Check off another IP loss for Dark Horse Comics. Joss Whedon’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer has been published by Dark Horse since 1998, but now they’re moving to BOOM! Studios. According to IGN:
The final issue of Season Twelve released yesterday, and the trade paperback for Season Twelve, out on December 12, will be Dark Horse’s final Buffy publication. All previously published Buffy comics will be fair game for re-publication under BOOM!. Dark Horse’s Buffy license expires at the end of 2018, so BOOM! will be free to publish Buffy comics starting in 2019, although an official launch date has yet to be revealed.
It was a major blow for Dark Horse when they lost the Star Wars license after Disney bought Marvel, leading to speculation about what else they might lose. So far the only other license they’ve lost to Marvel was Conan The Barbarian early this year, which isn’t even a Disney-owned property.
Buffy is owned by 20th Century Fox, which Disney is in the process of acquiring, though the merger won’t be official until 2019. The same month the Disney/Fox deal was made official, Joss Whedon’s Firefly curiously moved from Dark Horse to BOOM!
Having both Joss Whedon IPs at the same publisher makes sense, but the real question is: will they move to Marvel once the Disney/Fox deal has been finalized?