Buffy Gets An Abortion: How Comics Aren’t For Kids (And Don’t Make Money)

Dark Horse Comics “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (the comic book continuation of the TV series) has an upcoming issue in which the character, after a night of drunken sex with men she does not remember, decides to get an abortion. Nothing else better illustrates why Comic Books are not for kids, and don’t make money. A topic covered originally in the 2008 post “Comic Books Dirty Little Secret”. Comic books today serve as intellectual property holders (continuing publication to hold rights to characters that would otherwise revert to creator’s estates), and incubation for movie ideas that inevitably fail.

From the Daily Mail story:

After trailing the latest issue with the teaser that Buffy is ‘distracted by a rather personal problem’, her character is seen telling vampire Spike – who may or may not be the father – that her life is in freefall: ‘I’m going to have an abortion.

‘I’m barely able to hold onto a job. I live with roommates who are about to kick me out. And I can’t even hold my alcohol well enough to remember who got me pregnant.

‘I can handle the Slayer stuff … But everything else I’m not ready. At least not now.’

The award-winning TV show, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, ran from 1997 until 2003, but her story has been continued by creator Joss Whedon in comic book form.

He told told Entertainment Weekly: ‘A woman’s right to choose is under attack as much as it’s ever been, and that’s a terrible and dangerous thing for this country.

’I don’t usually get soap box-y with this, but the thing about Buffy is all she’s going through is what women go through, and what nobody making a speech, holding up a placard, or making a movie is willing to say’

Memo to Joss Whedon: Middle and Upper Class White women rarely get abortions. Because they don’t generally have drunken unprotected sex with men they barely know. Abortions statistically are dominated by Black women, and to a lesser extent lower class White women. No one makes movies about abortions, because most White Middle and Upper Class women find it distasteful. Not the least of which is because delayed fertility makes having a baby quite difficult.

[The real actress behind Buffy, Sarah Michelle Gellar, has been quoted as saying her “best work” was the birth of her daughter.]

Nor of course is a “woman’s right to choose” in jeopardy, merely the right of the Government to mandate religious organizations that object on religious grounds to be forced to provide it. Whatever one’s feelings on abortion, it is not a fun, happy and uplifting experience. And the idea that religious organizations can be forced by the government to violate their doctrine by being commanded to do things (rather than refrain from them) is a recipe for total government control by elites over every aspect of ordinary human life. The old Puritan (and Scandinavian) culture of total communal control over every aspect of behavior writ large.

Nevertheless, this is the state of comic books today. Not entertainment oriented towards young boys, offering mostly mindless but harmless fun. Rather, a dose of moral lecture.

This is because comic books are not published, for the most part, to make money. Rather they are published to provide moral lectures on the failings of ordinary Americans by the cultural descendants of Cotton Mather.

If you wondered why “Cowboys and Aliens” lost money, or very likely “Kick-Ass”, it is because modern comics are not popular. No one reads them. And they are mostly written by guys who don’t have a clue about how to reach the young male action movie audience.

Can anyone imagine Superman’s Lois Lane getting an abortion in the 1940’s? Or anything like that? Are young men interested in women getting abortions? Of course not, they find it a mostly distasteful subject they’d rather avoid. Its not … entertaining.

This bodes ill for the upcoming “Avengers” movie, written and directed by Joss Whedon. Doubtless Thor and Captain America will become gay lovers, or some such nonsense. To give us all a good moral lecture by our betters on homophobia. Or something.

Bucking the trend (hopefully) is the return of Valiant, with X-O Man-o-War leading off the return. It is a marvel (no pun intended) that only the Valiant and Malibu and Comic’s Greatest World universes had any new and compelling superhero characters. Marvel and DC largely failed in the 1990’s and thereafter in creating new and compelling superhero characters, and various indie attempts have also failed. Why did Kick-Ass fail to get men into theaters? Because the character was not compelling. The same was true for Cowboys and Aliens (all high concept and no likable character). Meanwhile the Captain America and Thor and Iron Man movies all succeeded because they were character-driven. An abiding sense of patriotism and duty by a former 90 pound weakling of the Depression; a maturity born of experience by a God who finally understands his duty; and the remaking of a wounded (externally and internally) of a brilliant playboy who senses his technical skills can save people besides himself, and in saving others he saves himself.

All of these are characters, and not just that but deeply appealing to boys (and men who remember being boys). They are about something: duty and patriotism, by a man who used to be weak. Relating to a powerful father, either present or long-dead. More than just a PC lecture by one’s “betters” the stories and characters provide adventure and excitement along with ever-deepened characters.

The action movie, such as it is, depends largely on decades old (in some cases nearly 70 years old) work by pulp-oriented writers who created or shaped superheroes like Superman, Batman, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, and more. The current crop of writers just can’t conceive of anything but a PC driven moral lecture.

