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The new take on Willow

Spanky

I'm came here to chew bubblegum and go off topic.
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
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Black Thorn
After reading the first issue, the character that stood out to me most was Willow. In the original series, the first time Willow and Buffy talk Willow basically apologizes for interacting with Buffy, but here she’s much more confident. Can you explain a bit about your take on Willow and why you’ve made these adjustments with her early on?

JB: I think me and Jeanine when we first started talking about the project, we both talked about how we both love Willow. I think Willow definitely has a lot of charm being this sweet, quiet, bookish girl, but she really came into her own confidence in the later parts of the show. I just think that's the thing that young girls need today, you know, I think we need strong female characters who are confident, not just shrinking violets. Not to say that obviously there aren't women who are like that, still confident, but I just thought it would be a nice flip and a nice change for once to have somebody smart, to have somebody sweet, who is also confident and who can speak her mind and can be honest, and open, and frank.

I think it's a nice reversal for Willow to kind of start her off that way. I mean, who's to say, though, that we won't sort of circle back around maybe to some insecurities that she might have, because I think every person has insecurities. Right now I thought it would be cool to start her off sort of different from how we originally first saw her.

JS: I think one of the things that we talked about too was a lot of more sort of bookish or nerdy girls have larger communities now that they can go with the Internet. So I think they've, again not that there aren't girls who are still like, you know, reserved or shy in real life, but I think they have an opportunity to learn more about themselves and build up more confidence because they can more easily find communities of people who are like them.

So again, that was a kind of a function of “It's 2019.” It's not just cell phones, it's “How does society change? How do our connections change, being in the future and being able to reach out to more people like us?”

Do you think it will miss something by not showing/having Willow grow in confidence? I mean that was a big part of the Willow arc, was it not? It's sort of what made Willow Willow. What do you all think? Was showing Willow's growth and belief in herself needed today? or is "later" Willow better?

Both of the writers menton how they love Willow. I posit it's because they loved witnessing her transformation. And they were part of watching her growth. What do you think?
 

Bluebird

two by two, hands of blue
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Black Thorn
I think Willow definitely has a lot of charm being this sweet, quiet, bookish girl, but she really came into her own confidence in the later parts of the show. I just think that's the thing that young girls need today

I doubt this line of thinking. I mean Willow comes across as almost cocky in her confidence, and that's not relatable to most teenage girls. Original Willow was relatable, as most people grow into themselves and their self confidence.

Also, the season 1 TV characters didn't feel as quippy or know-it-all and cringy. There was more vulnerability to them.

One more complaint!!

Isn't the up to date setting, with hipster lingo and references to very specific generational stuff ie gamertags, going to date this series worse than the show? It seems to be emphasising some of the ideas of our current culture, including language use. Why not reference the top trending YouTube video of the week while you're at it.
 

Spanky

I'm came here to chew bubblegum and go off topic.
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Black Thorn
Also, the season 1 TV characters didn't feel as quippy or know-it-all and cringy. There was more vulnerability to them.
It feels like Season 5 Buffy put back in high school. I can see the appeal as they don't have to do the whole learning curve again and can hit the ground running.
 
Angel6
Angel6
I get that. It definitely sounds like their leaning into later series Spike too which I think is a shame.

Spanky

I'm came here to chew bubblegum and go off topic.
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Black Thorn
@Angel6 "sounds like their leaning into later series Spike too which I think is a shame." I read it another way.
 

DagonSphere

Potential
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Feb 24, 2018
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221
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31
Do you think it will miss something by not showing/having Willow grow in confidence? I mean that was a big part of the Willow arc, was it not? It's sort of what made Willow Willow. What do you all think? Was showing Willow's growth and belief in herself needed today? or is "later" Willow better?

Both of the writers menton how they love Willow. I posit it's because they loved witnessing her transformation. And they were part of watching her growth. What do you think?
I personally think they lose an important part of the Willow we grew to love over the course of the original series, because the "shy Willow" was the one we fell in love with, because she was relatable and a real underdog, and we cheered her on as she became more confident and found a wonderful female Bestie in Buffy.

