Two comic-related events have shocked the comics community recently - one fiction, one fact.
Buffy: The bisexual?
Fans of the Buffyverse lit up message boards like a Christmas tree after the latest issue of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight" (No. 12) had readers flabbergasted when they hit page 4 and saw Buffy in bed with a woman.
First, some backstory. After announcing in issue No. 11 that she is suffering from loneliness and pangs of guilt - because everyone she loves gets hurt - Buffy reveals to Satsu, a new Slayer, that she knows Satsu is in love with her. She realized it from lip gloss that was the result of Satsu's kiss that awoke Buffy from a "Sleeping Beauty" spell in which she could only be awakened by a kiss of true love.
Since Buffy is Satsu's commanding officer, Satsu asks if she is being kicked out and Buffy says no. Then, in this issue, we see both women naked in bed and engaging in pillow talk. Creator Joss Whedon handles such scenes with taste, dignity, heartache and humor and this arc's writer, Drew Goddard ("Cloverfield"), does the same, but Comics Guy feels the move was a mistake.
Why? First, Whedon has stated that this is not a huge life change for Buffy and that she is not gay. "Many of us have experimented in our youth," he said on Newsarama. "That's what youths are for."
So this event implies that to be gay, even for a day, is indeed a choice and to suggest everyone experiments this way is being tone deaf.
Second, this becomes all the more glaring when one recalls all the time, effort and care that went in to having Willow recognize and come to grips with her lesbianism. To have Buffy all of a sudden "be gay," even for a day, diminishes the power of those stories and the barriers they broke.
Third, Buffy knowing she is not gay yet using Satsu because she is lonely is hardly the act of a heroine. Especially since she is Satsu's superior officer. Sexual harassment anyone?
Fourth, Buffy making such a poor choice is disappointing on many levels. She made poor decisions in regard to Angel and Riley and then realized she was having sex with Spike to fill an emptiness in herself and that she didn't love him. "I'm using you," she said back in Season 6, "and it's killing me."
After coming to a realization like that, how does Buffy make the same mistake again?
Michael George: Convicted
In a shocking development, Michael George, co-founder of the Pittsburgh Comic-Con - and owner of Comics World - was found guilty of shooting his wife 17 years ago in the back room of their comic book store in Clinton Township, Mich.
The Detroit News had this to say about the verdict: "George was accused of shooting his wife, Barbara, in the head on July 13, 1990, and making the crime look like a robbery. The jury found George guilty of first-degree murder, felony firearm possession, insurance fraud and obtaining money from an insurance agency under false pretenses."
According to trial testimony, George had an affair with a comic-shop employee, Renee, who is now his wife; he showed no emotion at the funeral; he flirted with a woman near his wife's casket; he had a bigger insurance policy on his wife than on himself, and they had an unhappy marriage.
Two years after the murder of Barbara George, Renee split from her husband, married Mike and they then moved to Pennsylvania.
George's attorney contended "someone was out to get Michael George and got his wife instead."
Why, with this "someone" still at large, did he let his new wife also work alone in his store?
It took 17 years but a jury finally figured out why. Sentencing is expected next month.
Rest in peace, Barbara. *