Last month, writer Jane Espenson capped her run on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight" with one heck of a cliffhanger. Fans had already seen [SPOILER ALERT] much of the slayer's forces wiped out in an epic war with the mysterious villain Twilight, and in the final scene of issue #30, a groggy Buffy suddenly finding herself suspended in the air.
In fact, you could almost hear the collective fanbase exclaiming, "Waitaminute... Buffy's flying?"
That's why we tracked down Espenson to get some explanation of her final issue's big WTF moment, and get some thoughts on her run with the celebrated series and where Joss whedon plans to take it when he jumps on as writer of the upcoming Willow one-shot "Goddesses and Monsters" and issue #31, "Turbulence."
MTV: Okay, so now that the final scene in issue #30 has everyone talking, what can you tell us about what it means for Buffy? Are there certain clues we can find in the series or your story arc thus far?
ESPENSON: I wrote the episode of "Buffy" that took place right before “The Body" — except that I didn’t write the last scene, in which Buffy came home to find her mother dead. Joss wrote that because it was really the first scene of his episode. This was similar.
I wrote these five issues, except that the final sequence, starting with Buffy asleep in the snow, was dictated precisely by Joss. So those questions all need to be directed at him! I’m curious myself!
MTV: Hmm. Well, [Dark Horse editor] Scott Allie mentioned in the issue's letters column that the devastation in this issue was a late-game decision to allow more focus on the core characters. Were you a part of that discussion?
ESPENSON: I don’t remember that. That may have happened before I was brought in, but I think it’s very smart — a big event that brings Andrew and Faith and everyone in from far afield, at the same time that it drive us to Oz… what a great way to get everyone together! I was thrilled to get to write for so many familiar faces and to follow up on all those relationships!
MTV: What's been your favorite moment in the run you've had on the series?
ESPENSON: Buffy witnessing the kiss. Oof. Love that. And, as always, I love the moments of humor — Oz’s minimal reaction to the submarine appearing in his Tibetan valley. The joke about Buffy getting to sit around with her friend and yak — cutting to Buffy sitting with Xander and a yak. And the joke about Oz having a baby that led to everyone looking at the puppy. I just love those things!
MTV: Can you give us any clues about where Joss plans to take things from here?
ESPENSON: My work is done, so I’m going to be reading with curiosity just like everyone else!
"Willow: Goddesses and Monsters" hits shelves December 23, and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight" #31 hits shelves January 13.
What do you think about Buffy's new power (if that's what it is)? Let us know what you think in the comment section or on Twitter!