At the same time I am also glad they're mixing things up. We already have the TV show and nothing they will do will ever come close to it, I'm afraid. This is an alternative version of Buffy and whether their changes lead to anything interesting depends on where they plan to take these new incarnations of the characters we loved so much. Will they find an interesting new direction to take Willow in if she already starts out confident? Do they know where they want to go with her? A lot will depend on their vision for the character's journey.
 
Angel6
Angel6
Exactly nothing can change the original story, not season 8, not a reboot, not Boom. It’s all else worlds to me

The Bronze

Rogue Demon Hunter
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Black Thorn
I still can't wrap my head around the point of this. Same characters, same appearance, same scenario. Just little changes and a new year. It's all very odd. The artist they have here appears to be a good find though from the panels I've seen.

Willow starting out the way she did originally was fundamental to the character. You're definitely losing plenty by changing her.
 
W

WillowFromBuffy

Guest
I think me and Jeanine when we first started talking about the project, we both talked about how we both love Willow. I think Willow definitely has a lot of charm being this sweet, quiet, bookish girl, but she really came into her own confidence in the later parts of the show. I just think that's the thing that young girls need today, you know, I think we need strong female characters who are confident, not just shrinking violets.

First, I think the story of Willow's growing confidence is highly overstated by many. Even if she is more outwardly confident and comes out as gay and makes her own choices, her insecurities remain with her. And insecurities about her sexuality was far from the only thing that made Willow who she is. She was bullied by the Cordettes and raised with her mother's puritanical psychobabble.

Second, Willow was never a shrinking violet. She is a bad-ass. Her insecurities made her overcompensate in many areas. It is like Topher explains in his creation of Miss Penn; Exceptional people need a flaw or a trauma. Also, she is fiercely protective of her friends and lovers.
I think it's a nice reversal for Willow to kind of start her off that way. I mean, who's to say, though, that we won't sort of circle back around maybe to some insecurities that she might have, because I think every person has insecurities
Then again, this puts me very much at ease.
 

DagonSphere

Potential
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I think me and Jeanine when we first started talking about the project, we both talked about how we both love Willow. I think Willow definitely has a lot of charm being this sweet, quiet, bookish girl, but she really came into her own confidence in the later parts of the show. I just think that's the thing that young girls need today, you know, I think we need strong female characters who are confident, not just shrinking violets.
Personally, I have a problem with this quote, because I find it much more inspiring to see a shy and insecure character gain strength and confidence, because it gives me the feeling that this is a path that is also possible for me. When you have a character who already starts out that way, you take away some of the identification aspects for young girls and boys who actually don't feel confident and who have not progressed to that state yet.
 
thrasherpix
thrasherpix
Yes, they're doing more harm than good to girls who need inspiration by this tactic, and it serves to make them more insecure rather than less.

Ethan Reigns

Scooby
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Canada
Sineya
The current generation has Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to contend with. It faces cyberbullying and the formation of online cliques with fierce enmity to other cliques. It won't really seem like this generation unless these things are woven into the story. In the original story, only Cordelia has a phone and uses it when Buffy mistakenly gets her wooden stake in her face. Now you would be able to have instant communication between all the characters. Anyone up for forming a flash mob? I wrote this up a couple of years ago in screenplay format but this is what I see to be a viable story line that could only happen in the current generation:




BUFFY THE MILLENIAL VAMPIRE SLAYER​


Day. Int. School Library at Sunnydale High. Giles is absorbed in one of his ancient books when Jenny walks in.

Jenny: Call the troops, Giles, we have a new threat coming up. Just got the message from Kent.

Giles: Kent? Who's Kent?

Jenny It's not a who, it's a what. Kent State University is just southeast of the hellmouth in Cleveland. They have a demon monitoring group in their grad school. They passed us a warning.

