The Scoobies face down some demons.
Image: Georges Jeanty, Karl Story, Dan Jackson (Dark Horse)

Buffy Summers has been slaying demons for the past 26 years. This fall, her story in Dark Horse Comics’ ongoing Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Twelve: The Reckoning series will come to an end. And then? Well, it’s going to get interesting

In a recent interview with CBR, writer Joss Whedon reflected on the new places he’s taken the Scooby Gang over the years as their canonical adventures continued in Dark Horse’s comic pages. As Buffy and her allies have grown up, their lives have become organically more complicated and mature. Buffy and Spike broke up, Dawn and Xander had a baby, and Giles is...well, more or less still Giles (even if he’s gone through some shit).

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Whedon emphasized that while the fourth and final issue of The Reckoning is meant to be the finale of that series, it won’t simply end with all of its characters dead and setting up the plot for Fray, Whedon’s first comic book series about a slayer from the future. The fourth issue will be the end of the Dark Horse Buffy era and then, the rights to the series revert, interestingly, to Fox:

“In the meantime, we want to do something more with Dark Horse right now – especially because Fox is taking the Buffy license and the Firefly license back. And Dark Horse has shepherded these licenses for decades now.”

Whedon also expressed his uncertainty as to what the Buffy comics IP reverting back to Fox would mean given the impending sale of 21st Century Fox to Disney:

“I don’t know what’s going to happen with [Fray], actually. I mean, legally. I heard about all of this after the fact. It’s like Disney taking Star Wars over to Marvel. All the sudden we realize this is happening. So I’m writing this from a position that will leave everybody in a position where you feel some closure, but it’s definitely not, ‘Oh, I now I won’t ever want to read about them again.’”

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Between the comics and the upcoming reboot/revival, the Buffy franchise is having an interesting moment right now that, fittingly, feels like the time has come for a new slayer.