And that’s not entertainment. Nor is it for kids. Nor is it a money-maker.

There is a lot of ruin in a nation. And even more in the comic book industry, DC being owned by Time-Warner and Marvel by the Disney behemoth. Valiant’s return is a good thing, in that it potentially is a direct rebuke to the “Buffy gets an abortion” moral lecture. And one that has the ability, in an age in flux, to capture the imagination and loyalties of a whole new crop of boys who will grow up to be men. Want to teach kids a “moral lesson?” Then you have to entertain them first, and provide MALE characters they want to emulate: Superman’s power tempered by compassion; Batman’s revenge tempered by limits; Captain America’s duty and patriotism and leadership; Iron Man’s redemption by heroism.

Of course, lost in this is the total destruction of the Buffy character. The first five seasons or so of the series painted a reasonably heroic and while flawed, basically good female character. Little girls loved the character. Because she was in fact, lovable. The show and the character (much to the displeasure of the lead, Sarah Michelle Gellar) went off the rails when Whedon turned over the show in the final two seasons to show runner Marti Noxon, who proceeded (with Whedon’s feminist approval) to make Buffy fall in love with her bad-boy vampire rapist (Spike) and turn into a raging bitch, who was cold and abusive to everyone but her bad boy lover. The comic book series had Buffy turn into a “bi-curious” lesbian, and now a college drop-out raging alcoholic who has anonymous hook-ups that lead to unplanned pregnancy.

Ironically if Joss Whedon wanted to deliberately paint feminism in as ugly and unflattering light as possible, he could not have done a better job with his literally empowered heroine. She’s literally this woman:
Typical British Woman

Or perhaps this one:

Another Drunk British Woman

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23 Responses to Buffy Gets An Abortion: How Comics Aren’t For Kids (And Don’t Make Money)

  1. Ari Gold says:

    You’re dreaming if you think Middle and Upper Middle-Class abortions are rare. Maybe once they cross the ’30’ Rubicon, but not in their 20s. In their teens, the family will ‘take care’ of any pregnancy that arises, no matter what the wished of the girl may be. Appearances must be kept up the their future can’t be derailed by single motherhood.

  2. AV Clubbed says:

    The Buffy TV series devolved into fembot powertrip advertisement for its final episode.
    Check the video out, particularly 2:17-3:00, for yourself:

    Notice how the wikipedia article doesn’t mention a bit of it.

  3. Brendan says:

    The number of abortions among college white women (and college grad white women in their 20s) is not small by any means. Sure, it’s dwarfed by black women, but plenty of these middle class and UMC white girls in college and post-grad have had at least one abortion.

  4. asdf says:

    Abortion is low for upper class white chicks. They are way better at using birth control. They are still having lots of sex.

  5. Jules says:

    This viscerally just makes me go UGH. I consider myself to be a fairly vulgar conservative, I’m not a hardcore pro-lifer, I’m an atheist, I laugh at dead baby jokes, i’ve never watched buffy or read the comics but the way Whedon justifies it and tries to glorify it feels like a punch to the face.
    Reminds me of the commentary track from “Smug Alert” where Matt & Trey talk about how they hate liberal environmentalist types who talk about setting an example for the little people. “You’re saying it with your eyes closed & fuck you!”

  6. NJartist49 says:

    I looked at those images from Cardiff. The images are of a deliberately murdered people and race.

  7. Buzzfeed says:

    whiskey, you HAVE to see this:


    Everything you suspect about females proven true.

  8. Jules says:

    Paraphrasing From the comments on the dailymail link
    “so buffy ruins her life with alcohol & anonymous sex & that’s supposed to be an argument AGAINST pro-lifers?”

  9. Buzzfeed, yeah I saw that. Women of course are entirely flexible. Chris Brown only has an appeal because his cost is subsidized. If it wasn’t, then women would eschew him.

    And yeah Jules it is ironic that Whedon undercut his argument by making Buffy a drunken, poverty-stricken bar slut.

  10. corey ashcraft says:

    I got all of Season 8 and I am currently getting season 9. Why did I even bother? Abortion is not heroic and to have the Heroine have one underlines everything that the character stood for. As someone who is adopted I can not imagine a woman who is to be a mother doing something so murderous and evil. Every birthday I say a silent prayer that my birth mother was more heroic and strong than this poor excuse for a feminine creature. I can no longer watch Buffy and not root for the monsters, at least against them you had a chance to defend yourself. I am, as of now cancelling my subscription to this comic and any chance of getting the Box Sets of Angel and Buffy are gone.


    • By_the_sword says:

      Behold: The people have spoken.

      May God bless both of your mothers, and you as well.

  11. corey ashcraft says:

    undermines everything that the character stood for.

