It was Joss Whedon versus the fans at his Comic-Con panel, where the writer and director talked Buffy Season Nine, Buffy's impending crossovers with Angel & Faith, and Whedon's desire to write a strong gay male character.
Whedon spent an hour answering questions from fans, largely about his Dark Horse comics. In between discussions of Buffy's future and the progress on Dr. Horrible 2, one fan asked if, since Whedon has written gay female characters, has he ever considered writing a strong, out-and-proud gay male character? Whedon said it's on the agenda.
Image from "Always Darkest", a 2-page comic by Joss Whedon and Jo Chen.
I have actually wanted to do a book. I have one in mind. It's not on the front burner.
You write enough lesbians and you start to realize: This is just a guy. This isn't feminism. This is Cinemax. I think it's time for a little equal opportunity. Besides, who doesn't love cock?
But at the moment, he's working on Buffy Season Nine. He admits that, while he was originally excited by the possibilities of comics to tell stories too big and expensive for television, Season Eight's grand story lines proved "an albatross."
People were more interested in [Buffy's] life than in having her do bigger things....Having done things I couldn't do on television show caused me to discover that I don't want to.
Season Nine finds Buffy living in San Francisco, returning to having a real life. She's contending not only with the mystical, but with Dawn's burgeoning independence:
She's going to have her own journey and become her own person and not just be the little sister. And that's going to be very hard for Buffy. She's Buffy's greatest support system. She's also moving on with her life, which will be difficult for Buffy.
Buffy is also going to see some characters from Angel, and Buffy characters will find their way onto Angel & Faith:
All of the Buffy and Angel characters are under one roof now. I want to thank IDW for shepherding Angel for so long, but at the end of the day, it makes it easier to have them all in one house.
So who could we expect on Buffy? A certain Old One, for one. "I just need more Illyria." Spike will also reappear, and we'll find out where he got his insect dirigible. Whedon promises that Spike will be important in Buffy's life. "It's just too fun to get those two in a room."
To a question about a Ripper spinoff, Whedon replied that we'll see shades of Giles's Ripper past in Angel & Faith. "[Angel and Faith] are living in Giles's house and are immersed in his world."