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Buffy Season Eight
Issue 36-40: Last Gleaming
BuffySeason8TPB8
Written by Joss Whedon & Scott Allie
Drawn by Georges Jeanty
Publication date 2010
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Comic Series
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Last Gleaming is the eighth and final story arc that spreads from the thirty-sixth to the fortieth issue of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight series of comic books. This final arc was written by Joss Whedon and Scott Allie and is a direct continuation from the television series of the same name. Issue thirty-six was released on Sep. 1, 2010. The final issue of Season Eight (#40) was published on January 19th, 2011. Issue 40 concludes Season Eight's run before continuing into Season Nine mid-2011.

Synopsis

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Last Gleaming, Part 1

Last Gleaming, Part 1 (Issue #36)

The issue began with Angel, appearing some time in the past, in a portal in midair and crashing into the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, where he's contacted by a higher power, using a dog as a vessel. The power tells Angel that he's got a higher purpose, and after a short dialogue Angel, using his new powers for the first time, flies and saves a plane form Oceanic Airlines from crashing. After leaving the plane in the ground he's contacted by the power, now in the body of a woman, who thanks him, and says that his new powers are a reward, and it made the Shanshu look like a bunch a' crap.

Some other time, Spike and a crew of giant bugs, appear from a portal in a flying ship, but crash into the Big Ben in London. While he drinks a coffee he reads in the newspapers the current situation of Slayers and vampires, with headlines like: "TERRORIST BUFFY SUMMERS," "SLAYER JIHAD," "HARMONY'S F@#%KING BEAUTY TIPS."

We see as the power contacted Angel through various vessels until he finishes the creation of his Twilight alias. Spike on the other hand hears from a woman the repercussion of "Twilight's resistance." When Twilight is filmed flying in Edinburgh Spike has no trouble recognizing Angel.

In the present, Angel and Buffy are fighting in midair the new demons while discussing what happened between them and about Spike. Angel says that he does not trust Spike, showing jealousy and suspicion over Buffy and Spike being alone together. Buffy replies that she does not trust Angel but "you have my heart." She reminds Angel that Spike died saving her and her people. She also confesses to Angel that it was "the weirdest bestest weirdest best day of my life," that "what you have done for me, I can't describe, I can't pronounce. You gave me perfection and you gave it up. Jesus, Angel, that is not just the love of my life, that's the guy I would live it with." Then, Buffy asks Angel to leave since she wants to find out Spike's Agenda and the Scoobies still have a grudge about Angel being Twilight. At the moment, Willow helps in the air fight, angrily transforming Angel into a frog for a moment. Knowing the possible reaction of the rest of the Scooby Gang Angel flies to help Slayers in the rest of the world while Buffy and Willow go with the rest. Angel also jealously asks her if all she wants from Spike is information which Buffy says being jealous is beneath him. Before Angel leaves, he tells Buffy that "I got more powerful, not remotely mature. I will find you soon." To which Buffy replied "You better."

The Slayer Organization, Warren, Amy and The General flee using Spike's ship. In the ship, Buffy tells Spike she knew he was alive but didn't have time to contact him, and thanks him for saving her life from the Ubervamps and closing the Hellmouth. He informs her of the problems: a universe created by her and Angel and later abandoned by them, and demons pouring into our dimension, but tells them the solution: the The Seed of Wonder. He continued saying it was buried in the ruins of Sunnydale, and that they're heading there.

The Master, resurrected by unknown ways, is currently the protector of the seed in the church where he was trapped years ago.

