Thursday, August 05, 2010

Dear Joss Whedon, Please Don't Kill Dawn Summers

So a couple days ago, the solicitations for Buffy #38 hit the web, and once again Buffy fandom was buzzing over a possible spoiler. The Jo Chen cover for this issue features Xander carrying what appears to be Dawn's dead body, and the solicitation text for the issue reads as follows:
While Super Buffy is fighting side by side with Spike in Sunnydale, Angel is on the other side of world fighting demons of his own. As Twilight he was given a clear mission in regard to Buffy-help her reach the next plane, together create a new world, and end all suffering. But Buffy doesn't play by the rules, and this "higher plane" and a lifetime of happiness with Angel wasn't gonna cut it-not if she had to sacrifice her family to keep it. And now Angel has to answer for his failings as Twilight-willingly or not.

Back in Sunnydale everyone is fighting for their lives against a horde of demons, and someone close to Buffy joins forces with a villain from the past to strive for a common goal-protect the seed.
OK, the whole "not if [Buffy] had to sacrifice her family to keep it" line makes me a little more optimistic, but it's hard to look at that cover and come to any conclusion other than Dawn not being long for this world. In fact, in each of the last three seasons of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", a major character has died: Joyce in Season 5, Tara in Season 6 and Anya (among many other minor characters) in Season 7.

Beyond "Buffy", Joss Whedon has regularly killed off characters as seasons or series have come to an end. Season 4 of "Angel" featured the terminal coma of Cordelia, and in the series finale a year later, Wesley was killed (just weeks after Fred had been killed and inhabited by Illyria). "Firefly" didn't get a true finale, so Joss upped the ante by killing off both Book and Wash in the "Serenity" movie. And in the last two weeks of "Dollhouse", both Mellie/November/Madeline and Paul bit the dust.

However, it's the Anya death that sticks out in my mind, because of something I wrote back in my review of Buffy #28 (and now, for an AdamReisinger.com rarity, I'm going to block quote myself):
Also, from a creative history standpoint, every single love interest of Xander’s has either turned evil or died, and in many cases it’s been both of them. I don’t want to see an evil Dawn. I don’t want to see a dead Dawn.
Don't believe me about the Xander Love Interest Corollary? Well, let's go all the way back to Season 1 and work our way to the present:

- Ms. French ("Teacher's Pet") - always evil
- Buffy Summers (asked out in "Prophecy Girl") - died IN THAT SAME EPISODE!
- Cordelia Chase (Seasons 2-3) - impaled, then evil (on "Angel"), then tragically dead
- Willow Rosenberg ("Lover's Walk") - evil (now reformed, but probably evil again in the future, then dead by Buffy's hand... whoops, spoiler alert for those who haven't been reading the comic)
- Faith ("The Zeppo") - went all murdery, got evil, got better
- Anya (Seasons 3-7) - was evil, then evil again, then tragically dead
- Joyce Summers (dream sequence in "Restless") - tragically dead
- Tara Maclay (another dream sequence in "Restless") - really tragically dead
- Nancy ("Beneath You") - neither dead nor evil, though nearly both thanks to a re-demonized Anya
- Lissa ("First Date") - always evil
- Renée (Season 8 comics) - tragically dead

Xander is to women what the "Madden" cover is to NFL players. And as I said in that review, I don't want to see a dead Dawn, but given Joss's love of killing characters and Xander's death touch, Dawn's screwed.

But, let's be honest, haven't we screwed with Dawn enough already? She was the key, then she was a klepto, then she was a potential but not really, then a giant (who had to battle a robot version of herself), then a centaur, then a doll... I mean, can't we just leave Dawn alone (note: I may be the only person who feels this way)? And Xander, poor Xander, can he just fall in love ONCE without having it end in tragedy?

So I ask you Joss, please let this rumor be false. Leave Dawn alone. I'm over my initial objection to their relationship and now hope they get to live happily ever after and die surrounded by fat grandchildren. Or, ya know, at least get to make it to Season 9 as a couple. And if you still feel like you need to kill someone at the end of this season, fine. Kill... Riley, I guess. Or Andrew. Or, hell, kill Satsu (Buffy warned her!). Just please, leave Dawn alone.

1 comment:

  1. You are totally not the only person who doesn't want things to be horrible for Dawn, and also it would suck if Xander went back to Dracula to recuperate from his doomed love life again.

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