From Sunnydale to Burnside: Joss Whedon’s ‘Batgirl’ is Full of Promise

Last week it was reported that Joss Whedon is being recruited to write and direct DC’s first-ever Batgirl movie, and the fan anticipation is already palpable. Whedon is better known for his long-standing relationship with Marvel Comics; he wrote a wildly successful volume of Astonishing X-Men (2004-2008) before writing and directing The Avengers in 2012. He then went on make Avengers: Age of Ultron, after which he stepped down from the MCU, displeased with the work.

The Avengers [Credit: Marvel Studios]
This sorted history with Marvel makes his potential move to the DCEU all the more intriguing – but it won’t be his first rodeo. Whedon actually wrote issue #26 of DC’s Superman/Batman back in 2006. And yet, even with this mature comic book resume, it’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer – his very first TV series – that we should look to for evidence that Batgirl is full of promise.

Buffy Spinning Stake
Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Credit: 20th Century Fox]
Without a doubt, penning Batgirl will give Whedon an opportunity to return to some of the most prominent themes of Buffy; you know, the stuff that made him a household name among fans and critics alike.

Continue Reading for themes to look out for in ‘Batgirl’ such as, the ups and downs of campus life, duality, technology, sexuality, and friendship.

Top 15s: 15 of the Most Controversial Moments in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Today marks the 20th anniversary of Buffy the Vampire Slayer! In celebration, here’s a look back on some of the craziest stuff the series had to offer.

During its seven-season run (1997-2004), Buffy the Vampire Slayer was constantly pushing the envelope. Network politics be damned, creator Joss Whedon was not above shaking things up: “Censors. Don’t love ’em.” Seasons one through five originally ran on the WB, during which time there were a lot of restrictions by which to abide. However, a show that worked primarily on the level of metaphor was able to get around a lot of things and have fun doing it. Those first seasons still got to deal with issues related to dating, parents, and abuse. Things became a little touch and go in 2000 when the series began to develop a lesbian relationship. Whedon admits some things had to be cut and kissing was not allowed, but he was dead-set on moving forward with the story-arc anyways. For seasons six and seven the series moved to UPN, where Whedon was essentially given carte-blanche. It comes as no surprise then that these seasons dealt with a even darker subject matter. Not to mention a number of heated sex scenes; even Willow and Tara got to spice things up.

Ultimately, Whedon’s desire not to shy away from controversy made for seven years’ worth of compelling TV. Buffy the Vampire Slayer entertained, enthralled, and taught us a lot about life. Today, network TV is littered with sex, drugs, and violence and viewers gobble it up. But it’s important to reflect on the history of TV censorship and progression and to pay tribute to the predecessors, like Buffy, that set the stage for anything to happen next.

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Also check out, 15 Reasons to Re-Watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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