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Last Gleaming, Part 2

Last Gleaming, Part 2 (Issue #37)

All cleaned up from her rather messy fight with the legions of demons now making their way into this universe; Buffy exits the shower in Spike’s room drying her hair with a towel, while Spike looks on from his bed. They briefly reminisce at the fact that they are heading back to Sunnydale, but decide to move on to more pressing matters, the Seed of Wonder. Which Spike explains has been there before anything else, humans or even the First, which has a nice irony to it. He explains that it is just as the name implies, the source of all magic in the world. Everything in this universe came from it, since the time when demons overran this world most likely spillover from a lesser dimension, the Seed brought them forth and kept them in place. It kept all of the old magics, warring demons and bubbling energies from seeping back into the Old dimension wherever that was. The Seed is the only thing powerful enough to keep everything from bleeding back.

Spike explains to Buffy that it’s best to think of it as a cork in a bottle- after failing to use “The key” as a metaphor- “As long as the cork (the seed) stays firmly in place at its current residence, The Hellmouth, Sunnydale, then the world will remain as it should, but pull it out.” And he continues to pull the cork out of a bottle of Madeira. Which Buffy believes would have been more impressive if he had held it upside down and something had come pouring out. But the point is clear: remove the seed and the world ends. So as long as it stays buried underground with its protector they’re safe, until two morons- Buffy and Angel- decided to shag a universe into existence and release these demons all over this dimension.

Buffy immediately rushes to her own defense, explaining that it wasn’t like they were out of control though they were; it was more elemental, like they were outside themselves, in each other. Which Spike really doesn’t want to hear, considering it’s Buffy. Which disappoints Buffy who misses the fact that they don’t talk anymore, like they once did, she’s his dark place. Sharing a moment Spike kisses her. But the next page reveals that it’s all a day-night- dream which Buffy thought up when she was suppose to be listening Spike while he explains how stop the apocalypse. He then leaves to update the group telling Buffy to get some sleep, which invokes a rather dirty sex dream of Buffy’s.

While Dawn anxiously attempts to block out thoughts of Spike’s bug minions working around them, Xander consoles her by telling her maybe after all of this- and if they survive- they should get an apartment together. Without Buffy and the mess that accompanies living with a slayer army, just the two of them. Xander would get a job, Dawn would return to school and they could just scrape a living. She immediately agrees but questions whether or not they have what’s in them to survive the fight that’s coming. While they talk General Voll listens on through an air vent.

In Japan, Angel arrives to assist a group of troubled slayers with the task of killing a dinosaur-like demon targeting them and a group of civilians. Back on the ship the gang discusses the seed and how odd it is that it’s been there the whole time unbeknownst to the scoobies for seven years. But Spike says they do have an advantage: the Earth demons will not want the new universe demons to get the Seed cause if they do, the world will end. He also explains that every since the seed was planted, Twilight has been an inevitability and it’s possible that maybe the world has just run its course, everything has a life span and maybe the Earth has reached the end of its. Though as they talk Willow inexplicably collapses. She Wakes up in her Spirit world with Aluwyn standing over her. Aluwyn immediately begins to warn her, if things go the way they do, Willow will never be able to return here, which Willow isn’t worried about, considering how close earth is to being swallowed by hell. But Aluwyn says you heroes won’t let that happen, your vampire and watcher will find another way. With the seed removed the gates of hell open wide. That’s what Twilight wants. Mother earth destroyed… so the new world can thrive—The Queen, dead— long live the queen. But hell only pours in if the seed is removed, destroy the seed, and the gates and path are gone, hell has no available avenue to this world and you have a world without magic. The slayers and vampires already active would remain but all other connections to other realms would be severed, and everyone who gets their power from elsewhere- Witches- lose everything. She continues that it’s not only Twilight you have to stop. Willow asks her if she knows who will betray Buffy, her face says everything. She knows. Back on the Ship Willow wakes telling them- They have to protect the seed.

Angel still keeps up the fight, saving and assisting slayers and killing as many demons as can. He says to himself, “But you were right Buffy, I do need this.” And then swoops down to save more people.

