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January 13 2010

(SPOILER) Joss Weighs In On Twilightgate. Joss speaks to CBR about the controversy.

Words from the man himself.

I <3 Joss so much for that last line.
And he's his classy, funny, reassuring self. I'm now feeling much better about the whole situation.

Also, I love love love the page with Buffy flying solo. :-)
Words that slam the door shut on this business, IMO. Very glad he stepped in to referee this thing.
Last line was a win. And wow, it puts a whole new spin to have it acknowledged that the Buffy license includes "Angel, Spike and Wesley" (and Cordy, too).
The only bit I don't understand is that work somehow precluded him from communicating with IDW/Ryall over those 4 whole years (despite how 'accommodating Mr. Ryall has been according to Joss) that Angel was Twilight. Heads up, anyone?
I find it funny that Joss shot down the plan to pretend it was a mislead, and yet a lot of people still interpreted it that way.
Well, now that Joss has said everything will make sense, I feel much better about Angel, the hero of his own series, causing thousands of deaths and becoming a comic book super villian. Now it doesn't seem out of character at all....

How could I have ever doubted?

Grumble grumble grumble...
People should wait to see the story before judging the... Uhm... Story.

As I said in the other thread, Scotts a nice guy who gets a lot of shit. And Joss is a professional, and I absolutely love him for that.
Scott Allie is probably the most unfairly harried, hassled man to have been professionally involved with the Buffyverse, and without question the most harried and hassled never to have had a direct creative role. Marc Blucas feels bad for how this guy gets treated, I suspect.

Very glad that Joss stuck up for him over and above Some Guy's calling *both* of them "repugnant".
Marti would probably feel sorry for him at this point.
Okay, I just noticed the fine print where in one of the two following interviews, Joss speaks on the fate of Spike. *interest peaked*

Plus, he talks about Season 9. Yay!

Can I just say <3 Joss. That interview made my day so much better.
I was waiting for joss to do a big interview about this.lad he cleared some stuff up.
Gossi, the genuine vileness and corruption Allie's accused of on a monthly basis knows no bottom. I've heard everything, from him manipulating the comic itself to favor one 'ship over another, to all this having been deliberate. There are basically some real chumps out there, and when Joss gives an interview like this and says what he does about Scott Allie, it basically makes me wonder if they ever get tired of being wrong.

Oh, Joss is going to talk about Season 9? Wait, I heard Scott Allie just made that up so people wouldn't decide Season 8 is crackfic and stop buying it?
Wonderful response to everything and loved that last line. :)

mbeauparland- Not every one sees Angel as a hero. Most fans do, but not all do.
There's always going to be people who rally against anybody who has any kind of control over characters and stories they love. It's human, and I think understandable. Sometimes the most hardcore fans are the ones who will turn around and bite their creators hardest when they disagree.

Ultimately - and this isn't the joss line, this is from watching the comic develop over the years - I think Dark Horse have been incredibly supportive of the comic and joss. I've seen Allie talk about the process of doing the comic and it sounds like a lot of work I'd never be bothered to do.
I see Angel as very much an anti-hero. I don't know if Joss is a Stephen King fan at all or has read the series, but Angel, over the years, has morphed into something very similar to Roland of Gilead for me -- another figure who one should hesitate to just openly declare a hero. Angel is Roland in many ways, right down to the "death, gunslinger, but not for you" glam that surrounds him.

So Angel arriving at the villain place makes a lot of sense. I wish they could have gone ahead and just used him unmasked from the start. This interview gives me the impression that he kind of wanted to. Or they could have given us a "camera reveal", like Cordy killing Lilah.
Agreed. I wish we could have at least had a "camera reveal", so that the audience knew. It would have not hemmed in the story as much.
I can definitely recall an Angel who let about a dozen lawyers get eaten and also an Angel who personally killed people (or at least one person) for the greater good. I could see Angel killing people if he thought the end of all magic was for the greater good. Even easier to see would be Angelus having a go at the army of slayers.

I'm only up through issue #28 (and reading the spoiler threads, I feel so naughty), but has Twilight personally killed anybody or just had it done?
"mbeauparland- Not every one sees Angel as a hero. Most fans do, but not all do."

