Buffyverse


Buffyverse

"Buffyverse" is a term coined by fans of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel" to refer to the shared fictional universe in which they are set. The term has since been used in the titles of published works, [cite book |last=Ouellette |first= Jennifer|title="The Physics of the Buffyverse"|year=2006 |publisher=Penguin |isbn=0143038621 ] and been adopted by Joss Whedon, the creator of the fictional universe. [cite web |url=http://tv.zap2it.com/tveditorial/tve_main/1,1002,271%7C88269%7C1%7C,00.html |title=Whedon's 'Angel' Goes Down Fighting |accessdate=2007-02-14 |last=Porter |first=Rick |publisher=Zap2it ] [cite web |url=http://www.moviehole.net/news/6251.html |title=Interview: Joss Whedon |accessdate=2007-02-14 |last=Morris |first=Clint |publisher=Moviehole.net] The boundaries of the Buffyverse have grown over the years. The Buffyverse established by these many stories is a place in which supernatural phenomena are undeniable. The existence of vampires and demons is challenged by people willing to fight against such forces.

The term "Buffyverse" is a portmanteau word of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "universe" similar to the term "Whoniverse" used to describe the setting "Doctor Who" and spin-offs or "Xenaverse" used to describe that of ' and '.

Alternate terms

The issues over the use of terminology to describe the fictional universe established by "Buffy" and "Angel" has not been clear cut, and in fact a number of terms are in use, of which 'Buffyverse' is the most common, used in the presscite news
first = Michael
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title = Exclusive: Charisma Carpenter Nabs Big Fat Greek Gig
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] and in published non-fiction.

The main disadvantage of this term is that it might be mistakenly seen as excluding information from "Angel". However, many fans argue that "Buffyverse" is appropriate to describe the fictional universe encompassing "Buffy", "Angel", and further expansions to the mythology, because "Buffy" was the original show, and all further mythology built upon that starting point.

* "Slayerverse"/"Angelverse"

Like "Buffyverse", these can be interpreted as being "tied" to only one particular show ("Buffy", and "Angel" respectively). "Slayerverse" overlooks the fact that relatively few "Angel" episodes contained Slayers, while "Angelverse" suggests that the mythology built up in "Angel" takes place in a separate fictional universe from that of "Buffy".

* "Whedonverse"/"Jossverse"/"ME-verse" (after Mutant Enemy, Whedon's production company)

The use of this term is growing, [The use of the term "Whedonverse" is growing in Internet fandom but is often used to describe "Firefly" as well as "Buffy"/"Angel" (a few examples: [http://www.whedon.info/ Whedon.info] , , and [http://www.whedonverse.org/news/2006/03/whedon-fan-issues-donation-challenge.html Whedonverse Multimedia Project] )] however it is often used to describe any or all of Joss Whedon's other work, [("Astonishing X-Men", "", "Firefly", "Speed", "Toy Story", and "Waterworld")] and particularly "Firefly". These other works including "Firefly" do not seem likely to take place in the same fictional universe as "Buffy" and "Angel", therefore Buffyverse is more appropriate to describe the fictional universe at hand.

*"Buffy/Angelverse"

This explicitly refers to both shows. However, even this term does not acknowledge additions such as "Fray".

The construction of the Buffyverse

The fictional universe known as the Buffyverse is now considered the fictional construct created by hundreds of individual stories told through TV, novels, comics and other media. It was initially created only through "Buffy" episodes. The TV series "Angel" first aired in 1999. The popularity of these series led to licensed fiction carrying the "Buffy" and "Angel" labels, and resulted in fans beginning to distinguish between what they consider 'real' within the Buffyverse (canon).

Outside of the TV series, the Buffyverse has been expanded and elaborated by various authors and artists in the so-called "Buffyverse Expanded Universe". The Buffyverse novels, Buffy video games and the vast majority of Buffyverse comics, are licensed by 20th Century Fox, but are generally considered 'less real' within the Buffyverse (apocryphal). The creators of these works are generally free to tell their own stories set in the Buffyverse, and may or may not keep to established continuity. Unlike some other multimedia Universes, such as the Star Wars Expanded Universe, which uses complicated retcons to be as inclusive as possible in what it considers canon, the Buffyverse often fails to keep continuity over the different mediums. The numerous Buffy novels often come into conflict with the comics, and, in fact, are often themselves contradictory. Similarly, writers for the TV series are under no obligation to use continuity which has been established by the Expanded Universe, and may contradict it.

The works sometimes flesh out background information on characters. For example "Go Ask Malice" provides essential information about the origins of the character, Faith Lehane.

The Buffyverse comics were first published by Dark Horse who have retained the right to produce Buffy comics. IDW now hold the license to produce Angel comics. Joss Whedon wrote an eight-issue miniseries for Dark Horse Comics entitled "Fray", about a futuristic vampire slayer. Its final issue came out in August 2003. Pocket Books hold the license to produce Buffy novels, but their license to produce Angel novels expired in 2004.