Giles: Well, Buffy isn't here now...

Jenny: No problem. I can IM them.

Giles: IM?

Jenny: Instant message. Like email but immediate.

Jenny types in "GET YR BUTT TO THE LIBRARY STAT". A few minutes later, Buffy, Willow and Xander arrive, summoned by the IM.

Buffy: What's up?

Xander: Doc?

Willow: Something we need to do?

Jenny: I got a message from Kent...

Willow: Ooh, you subscribe to their hellmouth warning?

Jenny: Yes and that is what this is about. They captured a demon who said Sunnydale was going to be hit by a Kantovin demon.

Giles: I think I have heard the name. Let me consult my books...

Willow: No need, there's an app for that.

Willow takes out her phone and flicks the surface a few times and taps the screen.

Willow: OK, got it. Ooh, looks like a big one. Ugly. With tentacles.

Giles: We should research this. I think we have something that will tell us what the vulnerabilities are and we should be able to find it in a couple of hours.

Jenny pulls out her own phone.

Jenny: OK Willow, caught up with you here and I have an advantage. I'm a gold level subscriber. I get all the notes.

Willow: You're a subscriber? Nice!

Jenny: Ten bucks a year. Pays for itself with the first use.

Xander: So what do we have to do?

Jenny: Uh, let's see. Not vulnerable to drowning, does not need air, can be pierced with a spear or knife with no effect because the body structures just shift aside and let the blade go through. Not susceptible to bullets but a rocket or grenade might knock it out. Ah, here it is, susceptible to fire. OK Buffy, you're going to lead this expedition, how do you want to handle it?

Buffy: Flash mob. Flammables required. OK Xander, we need a list of people with good throwing arms.

Xander: They would be jocks. And they don't tend to talk to me.

Willow: OK, I can hack student records for a list of all athletes in Sunnydale and a few other schools and anyone else who can help.

Giles: Wait a minute, what are you trying to do here?

Jenny: The guide from Kent says they like to hang around flat grassy areas, so the park near the school is probably where it will appear.

Willow: Just sent the message out for a flash mob at the park and to bring gasoline, alcohol, any liquid that burns in glass bottles.

Buffy: I can launch flaming arrows.

Jenny: Good. We have a plan.

Giles: Wonderful. What uh, is this plan?

Jenny: You'll see.

Night. Ext. The large park near Sunnydale High. A crowd of about 100 people have shown up along with Jenny, Giles, Buffy, Willow and Xander. There is a rumbling sound and the grass bursts up to make a ten foot diameter mound. The Kantovin demon steps out of the hole with its tentacles waving around.

Xander: OK, Buffy, do the honours.

Buffy: Everyone, throw your gas and alcohol at the demon.

The crowd tosses fuel at it. The containers shatter and spray fuel all over the demon. Buffy brings out a bow and arrow and lights the end of the arrow. Her shot catches in the body of the demon and the fire spreads. The demon starts to roll on the ground as it burns. It puts out about half of the fire, but can't do any better than that.

Xander (yells to the crowd): Second volley!

From high overhead, a vodka bottle spins slowly as it drops on the demon and shatters. The flames now envelop the demon, who burns furiously and finally dissipates into powder.

Giles: What was that last stuff that finished the demon off?

Xander: Let's just call it school supplies.
 

GraceK

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JS: I think one of the things that we talked about too was a lot of more sort of bookish or nerdy girls have larger communities now that they can go with the Internet. So I think they've, again not that there aren't girls who are still like, you know, reserved or shy in real life, but I think they have an opportunity to learn more about themselves and build up more confidence because they can more easily find communities of people who are like them.

So again, that was a kind of a function of “It's 2019.” It's not just cell phones, it's “How does society change? How do our connections change, being in the future and being able to reach out to more people like us?”
There’s also a huge drawback to this as well for teen girls that these writers aren’t acknowledging. Because of so much social media, the way teens can get bullied has increased in horrific ways and suicide in teenagers has been rising. They literally can’t escape it. At home, at school, they are attacked on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, humiliated on every platform.

