The high-profile comic jobs keep rolling in for writer Donny Cates, moving from Venom to Guardians of the Galaxy, and soon creating Marvel's brand new Thor. But when it comes to less obvious stories that he would love to tell if given the opportunity, his answer will come as a pleasant (or controversial) surprise for fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
It's good timing, considering the plans for a Buffy reboot in live-action, as well as an effective reboot of Buffy in comics, too. Considering the lore at the heart of the Joss Whedon film and TV series -- an unbroken line of slayers passing the mantle for thousands of years -- it might seem strange to 're-imagine' Buffy, instead of following a different slayer. Cates singles out one in particular, sure to be familiar to die-hard fans who love debating Buffy the Vampire Slayer plot holes: known to theorists as 'the lost slayer.'
Readers don't need to be experts in Buffy lore to grasp the story being pitched, and don't need to know this horror buff's track record to know why he would be the perfect voice to tell it (look no further than the Absolute Carnage event or the incredible birth of the Venom-Hulk for proof). When being interviewed during Thought Bubble Comic Con (via BleedingCool) Cates cited the hole in the Buffy lore, which he has always wanted to address:
At the end of Season 1 Buffy dies and then comes back, right? That's how we get Kendra. And then Kendra dies, and that's how we get Faith. At the end of Season 5 or 6 Buffy dies again, and then comes back. Who gets called? Where is she? Where is this new slayer? You could argue, 'Oh well Faith is still around,' but that doesn't count. Because Buff explicitly tells all the potential slayers that if she dies, one of them is going to get called. So that's the rules, right? If one dies, one gets called. So where is that lost slayer? That's a story I always wanted to tell... but what are you gonna do.
Give Donny Cates a chance to write this story, Boom! Studios. And we mean immediately.
The succession of slayers noted by Cates is entirely accurate, and does include some rough slayer logic often cited by fans. Buffy's death and return to find a new slayer (Kendra Young) was chosen in the meantime is simple enough. The same goes for the chain of succession continuing with Kendra's death to Faith Lehane, confirming Buffy is an anomaly. But the problems start to crop up when fans ask why Slayer was able to retain her slayer abilities -- since that is precisely what is actually 'passed on' when she dies. That's one of the main reason why Cates' supposition is hard to disprove: if Buffy's power was passed to a new slayer when she first died, what rule does the show offer to claim this time the power won't be passed?
Although in the interest of communicating the strength of his point, this is possibly conflating two different events in the original series: Buffy's return from the dead in Season 6, and the gathering of potential slayers in Season 7. While Buffy doesn't explicitly say to the potential slayers that her power will be passed to one of them -- as opposed to every one of them, as is planned -- it can be inferred. Mainly, because Buffy DOES explicitly say it to Giles in Season 6, Episode 22, "The Grave":
It was like... when I clawed my way out of that grave, I left something behind. Part of me... I don't understand why I'm back... It was my time, Giles. Someone would have taken my place. So why?
Fans may claim this passage to be misinformed, or unclear, but it's delivered as part of the show's lore (and Buffy would probably know). So if the existence of 'The Lost Slayer' is plausible for the reasons Cates notes, how soon can Buffy fans start voicing their support for her creation? Because Cates' schedule is sure filling up...
Source: Donny Cates (via BleedingCool)