Photo: Dark Horse Comics

Buffy the Vampire Slayer may be returning to TV, but the classic characters will soon be absent from comic book store shelves.

Dark Horse announced that Fox has pulled their license to use characters from the Buffy series. The company, whose comics include many series based on pop-culture favorites such as The Incredibles, Stranger Things, and The Terminator, produced Buffy comics for two decades.

They released the first issue in 1998, about a year after the original show went off the air. Dark Horse produced a total of 12 seasons of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” comics, with the most recent season premiering this June, as well as spin-off series focused on Giles, Angel, and Faith.

According to Buffy creator Joss Whedon, who also helped create the first Buffy comics, Season 12’s four issues will be the last. Whedon did not elaborate on the reasons Fox pulled Dark Horse’s license, but possible reasons include the upcoming Buffy sequel (starring a different lead actress) and Disney’s recent acquisition of Fox entities.

Whedon told CBR that he hopes the last four issues of the comics, which he returned to work on, do justice for the series.

“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,” he 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].”

The final issue of the comics is set for release on Sept. 19. Hopefully fans won’t have to wait too long after for a return to Sunnydale, off the page and back on the screen!