Also, some for shy, reserved teenagers, who are lonely and insecure the internet has become the perfect tool for isolation. Why bother making friends irl when you can go online and make friends? You can meet people who share every niche interest, play video games, write fan fiction, spend hours on forums. Xander would never have to leave his room.

This idea that “being 2019” and the internet will suddenly make Willow the confident, naturally secure woman that she was at 21 is laughable to me. I feel like these writers are so enamoured with who Willow became later on they just want to skip right to it without bothering to put the work in .
 
Spanky
Spanky
Agree
Octavia
Octavia
Spot on commentary on internet life
HowiMetdaSlayer
HowiMetdaSlayer
good points
AshSlays
AshSlays
big agreed, I spend a bunch of time on the internet and I'm a horrendously shy person, Willow episode 1 level of shy
thrasherpix
thrasherpix
I've even known Girl Scouts to bully girls they didn't like online...not as individuals, mind you, but coordinating together! At least they didn't get a badge for it...

Primal Slayer

Did I Fall Asleep?
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They really seem to use "2019" as their get out card for any changes. Sure its 20 years later but the characteristics of all these characters are still very current. Bullying is still a major problem in today's world and if anything I would expect a modern Willow to be an even bigger "nerd" who is recluse in person but has plenty of friends online.

Changing Willow the way they did did take away a lot of growth opportunity and takes away Buffys influence on her.
 

punchkicker15

Townie
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Jun 25, 2018
Messages
33
I just think that's the thing that young girls need today, you know, I think we need strong female characters who are confident, not just shrinking violets.

I feel like there's no shortage of confident female characters in Buffy, so I don't see the need to make every female character confident right off the bat. And there are shy and insecure girls who would probably appreciate a character like them who grows into her confidence. When I was a teenager, I coudn't have related to characters like Buffy or Cordelia, because their natural confidence seemed utterly unattainable to me. They wouldn't be role models; they'd be a bludgeon to my psyche, a voice asking why can't you be naturally confident like these awesome girls?

I also think that Willow's overconfidence in later seasons is more understandable when you see her earlier lack of confidence--it's overcompensation.
 

Gris

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When I was a teenager, I coudn't have related to characters like Buffy or Cordelia, because their natural confidence seemed utterly unattainable to me. They wouldn't be role models; they'd be a bludgeon to my psyche, a voice asking why can't you be naturally confident like these awesome girls?
Spot on. I love Willow, she was relatable and admirable because she felt like most teenagers, she made us feel like it's ok to be different. You don't have to act cool or pretend you're someone else to please others, just be yourself. And she was great because she grew a lot season by season, she overcame some of her insecurities and explored new things. Older Willow is powerful, confident and determined but still, she's not totally outgoing like Buffy. That's because she still has a lot of her old self in her.

And the excuse that making her overly confident = independent and strong woman is just bulshit. Shy Willow was still a good representation of a strong woman. She was super intelligent and wasn't pressured to be someone she wasn't. She grew out to become even more strong ,but that was surely a reflection of who she was before.

I still liked the 1# issue a lot, but Willow's approach was just lazy, I hope this doesn't "kill" her character.
 

Zenseem

Evil, skanky and kinda gay
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Black Thorn
I still haven't read any of the new Buffy comics and I'm afraid to do so and wind up with a bunch of milennials posing as the characters I grew to love so much. That's the problem with reboots. I'm used to the old quirky girl who grows confident with each achievement, so I'm not sure how I feel about my favorite buffyverse character changing the traits that make her great.
 
HowiMetdaSlayer
HowiMetdaSlayer
I'd give it a chance

Spanky

I'm came here to chew bubblegum and go off topic.
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Black Thorn
wind up with a bunch of milennials posing as the characters I grew to love so much.
They're too young to be millennials. They are Gen Z'ers.
 
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