Yesterday, CBR News spoke with Dark Horse editor Scott Allie about “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8” and the identity of mystery villain Twilight, which will be revealed in issue #33 of the 40-issue series. That issue, written by Brad Meltzer with art by Georges Jeanty, is due to hit stores in March. CBR also debuted one of the covers to #33, Jeanty's tribute to “Amazing Spider-Man” #289, which saw the Hobgoblin unmasked.
After the interview appeared on the site, CBR received a second cover image from Dark Horse with the shadow removed to reveal Twilight as President Barack Obama, to the horror of Buffy and crew. We followed up with Allie to find out what was behind the strange image and whether “Buffy” #33 would in fact be the latest Obama cover sighting, following on the heels of such books as “Amazing Spider-Man,” “Savage Dragon,” a number of comic biographies, and of course “Barack the Barbarian.”
Allie began by clarifying that the version of Jeanty's cover with Obama's face is not the version fans will see in their local shops. "There will not be such a cover for sale," the editor told CBR. "There is such a cover, but it was mainly something Georges did to humor me, and then I showed it to Jonah [Weiland, Executive Producer for CBR], and we decided to put it out there and see if it inspired more laughs than anger."
This, then, should put to rest any speculation that Season 8's Big Bad is in fact the 44th President of the United States and dispel any controversy over why Obama's Secret Service detail aren't suspicious of POTUS spending so much time in Scotland, where much of "Buffy" takes place. "Actually, their biggest worry is how much time he spends on comics covers," Allie joked.
"I think we're the only comics publisher not to try to sell comics based on the President's popularity, so I thought it'd be funny," Allie said of his reasons for releasing Jeanty's mock cover into the wild. "I guess Top Shelf probably hasn't done it yet. But when I saw the real version of the cover, the one with the head in shadow, I just thought, Damn, wouldn't it be stupid if Obama was our villain? I've looked at some of the Obama comics - and I don't mean the Bluewater one, which is perfectly fine - but some of them just crack me up. It's so silly. Marvel gets points for doing it first, but some other people were really willing to milk it. And with how much some people in the country wanna vilify the guy nowadays, I thought making him Buffy's nemesis would please some Palin fans. I mean, Buffy is owned by FOX, right ...? Maybe Glenn Beck made me do it."
As to how the Presidential cover image fits in with the cheeky tone established through seven seasons of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" on television and one in comics, Allie said, "I don't know that it does. Unless it's funny. Then it fits. Joss has better taste than to make such heavy-handed references."
Though Obama is not Twilight, clandestine government agencies have been shown to play a role in the villain's machinations, leading CBR to wonder whether the Commander-in-Chief does in fact have a role in the anti-Slayer operations. "I don't think so," Allie said. "We've never said that the entire US military is under Twilight's sway, although some patriotic readers have read it that way, thinking that we were saying that the military is evil. Which we're not. Some people are bad, some people aren't. Some people can be magically or mystically led to being bad. And we figure there are at least some people in the military who could succumb in that way."
And as to whether the gag cover does suggest anything about the true identity of Twilight, Allie said cryptically, "He's not Obama, but he IS a president..."
Despite the much-remarked confluence of atmospheric verbiage, Allie did indirectly confirm that Twilight is not, in fact, Robert Pattinson. "I don't know who that is," he said.