By Amber Lena
Shockingly, there was no line to get into the Joss Whedon San Diego Coimc-Con panel. However, that's probably because every Scooby and Browncoat at Comic-Con hung around Ballroom 20 all day just to see the man behind "Buffy," "Firefly," and "Marvel's The Avengers".
Joss appeared to be at ease with the audience. Coffee in hand, he wandered around the stage before eventually taking a seat on the panel table. It's not so much a Q&A as it is a conversation between Joss and 5,000 other people.
“Apparently I have an issue with taking too many jobs,” Joss joked and went on to mention how exhausted he is. As the man who always seems to be doing a million projects at once, his fatigue was understandable.
The questions began immediately. “We all know that you love to kill people..." the first person began.
“Thank you, next question," Joss quipped, much to the delight of the audience. The question addresses the many deaths of Joss Whedon characters. Joss reveals that out of all the death scenes he's written, Fred's was his favorite.
Things we learned during the Joss Whedon panel: Fred’s death was one of his favorite scenes of all time, Buffy is, in fact, his favorite female character of all time, he currently consults with Marvel on all the upcoming films, and we can expect to see Joss conquer Broadway… just not any time soon. “To do something successful on Broadway it takes many years of work, but unfortunately I’m already booked for many years. So it’s not going to be super soon but, yeah duh,” he said.
One asker questioned the significance of Doctor Horrible’s costume change at the end of Doctor Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog. “It’s pretty simple. He’s wearing a white costume then he’s wearing a red costume because he’s lost his virginity,” he said to a huge outbreak of laughter. “He went dark, brah.”
Joss was then asked to describe Avengers 2 in a single word. “Movie,” he deadpanned. There was a huge round of applause before he gave his real answer. “Remember how Doctor Horrible used to have a white coat? The one word I’m going to use is red.”
It was no surprise that when asked if given unlimited budge and access and he could create anything at all, the audience immediately responded with screams of “Firefly!”
“This is turning increasingly into a game show,” Joss said in response to the question. “Well if it’s anything, then yeah we should probably get the crew of Serenity back together.” The audience erupted. “Does this mean I move ahead to the bonus round?”
Joss' casual ease inspired the same in the audience. Those who asked questions laughed, sang, got Joss' name wrong (and earned some well-deserved boos), and commented on how good they looked on the big screen. "This really is becoming open mic night," Joss said at one point.
As a man who is openly a feminist, Joss was asked to address those who say that a man cannot be a true feminist. "Being a feminist is wishing one half of the human race could be treated as well as the other half of the human race," he said to much applause.
Other things we learned is that Cobie Smulders will likely not be a series regular on S.H.I.E.L.D., Joss would love to do an animated feature, he once had lunch at Hooters with George Lucas, and unfortunately "Doctor Horrible 2" won't be happening any time soon. "I took too many things, I took too many cookies and I can’t eat them all. "Doctor Horrible" keeps getting pushed and I feel bad about that."
When praised and prodded more about S.H.I.E.L.D. and whether those characters would suffer the fate of so many other Whedon creations, Joss said he had no intention of killing off anyone featured in the S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot. The audience erupted into cries accusing him of lying. “Liar?” he asked. “I’m going to kill them because you said that. I don’t create characters so I can get rid of them. I create them so I can love them.” He explained that he wanted his writing to mirror real life. "The fact that you guys give me so much shit about it means that I’m probably doing it right.”
One audience member asked what it was like for Joss to have gone from just starting Buffy to being a god of comic-con. "I like where that sentence went," he began. "How do I feel about having succeeded in the thing I wished to do? I feel just fine. I’m a little sad. Well I mean I’m always a little sad, but we don’t have to talk about that. I don’t get to walk the floor in the same way and I haven’t been able to sign anything….I feel bad about that. Complaint-wise that’s it. Are you f**king kidding? I’m a writer. And all the sudden I’m a writer talking to five thousand people who give a shit about me.”
After joking that his career probably peaked and declined just in the course of the panel, he closed with this statement. "I am so grateful to you guys for coming out and listening to me blather. I love you guys."
He received a much-deserved standing ovation.