On the ship Faith asks what the plan is, but Giles says there is no plan. They just need to prevent the seed’s removal. He continues that he knows this not what Faith wanted to do, but reassures her that after this there will still be girls for Faith to guide, but Faith has her doubts. Interrupting them, Spike peaks out the window, telling them they've arrived. Demons are everywhere over Sunnydale, but Willow pulls Buffy aside to tell her that no one- not just the demons- can get the seed. But she says no one will and leaps out of the ship. Spike grabs on as they fall through the earth and Buffy realizes that one way or another, it all ends here- the war. Spike is amazed at all the disaster and destruction he and the amulet caused- considering it’s the first time he has ever seen it.

Willow goes to follow but Xander stops her, stating that it’s Sunnydale you can’t leave him out of this, he wants to go home and it is clear so do Giles, Dawn and Faith. Under the earth Buffy wants to know about the seed, and where it is. But Spike says he still doesn't know where it's hidden. Out of nowhere the Master appears and hits Buffy from behind, and Spike realizes he’s the protector. The Master is surprised though, he was told by an unknown person or persons that they would come but he thought Angel would be with Buffy not Spike. He says their new world is not worthy of this power, Buffy has created nothing but a soulless shell. But Buffy comes up behind him and crushes his head into the ground.

In an almost completely destroyed city Angel stands unharmed, prepared for more fighting, but as he does the higher power from issue one appears to him. In the guise of a cat and bird it tells him his work isn't nearly done, it also explains that when it appeared to Angel through its previous vessel, it was just talking through them. It then goes on to call Angel its father. It says that it had to use vessels because it hadn't been born yet, but it's here now, and Angel can't deny the universe he created. The bird and the cat merge creating the winged lion from Buffy's dream in "No Future for You, Part I", who tells Angel he has to finish what he started.

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Last Gleaming, Part 3

Last Gleaming, Part 3 (Issue #38)

Beginning in the aftermath of last issue, Angel is sent backwards reeling from a blow delivered by his and Buffy’s child- the living embodiment of the Twilight Universe. The lion is clearly angered at Angel for his rejection of his role and abandonment of his child- the Twilight Universe. Questioning whether Angel really thought he would get off that easy. He states that Buffy abandoned him for lack of conflict but the earth is clearly waning, soon Twilight- the lion- will soon become something greater than anything she has ever feared or fantasized. Angel says he won’t give up fighting, but the lion says he would have, if not for Buffy, but it is pointless anyway, the queen is dead- mother earth- long live the Twilight universe. Referring to itself as Twilight. It states it was Buffy who set all of this in motion, when she called all the potentials. The lion pounces upon Angel continuing that it is Angel who will finish it. Angel will bring the seed from Sunnydale to the lion, as it is his soul. Angel refuses to except this saying there will be no Twilight, but the lion says there already is. As Angel is Twilight.

Back in Sunnydale, Willow, Giles, Xander and Dawn have met up with Buffy and Spike beneath the Earth. The Master is getting up from his fight with Buffy, wiping blood from his mouth while the gang looks on. Buffy stands behind him prepared to fight. Xander is questioning why Spike didn’t tell them the seed was being protected by The Master. But he says he didn’t know, all he knew from his sources is that the Seed enslaved a vampire 800 years ago, one Buffy had supposedly killed. But the master says death is nothing to the seed, it restored him when the Seed chose Angelus. Who he expected to be here.

Willow and Giles come to the conclusion that the Seed has been hiding behind the Hellmouth all this time, pulling the Master’s strings, all those lives- all those years- without him knowing. The Master dislikes this interpretation, but Buffy says that it explains the weird face she can’t wait to hit again. Which offends the Master greatly. As does Xander mocking him by relating him protecting the seed to Golem protecting the ring from Lord of the Rings. Defending himself he yells to them all: “You think you understand the seed? You don’t even understand Twilight! Remove the Seed and you doom the world! Has she told you there’s a place in her new world for you? No— she and Angelus will see you all dead!” Which surprises Buffy, leading her to say, that this guy is really challenged on the major plot points, but Dawn says he’s not the only one. Spike then defends Buffy by saying she and everyone else is very much opposed to letting hell pour in, the only problem is the demons are already here, anticipating the seed being taken out of Sunnydale. Above the earth, Faith beheads a demon and Andrew- stabs another demon through the chest. There are still soldiers, demons and explosions going off everywhere above ground, below Dawn is sensing that that things are not going well. As demons arrive behind them, demanding the seed and throwing Dawn into the wall with great force.