I see the character as a flawed hero to be sure, but not one that would manipualte a situation as complex as the whole Twilight "thing" or allow dozens, pehaps hundreds, of human soldiers die at the hands of enraged Tibetan goddesses because he just wants to watch it happen.

I'll judge the story on it's own merit, once all the facts are present. But right now it seems there needs to be some serious 'splaining to make this resemble anything close to sense.
He hasn't killed people with his own hands, but he's directed events so that people died by his orders and through his manipulation. And yeah, this is the same guy who drained Drogyn with barely a moment's hesitation because he "had" to in order to survive and stop the Circle of the Black Thorn.

Wow, it feels good to actually be talking analysis about the story again.
This was a great interview, basically. And needed, for this fandom, I'd say.

Basically the answers I was expecting - they have the rights for Angel (and some others apparently - for which, yay), his involvement with IDW seems quite fine (and this proves what I'd already suspected and what was discussed on one of the other Twilightgate threads - that Joss didn't do ATF because he wanted the rights to use Angel - he already had those).

I like the tongue-in-cheek little bit of 'tude in that last line and I appreciate his take on the Twilight reveal. I laughed out loud at:

and then began the reign of Scott Allie posts where he got out in front of it in a huge way, and then got slammed for that. And then he started apologizing for that, and got slammed for that! I think in the third paragraph of the fifth addendum to the rebuttal to the apology of the mea culpa...he finally used every word in the English language and then some. What was interesting to me was that the reaction to the fact that it was Angel was varied, but Scott kept getting slammed.


Because, well, quite :). I'm glad Joss stood up for Allie, and I'm with the others here: the amount of flak this guy receives is incredible and unjust.

Also glad that Joss mentioned how great IDW's Chris Ryall has been with everything. Because that should be the way of things: Joss'll make sure the Twilight thing doesn't hurt IDW and everyone can enjoy as much quality storytelling as possible.

Let's hope that this, then, finally marks the end of Twilightgate :)
Twilight also failed to kill Satsu by sheer dumb luck. He backhanded her head first into a headstone that could have easily snapped her neck. Or skewered her on the broken blade of her katana.
Now that the scandal is cleared up (as far as I'm concerned), I can sit back, relax, and see how the actual story plays out. I'm a Bangel shipper, but I don't see this Twilight business as slamming the door shut on their relationship. I trust in Joss.
Wow, it feels good to actually be talking analysis about the story again.

Yes, it does.

Twilight also failed to kill Satsu by sheer dumb luck. He backhanded her head first into a headstone that could have easily snapped her neck. Or skewered her on the broken blade of her katana.

That's true. It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out.
that Joss didn't do ATF because he wanted the rights to use Angel - he already had those).

Great catch, GVH! I was one of those suspecting that Joss had done AtF as some way to get back character rights. I didn't like suspecting that. I'm much happier all around to know he had them all along and did AtF because he liked Lynch's work and wanted to share his ideas for what would have been Season 6.
So why all the hoo-ha (sorry but don't have links but do have memory) about Angel and Spike not being able to appear in s8 due to licensing issues - what that a lie/fake/disinformation campaign?
Angel's got a lot of bodies on him in Season 8, unless a great deal of backspin takes place pretty soon. Every Slayer killed in Amy's assault on the BHC, Genevieve (who, IMO, is at least partially a victim despite her own viciousness), Roden. Every Slayer who died (probably more than a few) in the destruction of the BHC. Every Slayer (and every misled soldier) killed in "Retreat". Ethan Rayne. Soldiers that may not have survived Buffy's rescue of Willow's. If you REALLY throw the doors open and it turns out Angel's hand was behind Toru's plot, and the vampires going public, he becomes partly culpable for Renee's death, Soledad's, the Slayers in Hanselstadt, etc.

My only big fear of what they'll do with Twilight would be if they go ahead and acknowledge that he is responsible for these things, but try to make it sound like its understandable or justified. It never could be.