The Buffyverse has also inspired several unofficial Buffy the Vampire Slayer productions. For example, in recent years fan films have been created for distribution on the internet (considered fanon), and several adult parodies of "Buffy" have also been produced. None of these were licensed by 20th Century Fox as official "Buffy" merchandise.

Characteristics of the Buffyverse

In many ways this world is not dissimilar to ours. However, in the Buffyverse, elements of the supernatural are found throughout the world, though only a small proportion of the human population is aware of this. It is interesting to note that although many unique aspects of the Buffyverse are introduced as "good" or "evil" and are usually treated as such, both "good" and "bad" tend to be forced into more ambiguous "grey areas". A few of the main aspects of the Buffyverse follow.

The Old Ones

The world was originally ruled by powerful pure-breed demons, the Old Ones. The Old Ones were eventually driven out of this dimension. Any who remained were vanquished or imprisoned in the "Deeper Well", now hidden in England. The entrance is in a tree ("Hole in the World" Angel Season 5). These demons are the object of reverence and worship from lesser demon species.

Vampires

According to legend in the Buffyverse, the last Old One to leave this dimension fed off a human and their blood mixed. A demon was trapped in the human body in the place of the soul. Giles describes how the being "bit another, and another, and so they walk the Earth" ("The Harvest"). Some elements of traditional vampire mythology are used whilst others are abandoned.

Werewolves

As in historical werewolf mythology, werewolves are people who suffer from lycanthropy. In the Buffyverse, werewolf characters are shown to have an animal side which either complements or clashes with their human side. Prominent werewolf characters include Oz, Veruca, and Nina Ash.

Demons

In the Buffyverse, the term "demon" is inexact; it has been applied to just about every creature that isn't a god, robot, unmodified human, or standard terrestrial animal. Some classes of creature, such as Vampires and Old Ones, are known to be demons but not always referred to as such.

There are many kinds of demons portrayed in the Buffyverse, of many different natures and origins. Some demons are shown to live and reproduce on Earth (the Bezoar in "Bad Eggs"), but some are extraterrestrial (the Queller demon in "Listening to Fear"), extradimensional (Lorne on "Angel"), ex-humans (Anya Jenkins was a peasant who became a vengeance demon), and hybrids (Cordelia Chase had aspects of demon fused in her). Some species of demon are capable of breeding with humans (Doyle has a human mother and a demon father).

Some demons in "Buffy" are shown to be inherently evil and interested in causing suffering, death, and harm. Other characters challenge this notion however, with demons such as Clem and Lorne who appear basically good.

Slayers

A group of shamans used the essence of a demon to produce the First Slayer. She was banished from her own village and forced to fight the forces of darkness alone. When she died another girl was "chosen" in her place. The line of Slayers is maintained right up until some point in the 21st century. The Slayer is given great strength, lightning reflexes, and fast healing powers.

Watchers

The Watchers' Council historically offers guidance to the Slayer, assisting them by supervising their training and by researching existing and possible demonic or supernatural threats.

"The Good Fight"

While most of humanity in the Buffyverse seems oblivious to the existence of demons, other groups and organizations that are waging their own battles against evil come to light over the course of "Buffy" and "Angel" and in related media. For example, a group of socially disadvantaged youth in L.A. organized themselves to battle the vampires destroying their community. (See Charles Gunn.) And, although some of their methods and goals proved questionable, a government-funded group known as The Initiative was also aware of the existence of demons and was fighting a secret war against them.

Magic

Magic in the Buffyverse can be used for all manner of control. Spells can be performed by anyone by use of magical items while saying particular words. Witches and warlocks however have more knowledge and power for using it for their purposes.A witch can inherit their lineage from their parents or develop their craft over many years, and neither a witch or warlock must necessarily be human, such as Cyvus Vail.

Mutants

While not prominent in the buffyverse, there are individuals who can be clearly described as mutants (similar to the likes of X-Men and Heroes). Examples include Gwen Raiden and Bethany (from the episode Untouched).

Technology

Technology in the Buffyverse is more advanced than in the real world, although the applications of it do not seem to be common knowledge. Examples of advanced technology include:

* The demon Moloch has an advanced robotic body built for him to inhabit "I, Robot... You, Jane."

* Inventor Ted Buchannon built a highly advanced android version of himself in the 1950s that was capable of impersonating a human being without drawing suspicion. ("Ted")

* Warren Mears builds a life-like android named April as a companion in the episode "I Was Made to Love You," then builds the Buffybot for Spike. He later forms and leads the Trio as their technology guru. The trio is shown to use a freeze ray ("Smashed"), an invisibility ray ("Gone"), a Cerebral Dampener capable of removing someone's free will ("Dead Things"), and jet packs ("Seeing Red").

* Pete Clarner is shown to create a chemical compound that gives him highly enhanced strength. ("Beauty and the Beasts")

* It is revealed that in the 50's, the devil built a robot in an attempt to take over the world. However, he was defeated by 'Los Hermanos Numeros' ("The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco").

Additionally, there is much technology specifically geared towards the supernatural, used by the government organization known as "The Initiative" and the demonic law firm Wolfram and Hart.

Footnotes and references

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