So. Wow. Where to start. Um, how about with the begining:
I picked up my issue of Buffy Season 8 #12 today, expecting no less than my monthly dose of amazing and this month doubled down.
No shit wow.
So that's Buffy there on the right. And that's another girl on the left. So this is a big deal. So I'm saying so a lot. First off, the New York Times has a big article on the event. Joss Whedon talks there and also at Newsarama which is a much longer and interesting interview.
I believe Whedon when he says it's not a stunt. Buffy has never been about stunts, or 'this week, on very special episode of Blossom...'. And this series has moved the landscape enough through its sheer existence to not require any gimmick to draw readers to it (any Buffy die-hards put off by the comic, and there are some, will certainly not come back for this). Joss says its an evolution of the character, except she's not gay. So why is she..?
ABC News wonders aloud if it's a stunt/gimmick/etc. and let me explain why it's not and why I think this has been coming for a long time. First off, Buffy is not gay. She will not become gay. This is clearly history repeating itself: Buffy voids her loneliness with the nearest available option, good or bad, and apparently now, male or female. It stands to reason Buffy would entertain such thoughts - she's young, 24 at the most I think - and surrounded by dozens of hot young women. She's hopelessly lonely. Her isolation deepens with age. And it's been a while - Great Muppety Odin, it's been a while - so I'm not surprised by this at all. Especially since this has been coming more or less since Season 3.
Buffy's relationship with Faith - prior to the break-up - was coded at various times as romantic. Buffy and Faith were not lovers, but there was a gay reading there (if you were so inclined). A season later Willow reveals she's gay. Faith's closeness with Buffy clearly left Willow sore (to this day) and in retrospect, it seems more than Willow simply being left out. She's jealous. There's nothing to suggest Willow ever felt for Buffy that way, but in issue #12, it's Willow's reaction that answers the question of why do this now. Willow has the same sore reaction to Buffy/Satsu that she did Buffy/Faith and I think Willow can handle Buffy with someone else so long as they're not a woman. That's too much of a threat. Willow loves Buffy (she risked everything - and lost it - to bring Buffy back from the dead) and now with this incident, the earth is going to open up big. I think a lot of buried things are going to come to the surface. Just a few issues ago, Willow explained she couldn't share her self with Buffy because everything Buffy touches comes apart. With Willow, Buffy can only ever be destructive; Willow can never reconcile her feelings.
Damn. It's a whole month before the next issue...