Buffy orders to take them down and the gang reacts instinctively, Buffy, Spike and Giles leaping into action, while another demon pins Willow to the wall asking for the Seed’s whereabouts. But she quickly sets him on fire and the rest of the gang eliminates the remaining demons, whilst Xander holds the seemingly unconscious Dawn, calling out to Buffy for assistance. But the only assistance Xander needs is help carrying Dawn who is rather heavy. His comments annoy Dawn who is actually conscious and relatively uninjured, just a little bloody. Buffy instructs Xander to get Dawn to safety and the duo leave.

A cut to Angel reveals that he is in a trance like state, the green light of the Twilight Lion, reflected on his skin. His eyes’ completely white, as if he is seeing a vision. Back at the Hellmouth the Master tells Buffy that it would be wise, with Buffy’s new found strength that they team up to take on what’s coming by protecting the Seed. Cutting him off, Buffy breaks off the end of an axe, telling Spike to hold the Master while Buffy stakes him. Willow quickly interrupts instructing Buffy to think about what’s going on, if these new demons want the Seed removed then the Master who wishes to protect it is an ally. Giles consoles Buffy’s dislike of this idea by telling her that all the earth demons- those who are attached to this world- don’t want the apocalypse anymore then more than the Scoobies. Willow adds that the Master may have the power of the Seed on his side; he can help them stop Twilight. Buffy asks if there is something Willow isn’t telling them about what happened when she fainted. Willow says she didn’t faint it’s more that she was summoned. She also says she’s been thinking about this and she has the idea that since the Seed can connect the spiritual realms to the new Twilight world maybe they can use it to heal the Earth, draw the demons out, to make it a better world.

Just then they enter the circular room in which the Seed sits on its podium, beaming clouds of red light. The Master says that the power of the Seed embraces the worlds and it’s not letting go. As he says this, his eyes begin to change into a furious red and he whacks Buffy and Spike to the ground. The Master explains the Buffy’s power decreases in the presence of the Seed, as one of its defenses. Buffy attempts to stake him again but fails. Willow pleads with the Master who is not taking kindly to Buffy saying they don’t want to hurt the Seed, all they want to do is protect it. Willow tells them that Buffy is weak down here and that she should go above ground where she can do some good.

There is another cut to Angel in which is still in the same state. In Sunnydale Giles tells Buffy that this is what he was looking for in Europe the ‘totem’ mentioned in #34. He had never thought to look in Sunnydale but he says it is the perfect place. He says that a greater power lies behind this trouble, one that can kill Buffy and Angel. He says the Twilight prophecy was unclear but always terrifying. All of this started with Buffy changing the world, there was bound to be some casualties.

Angel is awakening from his vision, with Twilight instructing him to get up and fly. He obeys. On Spike’s ship a disgruntled minion is jumped by General Voll who viciously bashes his head in. Amy and Warren are behind him, Amy explains that Willow’s seal has broken on them, they can leave. She then attempts to heal the General but he shrugs her off saying he never wants to see them again.

Buffy, Giles and Spike reach the surface, but in the sunlight Spike is put out of action and Giles says he won’t be much help either. But there is something he can do. Buffy asks him to stay but he declines saying that Buffy isn’t a girl anymore she isn’t running around a cemetery, he’s proud of her and how far she’s come. But there’s a way he can help but it’s not here. Saying his goodbyes he leaves.

