Buffy's Romp: Marketing Ploy or Part of the Plot?

A representative from The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation familiar with the comic welcomed the plot twist, lauding it as yet another example of the "Buffy" enterprise including "multidimensional lesbian characters in the Buffy universe."

"'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' has always been an inclusive series, both on screen and now on the page," said Damon Romine, the entertainment media director for GLAAD, in a statement e-mailed to ABCNEWS.com. "We look forward to seeing how Buffy's emotional and physical connection with Satsu plays out, since the creators always take us in surprising and compelling directions."

"It made logical, emotional sense and it was an opportunity for drama and character exploration," said Whedon, who told ABCNEWS.com that while Buffy has not "all of a sudden turned gay" she is not "completely cut off from that particular enjoyment."

But for Stephen Krensky, author of "Comic Book Century: The History of American Comic Books," it's not so clear that Buffy's gay romp was a true advancement of her character and not just a way to freshen up the comic and keep it from its demise.

"Comic books are competing now with video games, DVDs and 'Guitar Hero' for the attention of the audience that, let's face it, they had [during the 1960s]," said Krensky. "Now it's, 'how do we get attention' and 'how do we find a niche?'"

Buffy is not the first comic to stray from its original form, Krensky said, and he added that sometimes he wishes comic writers would let the story "run its course" rather than go off on endless tangents.

"Superman" writers, said Krensky, went as far as developing "Superpets" to extend the comic's story line.

"This is just the latest installment of [a comic] pushing the envelope," said Krensky, who was once a fan of the "Buffy" television show. "It disappoints me if the only reason they do it is because they're looking for new wrinkles to just have something to write about."

Whedon says that's just not the case -- and that he wouldn't continue writing storyboards for "Buffy" if he didn't think it was truly advancing the story.

"I don't need to push the envelope. The reason I'm [still writing it] is that we love it and we couldn't stop telling these stories," Whedon said.

He said he's confident fans won't stray from the comic and will understand Buffy's desire to experiment.

"We have a glut of ideas, but that doesn't mean everyone is going to like them," Whedon said. "But eventually, if the comic doesn't feel like it's artistically valid or if it's not selling, then we'll stop making it."

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