Baxter -- basically it was all urban myth. Joss makes it pretty clear that Dark Horse can go nuts with any character originating in "Buffy". I'm gonna guess the only thing they might not be able to do would be a *title* for those characters.
Yea, that would be a very Dark Phoenix scenario where you might want to roll back the clock because you like the character, but you can't because there's just too much blood. And all you can do is pretty much kill them, or somehow prove that it wasn't them. That of course tends to feel like cheating when you do the second thing.
A lot of things Angel has done aren't understandable or justified, KoC.
Well, I can only hope they don't import Spike into s8 - he never as an easy time of it in Buffy's world; even given his hardships in IDW comics he never had to be dissed/abused by someone he truly loved.
I definitely don't think that those deaths could be justified, but we all know how Angel gets morally turned around. It's possible that Angel thinks he is justified. I'd rather find out that it's Angelus or that there's an even bigger bad pulling the strings through mind control or some such. (Think back to the cyborgs that tried to take over Angel in AtS season 5, surely they didn't just go away. Maybe whoever was behind that actually wanted to use Angel to take on the Slayer army even then because of their vision of the supposed greater good.) Point is, I'd rather not see that it's soulful, free-will-having Angel under the Twilight mask.
Agreed KoC: Angel has a lot of blood on his hands, in season 8. This really bothers me, as I was very much into Angel's whole redemption arc, but I quite suspect it should bother me. In fact, I'd say that's the whole reason for him being Twilight: it's outrageous that this guy, this hero (who, yes, has done some morally very gray things in the past as well, even when not being Angelus), did all these things.

I don't think there'll be an easy way out, and I don't think they'll try to sell it as justified from a moral standpoint. I do suspect that if Angel hasn't fundamentally changed (by being Angelus, being from an alternate timeline or universe, etcetera) the story will ultimately try to make his actions understandable. Probably not from a moral standpoint (as that'd be nearly impossible), but there does have to be a very good and compelling reason why someone like Angel would become someone like Twilight and do the things he did. I'm very much looking forward to see how that's resolved/explained. It's bound the be interesting, dramatic and gut-wrenching, when everyone finds out that, hey, this is Angel they're fighting. Not Angelus, but Angel, who they actually, y'know, like (apart from maybe Xander ;)).

It is quite bad that DH and Joss don't have the rights for the other AtS characters, though. I'd very much like to see how the rest of his 'regular' crew would react to this story; but I suspect that - for some reason - that won't be as relevant. Otherwise it would be a - to me - glaring omission; here's a man (or, well, vampire - probably ;)) with an established support structure, who have to be 'explained away', if he's to operate as what boils down to a very bad guy like Twilight
KofC menomegirl Xantastic : yes, I tend to agree, too many bodies even before the Tibet storyline. This is going to have to be way more complicated than it seems before I can take it all that seriously. Insofar as Twilight exists, he's Angel, I'll grant, but what's behind it? It's like Aveen surviving :-).

And I won't take back any comments I've previously made, altho i'll admit asking about p*t*ll*r s*x was over the top, sorry.
GVH - what makes you think he doesn't have the rights to other AtS characters - I thought they were explicit that DH had the rights to ANY of them, not just Angel. Perhaps they just don't matter in this (or any other) arc, or maybe they are all 'dead' in this 'verse, or maybe they are the next reveal.
baxter - Joss said this in the linked interview, when talking about the rights:

Dark Horse has license to use any of the characters from Buffy, including Angel, Spike, Wesley and all of that.


So I'm assuming they have the rights to all of the characters who have appeared on Buffy. Apart from this list, that's also Cordelia. But not, for instance, Gunn, Fred/Illyria, Lorne, Connor, etcetera. At least, that's what I'm assuming.
This was a great interview. I had heard Joss mention once or twice before in interviews that DH was "allowed" to use the characters that had originated in Buffy in S8. Hopefully this will clear up those questions once and for all.

