for her to come along for the ride as Xander's Bond Girl, so to speak. 

For this story, I'd like to bring back Georges Jeanty.  Of all the characters Georges has drawn, I think he's consistently done Xander the best.  It's not even that he looks exactly like Nick Brendon so much as there's an essence to the character that I feel Georges taps into.  Plus, I just love the idea of giving Georges the chance to be the Q to Xander's Bond.

Gabriel Ba & Fabio Moon
Giles - I can see Giles going either way.  I'd like to see him get at least a twelve issue story, though, if only because I see the need for him to do something big on his own.  I'd like to see Rupert return to England to finally rebuild the Watcher's Council.  I like the idea of him hunting down any other surviving members as well as seeking out new members.  It also gives us the opportunity to explore the gray relationship that the Watcher's sometimes have with the world of demons.  I'd love a story where some demons see a need for the Watcher's Council as a conduit by which humans and demons keep a tenuous peace, but other demons are interested only in annihilation of humanity and chaos.  We don't know who else is a watcher, really, but I'm awfully tempted to have Andrew come along for the ride.  He would bring some lightness to what could, otherwise, be a mostly dark tale.  I also wouldn't turn away some more Giles/Faith interplay.  I don't know what they'd do together but, frankly, pretty much anything involving these two is a win for me.

For this book, I will give several helpful (but not necessary) organs to see Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon.  Why?  Have you read Daytripper?  Look, this is just me calling on two of the greatest artists in comic book history.  I'd love to see their interpretation of Giles as well as see them create some really interesting demons, both humanoid and Lovecraftian.

Amanda Conner
Faith - I absolutely, without question, think Faith deserves her own ongoing.  Like Spike, she is a complex and fascinating character who, despite having never had a TV series of her own, has become fully realized in ways that most protagonists on other shows could only dream.  I'm going to make this simple.  Faith, New York City, and a hellmouth that would put Sunnydale's to shame.  I'd also like to see someone from Angel's universe come out and team up with her.  My preference goes to Connor whose interaction with her during Angel's fourth season convinced me right away that they'd make a fun pair.  I also think Faith could do with a Slayer in waiting, so to speak, her own little padawan to ghost her and learn the ropes.  That is, of course, assuming there are any other slayers left. 

The artist I'd like to see on this book is Amanda Conner because Faith is totally Power Girl; strong, smart, and more than a bit of a smart ass.  Like Faith, Power Girl has grown into one hell of a feminist icon and it's in no small part thanks to Amanda's gift for expressiveness and motion.  Just no boob windows, please.

Terry Moore
Willow - Another lock for an ongoing series, Willow is our chance to explore other realms, magical and magickal (with the 'K').  It's a chance to be both philosophical as we examine the far reaching possibilities of human existence but also, like with Giles, it's a chance to see a witch go toe to toe with some bad ass demons that we haven't seen before.  I also want to see Willow get in touch with all those other witches out there, both good and not so good.  This is a great chance to expand on Kennedy and Willow's relationship together.  In fact, I hope the powers that be writing this book use this as an opportunity to really explore queer characters and narratives since I feel like we've really only ever pierced that veil in Buffy. 

With all that in mind, there can only be one artist (possibly writer as well) to handle this book: Terry Moore.  Like Joelle Jones, Terry already has one Whedony feather in his cap from when he drew the Willow & Tara story, Wannablessedbe.  Of the characters there, he just nailed the look of Willow so perfectly that I've been dying ever since to see him do more.  On the queer front, Terry is responsible for Strangers in Paradise.  I don't know what else I can say.  Terry Moore is the perfect person for this job.  Story, end of.

Fiona Staples
Spike - Talking about a DH Spike series, like with Angel, is a bit sticky since I'm already thrilled with the team of Brian Lynch and Franco Urru at IDW.  That being said, I don't think either of them will be involved with the Spike book at DH so, given that, I'm going to go with an artist that I think a lot of people may not be familiar with.  Backtracking a little first, I certainly hope Spike gets an ongoing series.  As Joss has mentioned, he is the most complex and fully realized character in the Buffy and Angel narratives so it seems only right for him to finally get a long term story of his own.  I'd love to see what that ship full of bugs can do, especially if it gives Spike the chance to do a bit of traveling from week to week.  I'd love to see Spike have some real freedom, use that ship of his as a bit of a magic carpet so he can go anywhere he's needed (or just wherever he wants, honestly).  The greatest thing about Spike is that he exists outside of the status quo, away from prophecies.  In fact I like the idea of Spike being the prophecy wrecker.  Show up, get told how things are meant to be, prove why that's stupid, save the day, get back on the ship, and leave everyone wondering who that not so masked stranger was.  To me Spike is a crossover event in a trench coat.  I hope every character takes at least one trip with him.  Buffy, Angel, Willow, Giles, Faith, and any other takers.  I feel like Spike's the man to get them out of their own heads, and I love the idea of him being Buffy and Angel's boss for a change.

For this comic, I would tap Fiona Staples, whose work I recently discovered and instantly fell in love with while reading Steve Niles's new book, Mystery Society.  There's something about the angularness of the characters Fiona draws and the way she expresses action from panel to panel that makes me think she'd be a perfect fit for our man, Spike.

Stephen Mooney
Angel - It's a given that Angel will have his own comic, I assume.  Also, since he's come off looking like a prize winning douchetard, I'm pretty sure Angel isn't going to be in the most positive of states in Season 9.  This is speculation, granted, but I do think Angel will have done more harm than good by issue #40 and I think he's going to be in total depression-vile as a result.  I'm thinking it's back to the Hyperion for Broody McForehead where he and Gunn can pour out a few while Illyria eyes them suspiciously.  I'm envisioning a year of getting back to the basics for Angel.  Something a bit noir, like Season 1 of his show but, you know, more compelling.  Angel's at his best when he's miserable and alone so that's exactly what I want to give him, lucky sod. 

