Socialist Worker

Buffy the Vampire Slayer chooses politics

by Angela Stapleford
Issue No. 2291

The popular TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer featured Buffy as the “Chosen One”—one girl chosen to fight vampires. Now the Chosen One is exercising her right to choose abortion.

Though the last episode of the TV show aired in 2003, Buffy was revived as a comic in 2007 overseen by creator Joss Whedon.

Many of the comic’s writers worked on the TV show and have maintained the strong humour and characterisation associated with it.

Telling Buffy’s story on the page meant writers were free to explore ideas that could not have been possible on screen. With the latest “season” of comics, Whedon has gone back to the roots of the show and dealt with day-to-day struggles.

The first issues depict Buffy being chased for her student debt. She is stuck in low wage employment and can’t even begin to pay for her incomplete education.

Buffy then finds herself with a dilemma many women will be familiar with—an unexpected and unwelcome pregnancy.

On the rare occasions when this issue is dealt in popular culture, the most obvious solution to the problem—abortion—is usually absent or passed over with little serious consideration.

The question for the woman is usually posed as whether to keep the baby or carry it to term and give it up for adoption—see Juno, Glee, Knocked Up and so on.

But writer Andrew Chambliss has Buffy weigh up her options and state her intentions to have an abortion frankly.

This is in keeping with Whedon’s vision of representing women as more than just victims. Buffy finds herself in a difficult situation—and she can take control of it.

The format has changed but Buffy continues to be a bold series.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic published by Dark Horse, www.darkhorse.com

Angela runs a blog about vampires and popular culture—go to www.vampiresthesedays.com


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Tue 21 Feb 2012, 18:24 GMT
Issue No. 2291
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