The Scooby Gang are back together, just in time to go up against the threat posed by D’Hoffryn. When it’s all over, it’s quite possible that they will lose one of their own. Can they stand firm in the face of presumed tragedy?
Note: This recap may contain spoilers!
We start the issue with a focus on D’Hoffryn. He is meeting with his team of vengeance demons, including Anya and Jonathan, proclaiming all the draws and limitations of their roles. They have enormous power, but are limited by the wishes of humans. Vengeance demons cannot act of their own accord, and that’s a sticking point for D’Hoffryn that he’s determined to change. With access to the Vampyr book, and a way to break through its protections, he could be able to rewrite the rules of magic and give himself enormous power.
D’Hoffryn’s plan sounds good, but the follow-through doesn’t go according to his plans. Each time he tries to write his changes, the book just spits the ink back at him and does not allow his wishes to take hold. He has the foresight to tap into the conversation back at Buffy’s apartment and learns that the gang has joined together in the power of positive thinking. Buffy has convinced the group to all believe D’Hoffryn cannot make changes, so he can’t.
Meanwhile, the group is enjoying Dawn and Xander’s return. Willow and Giles cannot believe they beat the odds to find their way back, but Dawn embraced her key power and it worked. Too bad that she couldn’t carry that power back to our world, it would have certainly helped in their upcoming fight. However, they are armed with Andrew’s weapons and Buffy’s scythe, so they have hope that it will be enough to take D’Hoffryn out. Hope is something they need to hold onto, as the fight is coming to them.
Outside it’s literally raining blood and D’Hoffryn has destroyed their building wall to get in with his team. The Scooby Gang knows they’ve been played all along, convinced that D’Hoffryn was an ally when actually he was trying to gain the power of the Vampyr book. And though he claims his entire mission has been fueled to get revenge over what they did to Anya, it’s not true. He tortured Anya as well, so it couldn’t be out of love for her that he’s doing this.
The battle grows heated and tense, as D’Hoffryn takes out Willow and then readies to take out the entire group. However, Anya asks to do the honors and focuses her attention on Xander. D’Hoffryn even helps in her by pinning everyone else down so she can take on Xander one-on-one. Her former love apologizes for all the wrongs he’s caused in Anya’s life, and says he deserves everything she wishes to do to him, but he does not manage to appeal to her emotions. Neither does Dawn, begging for Xander’s safety. Instead, Anya deems to do to Xander what she did to him. She turns him to ash, and it appears that Xander is no more. That’s where we leave the issue, with tragedy and unsure futures. Is Xander truly gone forever?
Rating: 3 / 5 Stars