Buffy, Season 8
Script: Joss Whedon, Pencils: Georges Jeanty, Inks: Andy Owens,
Colors: Dave Stewart, Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Jimmy
Cover By: Georges Jeanty, Andy Owens, & Dave Stewart
Where We Are: In the last issue, we found out that the American military is working with Amy Madison in order to bring down Buffy Summers – who, along with the Slayers – are considered terrorist cells. Amy had placed Buffy into a mystical sleep in which she remains trapped until a ‘true love’ gives her a kiss. In the meanwhile, zombies are attacking Slayer Central and Willow has just arrived to confront Amy. And, Dawn is still a giant.
Page 1: Also last issue, a person whose face we didn’t see, came to Buffy in her dream warning her that there were things she needed to know. This person called her “my love”, but wasn’t stocky enough to be Angel or Riley. With the long, leather coat we are meant to think it’s Spike… however, last issue was full of fake-outs, leading me to think this isn’t Spike.
We now see the same figure (from the neck down) reaching a hand out to Buffy. She reiterates in her thoughts that he called her “My love.”
Page 2: Buffy’s monologue: “And then I threw up in my mouth a little.”
It is not Spike.
It turns out that Buffy’s visitor is a long lost face from Season 4: Ethan Rayne! Uh-huh… I was shocked to see him too… the last time we heard from him was when he was being led away by the Initiative, where we were promised he would spend a good long while.
He explains to Buffy that he hitched a ride to her “dreamspace” in order to warn her that there is big trouble a-brewin’… including the factoid that she’s trapped in her sleep.
Page 3: In order to show Buffy what he means by her “dreamspace”, he chooses to reveal a dream image to her that is the most embarrassing he could find… of course.
Buffy is in a sexy nurse’s outfit. Angel is in front of her, completely nude. Spike is behind her… same state of undress. The threesome is wrapped together in chains. There’s a volcano in the background erupting. There’s a train headed into a tunnel. There’s little cupid-angels.
Yes, it’s all sex when thoughts turn to Angel and Spike… and apparently its sex together with Angel AND Spike.
Page 4 & 5: In the ‘real world’, outside of Buffy’s dreamspace, Willow and Amy are involved in a magical dual. Amy disparages Willow’s “weak craft”.
Page 6: But it is a fake-out by Wills. She tells Amy that she’s, essentially, clueless but I’ll give you her words:
“I saw the big picture. But, you, Amy… you’re as self-involved as your mom was. You think I’m fighting you. I’m just absorbing your mojo. So I can decode it.”
Willow lets loose with the magical burst.
Page 7: On the ground, the zombies stop with the attacking and instead start asking Slayers for a dance.
Willow tells Amy that the army was the pressing problem and she’s taken care of it. The light show she’d cast in Amy’s direction was just a smokescreen.
Amy counters with the fact that the zombie army was as well.
Page 8: While Amy uses some sort of pixelating magic against Wills, Buffy and Ethan are falling through her dreamspace. He’s looking for the interface between Buffy and ‘her enemy’ so that she can see some of her attacker’s daydreams and figure out who it is.
Although we know that Amy is the problem, Buffy doesn’t yet.
If you look really close at the ‘memory cubes’ of Buffy, you’ll see a portrait of Joss.
Page 9: Willow gets pissed and turns momentarily Dark. She fires a mystic burst directly at Amy, who is able to shield herself. She asks what else Wills has got.
In the control room, Xander says over the open mic, “Say it with me now: Fe fi fo…”
Page 10: Dawn continues, “… F%$#ing Fum.”
And then steps on Amy! (Despite the big ‘SHOOOOSH’ blurb, though, she’s not squished and Willow quickly engulfs her in a magical trap.)
Willow asks why Dawn is a giant, while Dawn asks if she’s gone evil again…, Will tells her it’ll be fine: Amy just pissed her off.
In the meantime, Buffy is seeing red bars across a black background.
Page 11: In Buffy’s dreamspace, she sees a giant habi-wheel and realizes that Amy is responsible for whatever is happening in the real world, and for trapping her in her dreams.
Rayne gives Buffy a valuable clue, three Roman numerals for ten… ‘thirty’.
Page 12: Buffy and I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. Ethan insists that what she sees needs to be remembered, however. That it is important because twilight is falling… which is the name of the organization of the guys with the symbol carved into their chests – which include the general leading the military against the Slayers.