Xander is getting Dawn to the medics, when he does they are met by Voll who says he abandoned Warren and Amy when Xander asks where they are. He then stays to assist in helping Dawn. He asks Xander this is really what he wants for Dawn, this life, he says Xander could be mistaken for a soldier even, but Dawn is not a slayer. He continues that there is apparently a way to stop this, all they’ve got to do is destroy the Seed. All the fighting ends, but Buffy is protecting it.

In the room with the Seed, Willow is performing a spell that is causing the room to fill with a red smoke; the Master is kneeling before the Seed. The spell goes: “Awake in peace! Your eyes that dart the rays of the sun, whose divine power is great on the head of the goddess.” It is revealed that the Master’s hands are chained. “Your heart that is the beat of life, that gives life to all! The Queen of earth undying, the regent in the west, and in the east, the divine mother who ascends to the throne. Let your sworn protector stand against your enemies, keeping evil from those who are faithful to you!” The shot angles on Willow, whose face is bright red from the energy.

Spike and Buffy fight on above, as demons crowd them. There is an explosion which blasts them all backwards. The source of it is revealed to be Angel, carrying the torn apart remains of a demon. Buffy smiles at his appearance but he quickly punches her and throws Spike to the ground. Spike addresses him as Angelus but Buffy says it’s not. Angel turns to them and tells them that he’s not Angel, he's Twilight.

Last Gleaming, Part 4 (Issue #39)

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Last Gleaming, Part 4

The Battle rages on in the remains of Sunnydale, Faith fights on, but it is clear there are a few unnamed casualties. Willow remains with the Master who seems to be being repelled backwards for unknown reasons, his hands still bound with the same red chains, whilst Willow, continues her chanting, the room, completely engulfed by glowing red light. “It’s different than before,” Buffy begins, as she attempts to hit Angel, but is thrown backward by another punch, “Now we can hurt each other.” Throwing himself back into the fight Spike, runs forward to hit Angel, shouting that Angels finally picked a side, thank god. He is quickly interrupted as Angel grabs him and tells him that the sun is still yet to set. The pair flies upwards and Spike begins to smoke, now exposed to the light of the setting sun, Angel then mocks him by telling him his story ends here. Flying between them, Buffy pitches them both in either direction, saying how she liked it better when they were kissing, in reference to Buffy’s dream in Always Darkest.

Still on fire, Spike falls backwards into his ships and out of the sunlight, while Buffy talks about how she’s seen Angel and his attempt to be Twilight, but this is neither, this is something different, this some cosmic vengeance, that she had coming. While she thinks, Angel grabs at a passing army aircraft and throws it at Buffy, which she just gets out of the way of in time, before it hits the ground, exploding against friend and foe alike. Back in Spike’s ship he is being tended to by his bug minions, who instruct him to lie still, but he ignores them, stating, “It’s finally happened, Angel gets the girl.”

While the fight continues with Buffy and Angel above and continues below, Xander who is still with Dawn at the medical station, begins to mutter repeatedly, “OH NO,” saying that they’re not gonna win this war. CUT TO: Giles' conversation to Buffy in Part three: “This crisis has led to many unlikely alliances Buffy, I don’t know that the Master is any different then Dracula.” As this happens Angel strikes Buffy hard over the head, sending her crashing to the ground. Giles' flashback speech to Buffy continues, “A demon already attached to this world doesn’t want this apocalypse any more then you or I.” as this is being said, Giles- seated on the back of a demon, a sword high in his hand- leads an army of earth demons forwards instructing them to leave no prisoners, cut all the new-universe demons down. And they oblige.

Back in the game, Buffy- superhero style- flies upwards and strikes at Angel. Giles, calls out desperately to the slayers, telling them to duck and only just gets Leah out of the way in time before a dragon descends and burns a portion of the fighting slayers alive. In the seed room, Willow, her arms raised, she mocks the Master telling him he’s nothing; he’s ordinary, less than ordinary. The seed is life and soul, it’s amazing and tied to everything. And so is Willow. She then vanishes into thin air, leaving the Master chained, and mystified, saying only, “So, um. The chains? Hello?”

