|Buffy Season Eight|
|Issue 26: Retreat, Part One|
|Written by||Jane Espenson|
|Drawn by||Georges Jeanty|
|Publication date||July 01, 2009|
|Published by||Dark Horse Comics|
Predators and Prey
Retreat, Part Two
"Retreat, Part One" is the twenty-sixth issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight.
Three seagulls fly above a seaside cliff. The middle seagull has a fish in its grasp, and to make things bizarre, the seagull and fish are speaking to one another. They talk about how they need to be sneaky now that people are on the lookout and report sightings of witches and Slayers. They hover over what appears to be an unoccupied island, and as they touch down, the seagull and fish transmogrify into Willow and Buffy. The island is the site of their new Slayer HQ, a medieval castle covered by a magical illusion of dense forestry to throw off any attacks. Inside the control room, Buffy mulls about, wondering if they are truly doing all they can to ward off attacks by allies of Twilight, who now has every demon in Scotland on his side; Willow assures Buffy that their magic is all across the grid, and that all that can be done is being done—to which Buffy questions Willow and how she is with the temptation and control of magic—which Willow just brushes off as being clingy. Buffy reminds her troops that the best thing they can do now is disappear until the anti-Slayer movement is over—this causes Satsu to ask how long it will take for that to happen and wonders what the judgment of history will be.
Meanwhile, in Berlin, Faith and Giles are hiding underground in Hitler's bunker, talking about how hiding underground doesn't feel right. Suddenly, they are attacked by demons and Faith fends them off enough for her and Giles to escape. Cutting to Rome, Andrew and six of his Slayers are wandering through underground catacombs, and one of these Slayers, Posey, stops to read an old Latin inscription carved into the stone walls. The rest of the Slayers and Andrew go down the staircase and find a large circle of bones and skulls from early Roman martyrs. Above, something with red eyes watches them, and Andrew's further investigation uncovers skinless Warren laying in wait. Warren tries to trick Andrew into joining him by apologizing for having him kill Jonathan. All at once, the Slayers begin to yell "Goatmen!" and Andrew turns to see Posey, now dead, being thrown to the ground and a literal goatman standing above her. Warren reveals that his sentiment was all a trick and that the Goatmen were a trap set up by him and Amy. Andrew and his Slayers fight the goatmen with the bones of the martyrs and escape the catacombs. We cut to a boxcar carrying Faith and Giles through the mountains, taking them to Buffy, and in Rome, Andrew and his badly beaten Slayers are riding in truck bed to Buffy as well.
Back in Scotland, Willow wakes up startled, and rushes to Buffy's room. She, along with Kennedy, Xander, and Dawn, alerts Buffy that Giles and Faith, Andrew and five Slayers, and every demon in Scotland are separately on their way to the castle. After Willow uses her magic to allow their friends in, Buffy runs to and hugs Giles, telling him she's happy he's there, and Andrew marvels at how Dawn has shrunk. Buffy asks Xander to review their defenses, dumbfounded, he begins to babble. Willow informs Buffy she has the Wiccans working shields, traps and mystical mirages, though Satsu reveals that the demons are already working their way through the shields. Soon, Buffy and Faith see the army destroy their security cameras and the group is forced to head for the roof, where a group of Wiccan-Slayers are working the defense shields. On the roof, Buffy sees that the army is miles long, with all sorts of medieval tech, catapults and military tanks. Willow alerts the Wiccans to drop the bridge illusion, and the path to the castle disappears. As Xander gloats about triumph, the demons load what appears to be a flaming stone at the castle. As the castle explodes, one of the Wiccan-Slayers dies from a fried brain due to magic overload.
Willow interrogates a demon that Satsu has taken prisoner. As Faith and Giles try to advise Buffy on battle tactics, Buffy notices that in the fray below, the demons are winning and Slayers are dying. Willow returns and informs the group that Twilight is tracking the Slayers through their use of magic. With their last defense shield destroyed, the entire Slayer HQ escapes in the submarine Satsu commandeered in Swell. Buffy and Giles converse, first about Buffy turning Willow into the future Dark Willow she killed by making Willow use strong magicks, and then about trying to figure out how to keep themselves guarded from all their enemies. They realize that because Twilight is able to track them through magic, even if Willow were to stop using magic, the Slayers themselves are mystical, since their power came as the result of Willow's spell and originated from the Shadow Men's spell that created the Slayer. When Faith enters and wonders if Buffy has decided where they're going, Buffy comes up with an idea, but it will mean Willow will have to perform one more big spell before stopping with magic. Cut to a monastery in the yak-filled mountains of Tibet. Oz is sitting and meditating, when he hears a bell chime. He stops and looks out ahead of him—seeing a smoking submarine at the base of the monastery steps.
- Buffy Summers
- Willow Rosenberg
- Xander Harris
- Dawn Summers
- Rupert Giles
- Faith Lehane
- Andrew Wells
- Warren Mears
- Lots of unspecefied demons
Weapons and Objects
- Bones (used as a weapon)
- Posey, killed by a goat demon
- Demon army, drowned
- Slayers squad, burned by a fire ball projected by demons
- A witch, magically killed by a demon
- Slayers, killed by demons
- Demons, killed by Slayers
Behind the Scenes
- "Hey, look! You’re a reverse mermaid. "
- "I knew it was stupid, going underground! Demons live underground!"
- "When you start using bones in your decorating, you’ve got too many bones."