Fox is Pulling 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' License From Dark Horse

The end of Dark Horse Comics' Buffy the Vampire Slayer series is near, thanks to Fox's decision to take back the license to the property.

Buffy creator Joss Whedon told CBR part of the reason for the new Dr. Horrible comics was that Fox was taking away Buffy after Dark Horse has held the licenses for 20 years.

"We want to do something more with Dark Horse right now -- especially because fox is taking the Buffy license and the Firefly license back," Whedon said. "And Dark Horse has shepherded these licenses for decades now."

Whedon didn't elaborate on why Fox was pulling the license, but there are likely a few reasons that may be factors. One of the biggest may be the in-development Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series reboot. It was announced last month that 20th Century Fox Television has hired Agents of SHIELD alum Monica Owusu-Breen to write a script to reboot the cult classic and will reportedly feature a black actress stepping into the role of Buffy that had been made famous by Sarah Michelle Gellar. With that kind of shift in the reboot, one could argue that it would make sense to not want another variation of Buffy out there -- though one could also argue that the two versions could exist independently.

Another possibility for the revocation of the license is the deal with Walt Disney. Disney is set to acquire many of Fox's assets which may possibly include Buffy the Vampire Slayer. With Disney owning Marvel, that may be part of the motivation to take back the license, though it's worth noting that Firefly -- also owned by Fox -- moved from Dark Horse to BOOM! Studios earlier this year. Fox owns a minority stake in BOOM! Studios.

As for what this change means for the current Buffy book, it looks like the Dark Horse era will end when Buffy Season 12 ends with its final issue on September 19. Whedon explained that they were given four issues to close things out.

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"Similar to the show, we're not going to close it all off in the sense of 'Everybody's dead!"' though we did think about doing that," Whedon said. "But when I sat down with Chris Gage, it was with the intent that after everything we've been through we wanted to have something to say that mirrors and rounds off where we started this comic [run]. And then they said, 'You have four issues,' and it was like 'Ohhh. That's all the time we have.'"

What do you think about Dark Horse losing the license for Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.