On the ground. A massive root flies upwards, impaling the dragon circling overhead and narrowly missing Giles and Leah. Also out of the earth, rises Willow, firing magic, burning demons and taken back control, she says, “Listen up, alien creeps you didn’t just attack the little things that crawl on the outside of the earth—” A demon opens its mouth wide behind her, “—You attacked mother!”

Angel and Buffy are still fighting, Angel says Willow is missing the point, does she think she can win this? Kicking Buffy he flies at the ground at top speed and Buffy follows. Leading the slayers and still baring the scythe, Giles runs to Faith and asks her for the scythe, for Buffy. Without waiting for reply he leaves Faith and runs down underground, with the scythe in hand. A demon then proceeds to attack Faith, making the slayers behind her melt, Faith only escaping by hitting the demon and breaking the spell. The other slayers are not so lucky.

In Venice, Amy and Warren are dinning in a cafe, as Amy asks whether they should have stayed. Warren doesn’t like this idea, saying that Buffy and Willow are the enemy. Amy says it might have been better to have more wiccans sustaining Warren’s skin. But Warren argues that it was Willow who tore it off, how long would he last in her hands? Willow is blowing demons apart in an aerial battle and Kennedy and Andrew are below. Kennedy, while watching Willow, calls her a Goddess. But Andrew says that all the planes are down the demons are win— before he can finish, a demon strikes him brutally across the face.

In the Seed room, Xander has arrived waiting hidden at an archway as Angel and Buffy come crashing through the ceiling. They fight, Angel begins with, “You created a world. you can’t turn form it.” kicking Buffy aside, Angel approaches the Seed, saying, “You were chosen Buffy.” The Master, coming out of hiding and attempts to attack Angel, joking that Buffy being chosen is original. Annoyed at the interruption Angel thrusts his fist through the Master’s head, essentially decapitating him as he dusts immediately. Buffy praises Angel for this and then come to her senses and kicks him in the head.

Giles arrives, meeting Xander at his hiding spot and asking why Xander is there. Before he can properly answer Giles tells him there is nothing he can do. He tells him their power- Buffy and Angel’s- fades in proximity to the Seed. BUT the seed fuels the scythe. Xander tells Giles to just throw it too Buffy, but Giles says that Buffy won’t want to kill him, at the very least she’ll hesitate. She wants to stop him- not kill him. Xander tells him there is no way Giles can go in there, saying he is all for rash acts of nobility but you can’t get between them. “Xander,” Giles begins as Buffy suffers a painful blow. “That’s exactly where she needs me.” Running forwards into the room, Angel runs around behind him yelling to Buffy, “Buffy- you abandoned me— for this.” And without pause or mercy, he breaks Giles' neck. Surveying his body, Angel says, “When they’re all gone, you’ll understand.”

Xander is horrified, Buffy is devastated, but she doesn’t stop, she continues to whack Angel out of the way. We pan over Giles': lifeless and sprawled on the floor, Angel: slowly getting up again out of the body shape crater he left in the wall, and finally two hands picking up the scythe.

Tears, blood and dirt covering every inch of her, her jacket torn off completely, Buffy swings the scythe back thinking, simply, “NO MORE.” But she isn’t aiming at Angel and her true target it hit dead on. The scythe breaks through the Seed, releasing energy everywhere, where hits Buffy and Angel, causing their superpowers to be taken away, and Twilight to relinquish its hold on Angel. Reeling from the loss of magic, Willow falls from the sky, and the many faces of disempowered wiccans are seen.