In the meanwhile, with Amy secured again, Willow recognizes that Buffy is under a ‘true love’ spell.
Page 13: Willow has everyone shut their eyes so that the person in love with Buffy can kiss her with some anonymity. We’re led to believe it will be Xander, but I’ll spoil it now and say it’s another fake-out. You see, when Buffy awakes, she yells, “Cinnamon Buns!”
And it just so happens that Satsu, the Slayer who likes cat-masks, also likes Cinnamon lip gloss. Uh-huh.
Page 14: We join Giles, where he is meeting a demonic representative. The demon is pissed off because the Slayers killed three of their race’s children.
Giles points out they had broken protocol by being out there causing havoc.
The demon insists that they were lured to that spot and set up. He gives Giles a piece of paper with the symbol that we’ve come to recognize as Twilight’s.
Page 15: Xander has called Andrew to report the attack on HQ. But, Andrew is complaining that all is quiet in Italy. He’s says its Dullsville… even though he is playing strip poker with some buxom Slayers… one of which is even now taking off her bra. Poor Andy… does nothing for him.
Page 16: Xander checks in on their injured troops, including the flirtatious Renee. He gives her some razzing:
“Well this is really unimpressive. One attack by the undead and Renee has to take a nap, ‘oh I’m all run through with a broadsword, I have to lie around and heal…’
“Back in my day, which was about a week and a half ago, we took our lumps and we got back up and we cried like babies and quit and then put on weight.”
Xander tells her to stop feeling down about the zombie attack.
Page 17: While Xander is checking in on the troops, Buffy and Willow are bonding. They have Amy mystically held and Wills is running a scan. She says that Amy’s magic-works “reeked of tech. She’s working with someone.”
They have a few moments to try to get caught up. We do find out that Kennedy died!
But, it was one of those mystic things and only lasted a month. She’s currently dealing with that so Willow has been respecting her space.
I have to say at this point, too, that everyone seems to be awfully cavalier about Dawn having had sex with a demon….
Page 18: Xander joins them. They joke about his and Buffy’s current lack of a sex life. Buffy just begins to wonder who kissed her (with the Cinnamon Buns flavor), but the question is interrupted by Willow saying she’s getting a reaction from a mystic scan she’s performing while she talks to them.
Wow – remember when magic used to take some effort?
Page 19: Willow gets information from her trace that Amy has been hanging out with the Initiative sort. Unfortunately, she also gets caught in a mystic trap – Amy was two steps ahead of her and arranged for her scan to trigger a portal.
Amy, evil smile on her face, yanks Willow into the portal and vanishes.
Page 20: While Xander is barking orders for a team of Slayers to suit up and a team of mystics to get to portal-reopening duty, Buffy is stewing – pissed off at being played.
Page 21: Willow is the one restrained this time: she’s mystically tied down to a metal table. While she lies temporarily helpless, a rough voice speaks from off-screen. We’re finally going to meet the “thing” that Amy has been calling boyfriend.
Page 22: And somehow, someway it’s…
And he’s holding a bone saw….
The Good: The interesting return of Ethan Rayne is a plus.
The toe-to-toe mystic battle between Willow and Amy is really good. Especially since Amy shows herself to be always thinking ahead and Willow seems far too complacent about assuming that she’s the stronger and better witch – which bites her in the end.
Giant Dawn putting her giant foot to good use!
Xander Harris… *sigh* … love the way his character is handled throughout.
Amy’s spring-trap and what’s waiting for Willow on the other side.
The Bad: Warren?! How?! Why?! (future self – they really screw up the explanation next issue – but that’s a bitch for then).
Buffy’s cavalier attitude to Dawn’s having had sex with a demon and being turned into a giantess… and Willow’s joining in not being very concerned about all this.
The Score: Willow is put to good use in this issue, as is Xander. Dawnie gets to use her new status for some good, which was nice. The next issue closes out the “first episode” of Season 8, so this one is a typical ‘move things along’ issue and there’s nothing really wrong with that. I do have to wonder why Buffy’s eye color seems to keep changing… and then there’s the problem inherent in yet another dead guy coming back… a weakness of comic-storytelling in general: that plot is extremely overused.
3.75 out of 5 stars.