Joss Whedon Returns To Comics For Giles, a Buffy Spinoff Miniseries
It’s been a few years since Joss Whedon directly contributed to his Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics at Dark Horse. Whedon has largely “executive produced” the comics since he went on to direct The Avengers and its sequel, as well as the Justice League reshoots. But now, Whedon is finally coming back to Buffy for a special occasion: a new Giles spinoff miniseries starring Buffy’s middle aged mentor turned teenager.
AVClub had the initial announcement of Giles, which Whedon will co-write with Erika Alexander, while Jon Lam will handle the art. If you haven’t been keeping up with the Buffy comics since season 8, here’s the quick rundown on why Giles is a kid: he died. Or more specifically, he was murdered by Angel while he was under the control of otherworldly powers. Wracked with guilt, Angel went on a crusade to resurrect Giles, and he succeeded. Kind of. It’s really not Angel's fault, but Giles was reborn as a child, with his mind and memories intact. Giles has been less than happy about this change, and the new miniseries is going to explore that by sending Giles back to high school...in the inner city.
“Giles has never really dealt with the public school system as it exists for most kids,” explained Whedon while speaking to AVClub. “He’s never been to the city. Giles has always had the advantage of being a part of the system that educated him. He was taught to be a watcher in a family of watchers. His education was, in the grand British public school tradition, both expansive and parochial. In-depth views of tiny portions of the world. Of course, he walked over the awkward hormonal coals of adolescence—but now he knows more, and expects better of himself. His once-more 15-year-old body, however, is oblivious to his wisdom/cynicism/impatience.”
It’s worth noting that Whedon once planned to make a Ripper TV series that would have featured Anthony Stewart Head reprising his role as Giles from Buffy. “Ripper” was Giles’ nickname as a young adult, and it carried the connotations of his past with dark magic. Since Ripper never came together for television, the four-issue Giles miniseries will be the first starring turn for Buffy’s father figure. The reason why he’s going back to school now is that instructors have been mysteriously disappearing, and Giles’ apparent youth makes him the ideal choice to go undercover and investigate.
While Giles’ mind and personality are intact, Alexander hinted that other aspects of himself will come out in this new setting. “Giles will meet characters he’s familiar with,” explained Alexander. “Characters loafing around at any high school: shy girls, bullies, crazy principals, mysterious janitors, loony students posing as a teachers’ aides, as well as a few surprises. But the most important character he’ll meet is himself. A version of himself he thought, hoped, he left long ago, will be there to greet him. And that Giles gives our Giles anxiety.”
Giles #1 will be released on Wednesday, February 28, 2018.
Images: Dark Horse Comics