As first announced in Out Magazine, Dark Horse's Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic book series is marking a first for the Buffyverse as of October's issue #14: A gay, male slayer named Billy. Billy will be introduced in a two-part storyline co-written by Buffy TV vets Jane Espenson and Drew Z. Greenberg. Since only females can be imbued with the Slayer powers in the Buffyverse, Billy will "take the Batman route," Espenson tells Out, and "earn" the mantle without the standard supernatural abilities. Espenson is the co-creator of web-based sitcom , depicting the lives of a same-sex married couple, and told Out that her work on the series helped inspire Billy. "It suddenly struck me: If being feminine doesn't mean that you're lesser, then liking guys also doesn’t mean you're lesser," Espenson told Out. "For very good reason, we've focused on the female empowerment part of Buffy, but I wondered, Did we leave something out? What if someone in high school is looking up to Buffy as a role model, and we're saying: You can't be a Slayer." The move is the latest in an unprecedented period of major comic book publishers presenting storylines involving openly gay characters, including Kevin Keller at Archie Comics, Northstar's same-sex marriage in Marvel's , and The New 52 version of original Green Lantern Alan Scott in DC's series. Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!
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