As for Angel's actions as Twilight, then I agree with those above that much will depend on the explanations found in the story itself. There's no sense for me in getting worked up about it if this is Angelus, or a future Angel, or brainwashing, or something similar. Though it could be the real Angel in his right frame of mind too. Both Willow and Faith did some very bad things (though for very different reasons) and it's entirely possible that Angel is going through a personal crisis of his own.
A great aspect I liked about the Buffyverse was in my opinion they excellently subverted the convention of the little girl who is unsure and hulky man who is too good looking and strong to not always be confident. I always felt that Buffy was a strong, independent, concrete character who knew who she was and made no apology for it while Angel and who he was was a very fluid concept and could be something completely new within moments. Angel was almost eternally trying to find himself, denying the sum of his actions comprised who he was today. Whether it's Angel or Angelus and however he believes he's righteous I can believe him believing himself. Angel has gone through a lot in his time and sometimes people don't turn out they way you'd hoped they would. Him being Twilight has got me uber excited to see what happens next. I cannot wait to read this stuff!

Also a spectacular interview by Joss once more! :)

[ edited by silent knight on 2010-01-13 03:03 ]
If Angel is actually responsible for what it seems apparent he's responsible for, the best I think you can do in terms of "excusing" it would be if he basically had become the Operative -- a man who KNOWS he's a monster and that he does evil, but because he believes it necessary.
Yes, but the Operative was fighting for a world without sin, which he thought the Alliance represented...until he saw that film about the Pax.
If this means it's just about certain he's going to put himself in exile from everyone for some time to come.
Well, the step we never got to see the Operative take is realizing it didn't matter "why". It wasn't okay regardless. At least, I hope that's something Joss would see as worth putting in for Angel. I'd hope that he'd come to at least the same degree of perspective as, say, Alfred Molina's Dr. Octopus.
Angel might not be on the wrong side. Buffy's attacked and killed human soldiers following orders, stolen from banks, and released goddesses who laid waste to an entire landscape. She's acknowledged the team acceptance of a guy who tools around genetically engineering demons in his spare time. She's activated Slayers worldwide and some of them are out there doing terrible things using powers she gave them and skills she taught them. Now she has superpowers. Angel might just be what the universe is sending to counterbalance her. His motivations could be equally compelling.
I wonder if Harmony used Angel's reference letter to get the TV show gig.
You make a good and interesting point there, Sunfire. Buffy certainly has gone of the deep end in S8, doing things that are far from morally correct. Obviously because we're seeing this story from her viewpoint and actively like and invest in her and the characters around her, this does get a bit obfuscated, but it has gotten touched on a few times, albeit never to full satisfaction. I fully expect that with the morality of Angel's actions, we're also going to be putting the spotlight squarely on what Buffy's been up to. Even before knowing Twilight's identity, I've been wondering if he wasn't secretly "just as wrong"/"just as right" as Buffy. Considering all the pain and suffering the magic causes in Buffy, it's not necessarily a bad thing to live in a world without it.

So if that's where this thing is heading, I'm sure it'll be a heck of an interesting ride.
Sunfire, first of all, Angel is the aggressor in every category. Second, nothing Buffy has done or even could do can justify what Angel's done, because Angel is responsible for a good deal of objective evil. It's not attenuated by what he's dealing with. He's wrong. He can't *be* right on what he's doing. At the most sympathetic interpretation, he's run mad or obsessed and decided he can be as evil as he likes to fight off an evil he *perceives*.

My personal theory is that he's obsessed with trying to prevent himself from being the end of all that's good, and figured ending magic is the only chance.

I can morally justify everything Buffy has done, in terms of violence. The bankrobbing, not really. But there's nothing immoral with rescuing a kidnappingn victim by force. Indeed, any soldiers that did die in that action are *on Angel* not on Buffy.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2010-01-13 04:01 ]
Joss always knows how to make things better.
Joss always knows how to make things better.
Yeah, just look at Wash.
You never know baxter, River could be a better pilot. :P
I was trying to avoid getting spoiled about this, especially cause I'm a bit late on the comics (about 10 issues late), but accidentally saw a tweet and got spoiled. Then started to read about the role mess to find out why Scott is being slammed.

Not that I read it all, and read this interview and this thread... well, now I'm confused about one thing...
Doesn't everybody love Scott Allie and think he's awesome??? O.o
Cause I know I do, and I never knew he got slammed so much about the Buffy comic... What exactly people blame him for (apart from this Twilight mess, which according to Joss himself it's not at all his fault)???