  12. Mike says:

    I followed the Buffy Season 8 comics until the mid 20’s (issues). Frankly, it started off kind of off the rails, and for a season 8, it was a poor substitute. I get that as an uber feminist, Whedon wants to promote abortion or whatever makes chicks feel empowered these days, but I trust the studio, with so much money involved, isn’t going to let him “Season 8” the Avengers movie.

  13. Brooklyn says:

    First: http://www.shortpacked.com/2011/comic/book-13/04-remedial-adulthood/math/
    That sums up your point pretty well…

    Second: Don’t count on Valiant to save superhero comics. The literally last original “hero” we got from any company with any staying power has been the Punisher and I don’t have to tell you he’s no Captain America. Everything else tends to be some attempt at an edgy reinterpretation. Kick-ass is literally a Spider-Man origin; Cowboys and Aliens is Jonah Hex with more explosions and no backstory. The little material that might be interesting like Astro City is so mired in nostalgia and nods of the head to a fanbase that its never going to pull an audience the way Superman and Batman used to.

    Third: There wouldn’t be a huge issue if it was just a sidestory to a healthy market. If this were something like the books Warren Ellis puts out for Avatar Press like SuperGods or the like it wouldn’t mean much. But this is all thats really left in the mainstream market. Superman’s renounced his citizenship, Spider-Man sold his wife to the devil so he could be 35 and living on his aunts couch; comics as anything but a trademark placeholder are pretty much dead. Anyone who wants an adventure story like the 1960 era comic books tends to pick up manga.

    As for movies they’ll just mine the same material endlessly. Three Spider-Man movies and now a reboot that’ll start the whole thing over into the new decade. Superman is getting a second reboot less than half a decade after the last one. Between Thor and Captain America 2, Iron Man 3, Avengers 2 and 3, a possible Fantastic Four reboot by the 2020s and another couple of Ghost Rider sequels so Nicholas Cage can pay off his debts, does either Marvel or DC have to come up with any material that happened after 1973?

  14. Matt Strictland says:

    Comics have been pure propaganda since the comics code. The fact that they’ve shifted ideology does not surprise me a lick, creative types tend to be leftists anyway and once the comic code boot came off as soon as possible they created self perpetuating leftist ideological echo chambers.

    However I will say the propaganda has gotten thicker of late, granted I am feeling a bit long in the tooth for comics but some of my 20 something geek friends enjoy them so once in a while I’ll watch or read one.

    I had the “pleasure” of watching a motion comic called Iron Man Extremis that was so anti Right/White- Pro Multi-Cult I wanted to throw up in my mouth. The only reason it was tolerable is each episode was about 10 minitues Some poisons can be tolerated in small enough doses after all.

    However as for Buffy, well its realistic after a fashion but hardly fun. Of course Buffy never was for kids. It was for young adults, most of whom probably have thought about abortion I do agree with the general consensus on the show though. the 1st five were decent. After that. No.

    However if one wants to watch urban fantasy N.B.C.’s Grimm is my guilty pleasure. Its overly feminized sometimes but Its really White (set in Portland) and surprisingly respectful of the Faerie Tales its based on. It may be kinda liberal (heck a couple of gay guys are the producers) but so is Portland and the show doesn’t hate the culture. Its even creepy at times which surprises me.

  15. CamelCaseRob says:

    I enjoy Grimm, too, but having just finished reading all 279 of the Grimm Fairy Tales, I can assure you that there is NO relation, other than the name, between the show and the stories.

    • Matt Strictland says:

      Oh I agree, most of the Grimm Faerie Tales are morality plays or soaked in German Traditions. They are fundamentally a kind of Conservatism with hint of Transgression

      The show Grimm is more of an SWPL version of “what if xyz monster vaguely based on those old German tales was real” The inspiration was there but its not the same idea.

      Its still fun and as I said for once the writers don’t seem to hate White people.

      However even as mediocre as my German is, the shows monster names. Blutbadden, Hexenbiest, Bauerschwein are groan worthy.

  16. Rifleman says:

    Any actual data on abortions? You throw around generalizations and claims but where is the data?

    I’m sure plenty of upper middle class White women know how to keep their abortions “off the record”.

    And why are you so into all this Buffy stuff? Aren’t you a grown man?

    • Rollory says:

      “And why are you so into all this Buffy stuff?”

      It’s indicative of the mindset of current 20-30somethings. I’m in my mid-30s and Buffy was THE show to watch for a lot of my male co-workers and friends for a while. Dismissing it as kid stuff that can be ignored is dangerous self-deception.

  17. Rifleman says:

    Rollory says:
    February 19, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Dismissing it as kid stuff that can be ignored is dangerous self-deception.

    I’m dismissing it as GIRL stuff more than kid stuff.

    And you are deceiving your self if you think men ever cared about that nonsense.

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