The artist?  Well... I struggled with this one, especially since Scott already has one picked out.  After a lot of contemplation I figured, screw it, Stephen Mooney's my man.  Back in the day he took charge during part of After the Fall and, while some people hated what he did, I was enthralled.  I think Mooney has a gift for capturing likenesses better than anyone.  Plus, there's a kind of inherent darkness to his style, almost gothic, which is a color that I think suits Angel perfectly.  It's a controversial choice, for sure, but, hey, my list, my rules.

Pia Guerra
Buffy - Finally.  There really isn't a lot to say about this title other than that I hope it functions on a smaller scale than Season 8 did.  I hope Buffy, like Angel, gets back to basics and, if time travel has it's way, I'd love for her to have Sunnydale back for her home base.  I have no idea what's going to happen to her.  I will say this, though, there is an artist who is perfect for a Buffy book, a woman who has drawn some of the best of the best, and someone who actually wanted this gig in the first place.  I speak, of course, of Pia Guerra, she of Y: The Last Man fame.  I'll include the sample art she submitted and let it speak for itself.  On second thought, never mind.  I just think this was the job Pia was born for.  I can't think of anyone better to draw a Buffy comic.  She has the likenesses, she's great with displaying subtle expressiveness as well as heart pounding action, and she loves Buffy.  What more do you want?  Of all these artists I've lined up, if I could only choose one, Pia would be it.

These are my picks for artists.  At this point I'm leaving my thoughts on authors out of the mix but I definitely want to hear everyone's thoughts on writers as well as their picks for artists and, really, just what comics you'd want to see and what they'd be about?  Would you want more Fray?  Who else should get a comic?  Consider this an open discussion because I would love to know what people are interested in seeing.


gigi said...

I think you forgot Illyria.
Now there is a so much promising character, much more than Xander or Dawn.

Bitsy said...

That's a great idea. What kind of story would you like to see for Illyria? Do you have an artist you'd like to see on an Illyria book?

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with your idea for Angel-Stephen Mooney was my face artist for that book(along with Brian Denham).They are the only 2 that really captured the likenesses for me.

Jeanty has already said that he would want to work on BUFFY rather than ANGEL, which I am Very happy about.His style would not suit ANGEL at all.

I have no idea if Angel will go back to the Hyperion(or even LA for that matter), but if he does the artist needs to be ae to capture the darkness that is inherent in 'the series...and for the love of all that's holy, be able to get the likenesses better than what DH has offered so far with the BUFFY comic.

Come to think of it, someone like Serenity artist Will Conrad would be excellent.He can get the likenesses down, and does a less 'cartoony' style than someone lido Jeanty or Urru.I prefer a more 'realistic' style for ANGEL.

AndrewCrossett said...

If there's going to be a "main" season 9 miniseries that all the others will revolve around (most likely featuring Buffy herself), I'd like Jeanty to do it.

Amanda Conner is at the top of my wish list for other artists. If I had my way, there would be a series starring Satsu, Leah and Rowena, and she'd draw it.

gigi said...

I would like Illyria to have all of her powers and go back in time to find out what happened to her army -which, as we know, was destroyed.
Maybe try to reverse that?
At least at the beginning....
And, at the end, whatever she does, she finds out that she was the one who went back in time and destroyed her army, because she evolved and she cares about humanity now.
I don't know how they can fit a story like that in season 9, but if Spike's ship can jump through dimensions and planes, maybe it can timetravel as well.

Anyway, that's the kind of story i want Illyria to tell us.

Favorite artist for that, no, i don't have, basically i can't think of someone particular now.

Bitsy said...

Angeliclestat - Will Conrad is a great artist. He could definitely do a great Angel, I think. And, gigi, maybe he could work on your Illyria story, too.

Andrew - Nice to see I'm not the only one who wants to see Amanda Conner involved. I would definitely love to see her tackle a whole group of slayers in their own book. I think it's high time we really explore these new characters. Great idea!

AndrewCrossett said...

Pia Guerra would also be perfect.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see DH Spike outgoing monthly series. I'm going to miss Brian Lynch and Urru so badly... I think Fiona Staples would be a good artist for the Spike's comics. But I'd love Jo Chen to being the main artist. The idea about crossovers with the other characters is interesting either. I'd love to see and Spike/Fray crossover and why not a Spike/Serenity crossover - He's a vampire, hero and survivor and he could survive even to the distant future! :)
And gigi is right - I'd love to see Illyria series but I don't take any interest to Xander and Dawn series - both of them are good as supporting and background characters and I don't see them as main characters... well that's my opinion :) Your ideas about Giles, Faith and Willow are interesting either :)

Jen said...

I think a mini featuring a rebellous teenage Rupert "Ripper" Giles would be awesome. I think it would give us some fun insight into Giles character and it was something that has been talked about often in the series but never fully explored. While we know Ethan Rayne, we never got to meet his other Eyghon buddies so it would give the writers a chance to create some new characters. Gabriel Ba who did The Umbrella Academy could be the artist.

I also think a mini Tales of The Slayers featuring some of our modern day slayers - Violet, Sansu, Kennedy, Simone, etc. would be cool. If would give the reader a chance to see different sides to being a Slayer especially with some many of them now. It could be done by multiple artists.

Lastly, this pretty much goes without saying, a Spike monthly would be awesome. Illyria could be his co-star because I really enjoy those two together. I like the Fiona Staples idea for artist.

Mares said...

The Kennedy character should be removed from season 9. Bring Tara back to life! Willow needs her to contain her dark side. Great post, by the way :)