Maybe I don't follow the comic "behind the scenes" that much... but Scott always seemed like an awesome and super hard working guy, and in my list, he's between the Whedon-y's Awesome(s).
That's the problem, Wyndam_, we'll never know. Thanks loads, Fox Execs of 2002.
I've been wondering through this whole thing (quietly wondering) how no one else saw this coming. I guess it was the whole confusion of whether Angel, Spike, etc. fell under the Buffy license at Dark Horse. But those characters are a part of Buffy, just as much as Oz or Andrew or Willow or anyone else who appeared on both shows. It follows that if they could use Andrew, who last appeared on Angel, so too they could use Spike, Wesley, and the big man himself.

I remember way way back, and finally found the link (Brian Lynch's Myspace blog) where I asked Brian Lynch if there was any possibility of a crossover between the two series.

Leilia asks:

my question is similar to someone else's--

1. How much crossover potential will there be between the two series, Buffy: Season 8 and Angel: After the Fall? They are taking place in the same universe, will there be any contact? Will there be more freedom to do this than when the shows were on TV, or will there be about the same level of interaction? Or less?

That's all I'm wondering, I am looking forward to the comics and I want to be surprised. :)

I don't think we're doing crossovers, Leilia. My apologies. That said, I could pick up BUFFY season 8 next month and Angel could be there. With one arm. Which would be weird.


Oddly prophetic, huh? I actually never got around to reading After the Fall, because of that very answer actually. In my mind the TV shows are in the same universe and if the Buffy continuation was the official canon continuation and this was true, then Angel was something less. So I can see why those who got invested in AtF feel upset and misled. It would have helped to have known the score going in.

Of course I'm one of those evil fans who don't take ANY of the comics as canon at all anymore. What a picker and chooser! I know, I know. Can't help it, had to drop it. But I'm still interested! Actually, this big spoiler might make me head back to the comic book store for the first time in over a year, maybe. Angel's always more interesting when he's bad.
Angel's always more interesting when he's bad.

So true.
"At some point, Buffy and Angel have to be in the same panel. That's a given"
Excuse me Joss, Buffy and Spike you meant right?

Shippy maybe, but Joss started it.
Joss is a Bangel person, apparently :)
Joss is all about Angel and Edward. One growls, one sparkles. What more do you need?
"Joss is all about Angel and Edward. One growls, one sparkles. What more do you need?"

Amazing cheekbones, sexy accent and a body like Bruce Lee?
I can provide those.

I'm also lying.
Or a character whose sparkle comes from the inside!
If this stretches into next week then Twilightgate is getting its own category.

And that's the first time I've ever heard Joss mention Angel season 7 *is sad*.
Just cause we've done the cake thing, I'm contenplating sending pie to Scott. It would probably get stopped at customs but...
I have stopped reading the comics the last 6 months, this has perked my interest as I'm a BIG fan of the buffy angel relationship.

I'm hoping Angelus but that seems too obvious, liked the comments that perhaps he see's Buffy as gone bad...
ailiel said:
"In my mind the TV shows are in the same universe and if the Buffy continuation was the official canon continuation and this was true, then Angel was something less. So I can see why those who got invested in AtF feel upset and misled. It would have helped to have known the score going in."

Few were automatically assuming that just because Joss was running and concentraing on Buffy Season 8, that meant "After the Fall" was less-than-canon/less-true-to-Joss-vision. For a long while, folks didn't know what to think about the "validity" of "After the Fall". Two big pluses in its favor include Joss' name on the covers and everything Brian Lynch talks about in the Q&A and Behind The Scenes features in the hardcover collections (are those interviews in the softcover trade paperbacks as well?). He collaborated with Joss closely on what direction to take things. Joss gave him the original Season 6 plans and they back-and-forth tweaked it a bit/exchanged notes (as Joss references in this most recent interview). The "After the Fall" portion of the current ongoing IDW run of Angel is potentially the only thing we can consider as confirmed canon so far (or at least, near-canon, and maybe just the bones of it and not the finer details, but at that point it's up to individual fan interpretation, since I doubt Joss will ever sit down and pick apart Brian's specifics and dialogue). Maybe the earlier Spike story of Brian's that Joss likes so much too, I dunno (not Spike: After the Fall, not unless it gets a nod, though obviously we're free to enjoy it or hate on it--and all the other continuations and spin-offs, if we like--regardless of creator-confirmed canon status).

