|Buffy Season Eight|
|Issue 15: Wolves at the Gate, Part Four|
|Written by||Drew Goddard|
|Drawn by||Georges Jeanty|
|Publication date||June 04, 2008|
|Published by||Dark Horse Comics|
Wolves at the Gate, Part Three
Time of Your Life, Part One
"Wolves at the Gate, Part Four" is the fifteenth story from Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight.
The issue opens with Renee's thoughts and regrets as she dies. As Xander is overcome by grief and holds her as her life slips away, Dracula sends Buffy for Willow. Buffy replies that she cannot leave Xander alone, and Dracula vamps out and fights to his side, replying that he is not. Willow, in turn, is locked in mid-air combat with Kumiko. Kumiko deflects Willow's attacks easily, revealing that they are both students of Saga Vasuki and thus knows the counters to her spells: they 'speak the same language'. This prompts Willow to say "Good. Talk to me." and cast a spell that causes both their eyes to flare blue and connect.
Whether the spell had its intended effect is not clear, but Willow is plunged into a vision of a burning city, the Scythe, and the snake woman Willow was shown intimately involved with in Sephrilian's vision in 'Anywhere But Here'. The snake woman calls her 'Darling Willow' and asks if Willow thought she couldn't find her or if she thought she could hide from who she is and what is to come. Willow emerges from the vision and passes out, but the spell leaves Kumiko seemingly unaffected. As Willow begins to lose consciousness, Buffy steels herself, then jumps from the penthouse to stab Kumiko midair, leaving her and an unconscious Willow to continue falling.
Dawn, leading the fight out on the streets, is confronted by a mecha version of herself, albeit with a tail, who taunts Dawn. Toru notices Kumiko's absence and begins the incantation to de-Slayer Buffy and her army. Dracula, Satsu, and the slayers then burst onto the roof and enter melee combat with the vampires there. Dracula tackles Toru, sending the scythe flying, and Satsu jumps off the building to catch the falling scythe.
Willow and Buffy emerge from the pool of water Willow had created at the last minute to cushion their fall. Upon noticing Satsu falling, they engage in a bit of relationship banter, before heading to catch Satsu. Willow then flies the three of them back to the roof, where Buffy is unable to kill Toru using the scythe since he can still dematerialize into a fog. Dracula gives Willow his sword and tells her how to use it to remove the vampires' special powers: it, like the Scythe, is a weapon bound with the spirit of a demon. Before she does the incantation, Willow asks why Dracula cannot perform it himself, and he indicates that he will also be affected by it. The incantation succeeds, and Buffy notes that the "scales are balanced again": the slayers can fight the vampires.
Andrew coaches Dawn how to beat the mecha, by twisting its head off, which she does. Willow throws Dracula his sword as he requests, but Toru catches it and taunts Dracula for being an old man, saying he doesn't know what to do now he's just a regular vampire again. But Dracula, enraged, disarms Toru and cuts off his hands and feet. He then mocks Toru in turn, reminding him how he was renowned and feared long before he became a vampire (much to Toru's apparent surprise). Toru demands for Dracula to kill him, but Dracula scoffs at him, saying he has no honor, and hands his sword to Xander for the killing blow. Xander executes him, and Buffy comforts Xander as she orders the rest of the slayers to hunt down the fleeing vampires.
The night following the battle, Dracula, who has lost his powers of domination, comes to Xander. He is sitting vigil with Renee's ashes, and Dracula asks if Xander wishes company. When Xander refuses, he says farewell, referring to Xander as a 'manservant'. Xander says that if Dracula ever calls him 'manservant' again, he will kill him in his sleep. Dracula suggests a number of other titles, ranging from 'Minion' to 'Houseboy' and is met with similar threats. By the end of the exchange, it is possible Dracula is joking.
Satsu and Buffy have a heart-to-heart, where Satsu confesses both her love for Buffy and her acknowledgment that she needs to not be in love with her. Satsu asks to be left in Japan as the field office leader, to give them some distance. Buffy agrees, and then they share an intimate night as a goodbye. At the same time, Willow is magically communicating with Saga Vasuki, Xander is scattering Renee's ashes, and Dracula is leaving by ship.
- Xander Harris
- Buffy Summers
- Dawn Summers
- Andrew Wells
- Saga Vasuki
Weapons and Objects
- Kumiko Ishihara, dusted by Buffy
- twenty Vampires, dusted by Buffy, Dracula and the Slayers
- Raidon, dusted by Buffy
- Mecha Dawn, destroyed by Giant Dawn
- Toru, beheaded by Xander
Behind the Scenes
- According to artist Georges Jeanty, for the scene with Buffy and Satsu making love for one last time, he purposely placed Buffy below Satsu to enhance the idea of Buffy, of dominant personality, surrendering to that of Satsu's.
- He also wanted Satsu to have a tattoo on her lower back, but Joss Whedon vetoed this idea.
- "I’m not ready. I hope he knows. I never got to tell him. Xander, I’m not ready. I’m so scared."
- ―Renee (as she is dying)
- "Well, there’s something you don’t see every day."
- ―Toru (referring to Dawn and Mecha Dawn fighting)
- "Scales are balanced again girls! They’re vampires, we’re vampire slayers. Time to do what we do."