Watch out Buffy! There’s a gay vampire slayer in town and he’s a boy called Billy.
Anyone who’s a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer knows that “into every generation a slayer is born, one girl in all the world, a chosen one.” Okay, now taking into account that in the final episode of season 7, Buffy and the Scooby gang turned that completely on its head, slayers have always been woman. Well that’s all about to change with Billy the gay vampire slayer.
While Billy might not be a chosen one with the power of the slayer, he is however a boy with a dream to be a slayer, despite the typical feminine connotations that come with it. Buffy has always been about female empowerment and it finally struck a chord with Season 9 writers Jane Espenson and Drew Greenberg, who saw a new metaphor ripe for the slaying.
In an interview with Out Magazine, Jane Espenson and Drew Greenberg explains their reasoning for the new character.
“…I thought, Gee, all the work we’ve done with Buffy is about being female, and how that doesn’t mean that you are lesser. It suddenly struck me: If being feminine doesn’t mean that your’e lesser, then liking guys also doesn’t mean you’re lesser. For very good reason, we’ve focused on the female empowerment part of Buffy, but I wondered,Did we leave something out? What if someone in high school is looking up to Buffy as a role model, and we’re saying: You can’t be a Slayer.” says Espenson, who goes onto add, ”Batman doesn’t have super powers. He wasn’t gifted with an exotic foreign birth. So we take the Batman route; Billy is earning the Slayer mantle.”
Fans of the television series would also recall that the two worked on the show together from season 6 through to season 7, but this is the first time that they’ve collaborated on a comic together.
Greenberg goes onto explain that Billy is about a young man who finds strength by standing up to vampires and defining who he is going to be rather than letting others tell him who he should be. Sounds like the vampires could be a metaphor for bullies, don’t you think?
“Billy is someone who sees a need in his hometown and steps up to fill the void, even at great personal risk. He may not have the actual powers of the Slayers, but he’s determined to be his own kind of hero, one who’s sort of modeled after those who do have the power, and he sets out to make due with what he has. In the process, I think he hopes to follow the lead of all the strong, powerful Slayers who came before him and live up to the standard they set…Jane and I certainly talked a lot about the metaphor of feeling powerless in a place overrun with people who, if you let them, could end up sucking the life out of you, and what it means to be someone who stands up and says, ‘I want to make a difference in my life. And if I can make a difference in my life, maybe I’ll be making a difference in others’ lives, too.”
I won’t lie, I’m quite curious to see how this all pans out and I can’t help but wonder if this will tie into the futuristic-slayer series Fray that was released a few years ago. Remember how her brother had the dreams and memories of the Slayers and Fray had all the Slayer strength?
What are your thoughts?