In Venice, Amy and Warren collapse, both due to the loss of magic, but Warren without Amy’s power as his skin, collapses into bones, blood and guts. Finally killed. Willow has hit the ground injured and bloody, calling out desperately. In the sky, demons are being sucked forcibly from this dimension. In New York, Vi’s Wicca squad says they lost connections with Sunnydale, but that’s not all…

While Willow calls out to Aluwyn, Kennedy runs up to comfort her, but all Willow does is scream, “Where did you go?” at the same time, Twilight(Lion) walks through Twilight(Dimension).

In Sunnydale on Spike’s ship, Bug one announces that the demons are being sucked back to hell. Spike yells to reverse thrusters, if the demons are going to hell, he’ll be damned if they go with them. Still burnt and injured he happily says that, Buffy did it, she won, he then instructs bug one that the slayer is gonna need to time to lick their wounds but, look at that… (A massive monster with tentacles has remained behind and is now fleeing across the sky) Spike says somebody’s has to stop that. And he flies off in pursuit. “We Lost,” Willow calls, as Kennedy fails to console her. “Kennedy-- We LOST--! This is the end!”

Down in the seed room. Buffy vision has come to pass, she lies broken and bleeding on the ground, the broken seed in the background. Xander approaches her cautiously. We pan over Giles again, as Xander approaches Buffy, Angel tries to speak to Xander, obviously upset over his actions. But Xander shrugs him off in either fear or disgust. He kneels over Buffy calling to her softly, Giles dead behind them both. Angel is almost in tears in the background and the blade of the scythe sticks out of the ground broken in half by the power of the seed.

Last Gleaming, Part 5 (Issue #40)

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Last Gleaming, Part 5

Part 5 picks up four months or so after Part 4, rather than immediately after, with Buffy working as a waitress at a coffee shop in San Francisco. She's carrying a tray of drinks when she's tripped by an unknown person, but her slayer skills help her from spilling the drinks. She IDs the tripper as a slayer, then talks with Kennedy, whose been dumped by Willow (though at first Buffy thinks its Kennedy who did the dumping).

Buffy and Willow have a conversation about the aftermath of Buffy's latest act -- which Buffy almost calls a "mistake" before catching herself -- and Willow says that the world's lost its heart, which isn't worse than being destroyed, but it will be. Willow alludes to missing Aluwyn, who she'll never see again.

Buffy has a nightmare about Angel killing Giles. Dawn wakes her up and it's revealed that Buffy is crashing on Dawn and Xander's couch. Xander heads out to work, and Buffy and Dawn have a nice sisterly conversation about how things are different since Buffy destroyed the seed (though they never directly refer to that act). We learn that the world doesn't care as much about slayers, vampires are still big, and Harmony is a contestant on "Dancing With the Stars."

Elsewhere, the general is complaining about the government's perception of the aftermath of all this. He thinks the war is over, and they've won, when he gets abruptly shot in the head by Simone.

Meanwhile, Faith and Buffy are at the reading of Giles' will, and it turns out Giles has left pretty much everything to Faith, who's "just as freaked as Buffy" by that decision. However, Giles did leave something to Buffy; the Vampyr book that Giles showed to Buffy when they first met which Faith takes as a sign that Giles saw Buffy as the one true Slayer. Buffy and Faith part, with Faith serving as caretaker to a catatonic Angel, since "Buffy can't look at him" and "everyone else wants his head on a pike." Spike knocks on the window of Xander and Dawn's apartment, and Buffy opens it for him, but he she can't invite him because it's not her house, but she does go out to the fire escape to talk to him. He has some vague warnings for her and a pep talk about how she's the only one who can make the hard decisions, and she's always under fire. She starts to tear up, and heads back inside. After some more back and forth, with Spike supporting Buffy's decisions, Spike flies off again in his bug-powered ship.

