|This article is about the comic issue. For the trade paperback, see Predators and Prey (TPB).|
|Predators and Prey|
|Publication date||March 04, 2009|
|Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight #23|
|Published by||Dark Horse Comics|
|Writer(s)||Drew Z. Greenberg|
|Cover artist(s)|| Jo Chen|
Georges Jeanty &
|Letterer(s)|| Richard Starkings &|
ComiCraft's Jimmy Betancourt
Since Harmony's television stunt, the ensuing of general vampire-love from the masses, and the destruction of the Scotland base, operations at Slayer headquarters have been somewhat strained. Rogue Slayers — Simone and her gang — have not been helping Slayer-civilian relations with their attacks against the military, bank robbing, and occasional snitching at Hot Topic. Now, Andrew has a lead on how to gain intel on Simone's plans… but he has to go to Italy — now! With Xander and Willow busy holding together their Slayer legions Buffy seems to be the only one with an open schedule to act as Andrew's backup. Hours of travel… just Buffy and Andrew… Really?
Andrew runs through the halls of the Slayers base of operations desperately searching for Buffy. He finds Buffy with Xander and Willow going over data about the new rise in vampire interest caused by Harmony. Hoping to cheer up the group, Andrew informs them that he has found Nisha, one of Simone Doffler’s lieutenant of Rogue Slayers, outside of Milan. Nisha had been messing around with demons and got her self snared in a Ragna Demon’s nest. Pairing the information with reports of a gang of women robbing banks, military bases, Hot Topics, and roaming the country side terrorizing villagers, he feels certain that this will lead them to Simone. However, they must retrieve Nisha within 36 hours; otherwise the Ragna demon will feed on her.
Without hesitating Buffy plans a trip with Andrew and leaves everything else in the hands of Xander and Willow, who are surprised that Buffy would be willing to road trip alone with Andrew. On the way to the location Andrew talks the whole time, jumping from topic to topic, with Buffy only engaging the conversation when Daniel Craig is brought up as both of their favorite James Bond. Shortly thereafter, Andrew pulls off the road as they near the lair of the Ragna demon, which is a web, composed of iron and steel piping and siding with Nisha poised at the top in a containment field. When confronted, Nisha turns spiteful and makes threats for herself to be released, stating that none of them would be there if Buffy and Andrew hadn’t created the mess. Nisha explains that Ragna demons died out in the eleventh century and only recently came back into existence because someone spent all their free time in Italy performing recombinant DNA experiments to breed the spider demon back into existence, namely, Andrew. At this reveal, Andrew releases Nisha from the containment field and defends himself by arguing that it shouldn’t really matter how Nisha was brought into custody, simply that she was. As Buffy and Andrew argue over him lying to her, Simone is teleported to the scene, knocking the two down from behind. Buffy tries to talk Simone into coming back with them but Simone has other plans; she stuns the Ragna demon and teleports herself, Nisha and the demon to an undisclosed near by location.
Andrew and Buffy make their way down the web discussing how Andrew has come a long way and matured a lot but that he should have handled the situation differently even though he felt responsible for Simone’s rebellion. Since Andrew equipped the demon with some genetic modifications, specifically, radioactive isotopes, they can track the location Simone teleported to, an island off the coast. They arrive there by boat where they are met by a young girl on the docks, who explains how everyone in the town fled to the mainland when Simone and her Slayers arrived. As Andrew and Buffy travel deeper into the city they trace the signal to an opera house, which is a trap set by the rogue Slayers to negotiate a trade: Andrew for the Ragna Spider demon. Simone explains that she wants Andrew because she has an authority problem, and since he was her Watcher and a bit of drill sergeant at that, she wants revenge, plus, she says, he was incredibly annoying. Not wanting to let her friend go, Buffy engages Simone to a fencing duel, where Buffy bests Simone, until Simone pulls a gun on her. Buffy lays down her weapon and tells Simone to keep the Ragna demon, she’ll leave them alone for the time being if she is allowed to walk away with Andrew.
Just as Simone is about to shoot Buffy, the Italy squad of Slayers shows up to rescue their Watcher, Andrew. Buffy tries to convince the Italy Squad to engage in combat with the Rogue Slayers, but is talked out of it since Simone’s team has guns and everybody wants to avoid a firefight. Buffy acquiescence to better judgment, takes Simone’s gun and turns it on her. Instead of shooting Simone, she shoots the lock on the Ragna demon’s cage, letting the demon loose on the Rogue Slayers and the Italy Squad evacuates. Back at their base of operations, Buffy tells Andrew that he should feel proud of what he has accomplished, and how he was willing to lay down his life for the innocent and greater good. Andrew apologizes to Buffy for lying, and Buffy tells him to get used to screwing up for good reasons — he’s part of the family.
Behind the Scenes
Pop Culture References
- Buffy calls the Ragna demon "Charlotte", referencing the children's novel Charlotte's Web.