Issue: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight #39
Release Date: November 3, 2010
Writers: Joss Whedon and Scott Allie
Pencils: Georges Jeanty
Inks: Andy Owens
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Letters: Richard Starkings and COMICRAFT’S Jimmy Betancourt
Cover A: Jo Chen
Cover B: Georges Jeanty
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
When you kick off a comic with the Master in chains and Angel seemingly evil, I’m going to have high hopes for a follow-through. Considering the expanse of the storyline, perhaps my hopes are not misplaced. It’s an all-hands-on-deck battle that may leave the planet in ruin and the battle between good and evil with a bloody aftermath.
Most of this issue is filled with wide battle scenes, but sparse in the way of dialogue. However, when the personal interactions are highlighted, it gives readers the feeling that our well-loved characters are still trying to hang on to those fundamental traits that make them who they are. From a personal standpoint, I am ecstatic that Spike seems to still be playing on the side of good. He’s always been my favorite character and I always lived in hope that Buffy would come to her senses and pick him over the weakling Angel. But choosing romantic partners is hardly a task that can be given much thought at the moment since there’s an apocalyptic battle going on.
Another character who is hanging on to their goodness is Willow. Or maybe she’s finally gone around the bend because she’s spouting off nonsense about being connected to the earth. Even though there’s a quietness around Willow’s scenes with the Master, I can’t help but get the feeling that it’s just as dangerous. She’s always harbored a great power within her and I get the feeling that she’s going to let loose with it before all is said and done.
Meanwhile, Faith is once again put in second place after Buffy. She’s going to lead the Slayers-in-Training into battle, but she’ll do it without the aid of the Scythe because Giles deems the weapon more necessary in Buffy’s hands. I’m sure the loss of the weapon didn’t cause the Slayers-in-Training to have their faces start melting, but it didn’t help matters any. And they’re not the only people who have fallen because of the Scoobies, as evidenced by Amy and Warren’s scene in the middle of all of this. A guy gets flayed alive and he not only survives, but his fashion sense turns to a more cowboy theme? Okay, Warren, okay.
And just when I was ready to give up on the entire comic as being too big, without real concentration, Angel’s scenes get ramped up. First he kills the Master, which was seemingly expected, but then he snaps Giles’ neck. Angel killed Giles?! Prepare to die because if Buffy doesn’t do it, I’ll jump through the pages and do it for her. Thankfully the death spurred Buffy to end this, swinging the Scythe and breaking the reality of everything around it. Warren’s a pile of blood and bones, the creatures are getting sucked into the vortex, Willow’s had a mental break, and Spike’s at the helm of his very own spaceship with his bug companions. The world is in disarray and we’re left to wait until next issue for the clean-up.
Rating: 3 / 5 Stars