Joss Whedon deserves an enormous amount of credit for going anywhere near this subject. Especially in the medium he chose to. Buffy has always been pro-woman (it has its detractors as well) and here the case is being made for a woman's right to choose. The story (issue 6 of Season 9, on sale right now) features both the best writing and the best art of the season so far. The scene above where she tells Spike of her decision is the most effective this year. My hope is that she does not go through with it. That's a personal wish, but also a concern that by doing so, Buffy is making a commitment to a lifestyle (slaying) that for the moment, appears not to have a future. Buffy's real choice is whether or not she abandons her calling, and domesticates herself. She chooses not to. As a representation of women in a male dominated medium, and now, as a political argument, making this choice grows Buffy the icon. This isn't just a comic book, just like it was never just a TV show.
Still, there are a few issues I have.
- This is a case of men (Whedon and the all male creative crew) making politics of a woman's right to choose. Given recent events, I feel this is part of the discussion now. And it was before; the subject of female leads in genre media and who is/isn't depiciting them has been an issue for a while now.
- The series has become literal, and now both literally and figuratively, it has lost its magic.
I am looking forward to seeing how this plays out. I love Buffy and the characters. My hope is the series finds its footing and the alchemy that made once so great.