As Buffy tries to sleep, Dawn makes some fake-sex noises to convince Buffy to leave the apartment and get back on the job making Buffy go out to patrol. She encounters three pissed off slayers(who no longer call themselves Slayers), including the one earlier from the coffee shop. She doesn't want to fight them but they attack anyway, and are defeated. The whole incident sets off an inner monologue in Buffy that plays out over various images, including those of Willow reading a book containing an image of Aluwyn; Simone; a bloody, silhouetted man wearing glasses; and the faerie from the underground, concluding with a final page of Buffy saving a girl from a vampire attack: "So that sucked. And as bad as it feels to take out my own girls... I know there's more coming -- and not just 'cause Spike's playing cub reporter. I know because that's how betrayal works. It sends out ripples of hurt. Ones you can't even see. Sometimes I'm not even sure which part was the betrayal. Everyone's got their version... (I'm pretty sure it was boinking Twilight, but still...) I just know it all comes back. And then some. The trouble with changing the world is... you don't. Not all at once. You just inch it forward a bit at a time, and watch it slip back, like the Greek guy with the rock. And you hope that when you're done, you've moved it up a little, changed it just enough. You hope. Let's go to work."

Continuity

  • It was revealed that Buffy had found out about Spike's resurrection on her own.
  • Buffy takes up the profession of waitressing, which she was last seen doing in 'Anne' after she fled to Los Angeles once temporarily sending Angel to a Hell dimension.
  • Buffy's last words in the story arc were "Let's go to work.", mirroring Angel's exact words at the end of 'Not Fade Away'.
  • Angel(possessed by Twilight) had killed Giles by snapping his neck. Angelous had killed Jenny Calendar(Gile's love) the exact same way in 'Passion'.
  • This marks the first time since 'Chosen' that the love triangle between Buffy, Angel, and Spike has been directly seen.
  • Out of anger, Willow had briefly turned Angel into a frog. This is ironic as Willow was once established to have a fear of frogs in 'Killed by Death'.
  • Buffy claims to Angel that he is "the love of her life." This is the first time since 'The Prom' that Buffy has said such a open declaration regarding her love for Angel in the present tense.
  • Giles had left his estate in London for Faith in his will, due to him believing that she needed it. This is because of the bond they had established following 'No Future For You'.
  • Giles had left Buffy in his will the book Vampyr. This was last seen in 'Welcome to the Hellmouth' when Giles had first met Buffy.

Behind the Scenes

  • Part 1's variant cover is a parody of the DVD cover for Twilight: New Moon, matching its background and character positioning, stating the couldn't resist doing that considering the vaguely similar love triangles in both series.
  • The winged Lion that made an appearance in the second part was first seen in Buffy issue #6 in Buffy’s dream telling her “Long live the Queen!” this same line was heard from Aluwyn in this issue.
  • With the release of the issue #40 Jo Chen cover we can truly see how far Buffy has come, as it mirrors #1 cover. The only difference being, Buffy's clothes are torn and she looks truly defeated. Also the blade of the scythe is cracked and the stake is broken off.
  • The issue #39 cover by Georges Jeanty, the background behind Giles seems to reveal a cross as though it is foreshadowing the death of Giles.
  • Issue #40 marks the first time Faith's surname is confirmed as canon; Joss Whedon first confirmed her full name as Faith Lehane back in January 2005 for Eden Studios' role-playing games.
  • Strangely, when talking to Spike in San Francisco, Buffy claims she is unable to invite him into Xander and Dawn's apartment because it isn't her house, when it has been made clear on multiple occasions that squatters and guests have invitation rights like normal residents.

Collections

Canonical Issues

See also: canon

This series has been described as 'canon' by both Whedon and various commentators. As the creator of Buffy, Joss Whedon's association with Buffyverse story is often linked to how canonical the various stories are. Since Whedon is writing this story, it will be seen as a continuation of the official continuity established by Buffy and Angel.

Timing

Intended to be set a year and a half after Buffy's seventh season and thus after Angel's fifth and also after Angel: After the Fall. More specifically this arc occurs after the Buffy Season Eight story arc, Twilight.

Variant covers

References

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