Joss saying that the undo of Angel-in-hellish-LA/end-of-Season-6 would have been something in the same vein as what happens at the end of "After the Fall" gives more support to what he and Lynch gave us in sequential art form. It's not Angel Season 6, no, but it's the closest thing we're ever gonna get. I thought Lynch did a lot of things right in "After the Fall", even if there were some odd bits here and there that I'd like to ignore.

And what Simon said. Whaaat ? A Season 7 of Angel ? That's never been mentioned before, has it ? All this time I thought one of the most frustrating things about the show's cancelation was that they only needed one. more. year. It managed to survive for 5, just one more would've completed it. At least, that seemed to be what was believed back in 2004 and as far as I know, in all the time since.

I wonder how long Joss has really thought of doing the Twilight thing with Angel (even if "Twilight" wasn't conceived at the same time, as a masked identity, as Angel going darker). What I do find kinda cool about this is that many fans always hoped for a Buffy movie (or a Buffy/Angel combo movie) that would feature Buffy and Angel (and their respective gangs) teaming up to fight something huge, that a movie would be the final word on the shows or something along those lines. I think it's a hell of a lot more interesting having him as her new adversary.
Am now sad, all over again, that Angel got cancelled before we got seven seasons to compliment our seven seasons of Buffy. Sounds like it would have been awesome.

Can't wait for the rest of the interview and particularly to hear about Spike (but I'm also a little scared about what I might hear).
I totally agree with Sunfire on this.
And it was great to hear how Joss handled the Twilight leak. I'm very much on board with the idea that information is far too widely available when it comes to comics. Sometimes the internet robs us of that initial surprise. I mean, I avoided all the spoiler categories, all comic websites and most everything I could comic-book-related in order to not get spoiled, but then I looked at a friends' facebook, and the reveal was posted as a link on the homepage with the cover image plain as day.
Unfortunately, there is nothing we can really do about this. So now I'm in the know on Twilight, but I highly doubt that will hinder the storytelling in any way, shape or form.
I don't want to enter the big C debate again, but what Joss said is why I'm not interested in the current IDW series, beyond After The Fall. Maybe they're great comics, but I don't want to investe into something that might be completely changed in the future, by the real author himself.

Thank you Joss for being so clarifying.
Finally Spike will get mentioned, look forward to what Joss has to say about him.
I still think it's a mislead. And really appreciate Joss lying to us about it.
Kris, according to Scott, the decision to have Angel be Twilight was made 4 years ago.
Quite a few people have questioned whether Twilight is actually Angel or Angelus, which I must admit I scratched my head about too. But after re-reading the Buffy comics, I've gotta say that I don't think Twilight sounds like Angelus. He's cocky and sure of himself, certainly, but he just doesn't have that upbeat, amusing tone that we all love about Angelus. His dialogue is much more like that of the grim and brooding Angel.

I'm sure I'm not the first to notice this, but during my re-read, I noticed a BIG hint to Twilight's identity during his first battle with Buffy all the way back in issue 12 - Buffy goes for Twilight's nuts with her scythe, and he tells her that he 'knows that move.' This is obviously a reference to when Buffy sliced Caleb right up the middle in the very last episode of the show.

That being the case, it left a rather small list of candidates: only the characters who were present at the time. That means:
- Angel
- Spike
- the First
- Caleb (now stitched back together, something like Kenny from an early episode of South Park)
- the Guardian who got her neck snapped by Caleb (although the chin stubble kind of rules that one out)
- and obviously, Buffy's evil genetic clone, Puffy. :P
Working from hazy memory (hey, that was almost two years ago!), I considered those options briefly when I first read that issue, but dismissed pretty much all of them as sheer lunacy. Who knew, huh? Still, I'm sure Joss knows what he's doing.

One other thing I'm wondering about - Twilight's self-proclaimed aim is to usher in the end of the age of magic. Could this possibly have anything to do with the Shanshu prophecy?

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