In February 2018, alleged "hypocrite preaching feminist ideals" Joss Whedon will team with writer/actress Erika Alexander, artist Jon Lam, and colorist Dan Jackson for a four issue Buffy the Vampire Slayer mini-series starring Rupert Giles. To be more specific, it stars the older Giles' mind resurrected into the body of teenage Ripper Giles, and the concept is that old man teenage Giles goes undercover at at inner city public high school to investigate a supernatural mystery.
Perhaps you're a little bit concerned that Whedon might not be the best person to tackle subject matter he describes in an interview with AV Club as "He walked over the awkward hormonal coals of adolescence—but now he knows more, and expects better of himself. His once-more 15-year-old body, however, is oblivious to his wisdom/cynicism/impatience." Especially after recently learning that he reportedly told his wife after cheating on her, "We're taught to be providers and companions and at the same time, to conquer and acquire — specifically sexually — and I was pulling off both!"
But don't worry – the story isn't just apparently about Giles potentially having icky feelings about high school girls. It's also about other stuff as well, as Whedon points out: "I wanted to tell a story about education, class, and race in America." Oh boy.
Wisely, Whedon recognizes that he may need a little help steering this one, saying of Alexander: "Given my Gilesian resume, I wasn't about to attempt it alone. Erika is so smart, knowledgeable and engaging, she made the story her own even as we first discussed it. I knew she could reach the characters and their history in a way I couldn't, yet still give Giles a place in this new (for him) world. She doesn't disappoint." Phew!
In the interview, Alexander, who co-wrote the comic Concrete Park, describes the way the collaboration works: "It's crazy cool to be entrusted with Joss' signature series and Giles, a fan favorite. It's also a little frightening and gives me some anxiety! […] I want Joss to be happy and able to recognize his creation, as rendered, and realized in collaboration with my voice. […] He's building scaffolding in record speed, while I hurry along trying to keep up with the pace of the towers construction and pick out the drapes."
As for artist Lam, he's excited to be working both with the fashion design for public school kids, and working with diverse body types: "I think it's also important to represent people of all sizes and backgrounds, especially in such a great universe."
This series kicks off in February.