The latest issue in the comic book season 8 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer released this week, and it’s the final issue in Drew Goddard’s Wolves at the Gate arc, a story that delivers a number of gut punches and classic moments for a series that truly has transcended its television and movie origins. Spoilers and a review after the jump.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #15
Writer: Drew Goddard
Artist: Georges Jeanty
What’s Going On:
The conclusion of the Wolves at the Gate arc opens with Renee the Vampire Slayer having been run through by the Slayer Scythe in the hands of one of the Japanese vampires that has been working to use the Scythe and Dracula’s arcane abilities to nullify Willow’s spell from the end of the Buffy TV series, thereby rendering all the newbie Slayers devoid of their superpowers. Got it? Good. There’s a lot of fighting here-nearly the whole issue, in fact-as the Scoobies and the Slayers face off against the vampiric army in Tokyo.
Lessons Learned Here:
- Jumping out a Tokyo skyscraper window is not like a diving board. Not like a diving board at all! Unless the pavement below you turns into water.
- Whenever things get Giant Robo-Dawn crazy, Andrew is your go-to man.
- Buffy’s still a little bit gay. For Eleanor Roosevelt.
How It Ends:
Willow is able to cast a spell that undoes the vampires’ plan to depower the Slayers. The Slayers kill the Japanese vampire clan with the help of Dracula, and Buffy recovers the Scythe. Satsu confesses that she can’t be around Buffy without loving her, and Buffy agrees to let Satsu be the field leader for the Slayers in Japan. And then they frolic.
Drew Goddard’s run on the Buffy comic has had all the elements that made the TV show fantastic-suspense, comedy, tragedy, romance, and a great handle on the characters. I’m really going to miss his writing now that the arc is finished. There’s been so much great stuff in Wolves at the Gate that it’s hard to catalogue it all at once. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s really worked.
- Dracula has had some honest to goodness character development, to the point that he nearly became one of the Scoobies.
- Xander always has been the everyman of Buffy, and that makes the devastation of losing Renee all that more poignant. In the TV series, Xander’s love for Buffy went unrequited, his relationship with Cordelia was pretty much doomed from the beginning, and his true love with Anya was crushed by the army of the First in the season finale. Now in Season 8, he’s lost a love again, and the toll is visible in the closing page of this issue.
- Andrew never has been better, barring perhaps a few scenes from “Storyteller” in Season 7. His facility for dispatching Mecha-Dawn and his earlier lecture about Dracula in this arc make him one of the best things about the comic series.
- Georges Jeanty’s art has been dead-on throughout his run on the series. It’ll be neat to see Karl Moline coming on board next issue, but I’m definitely going to miss Jeanty’s craft and style with these characters.
And so the current story comes to an end, the arc wrapped up but not tidily. There will be repercussions from all of this, and I’m looking forward to how it all plays out. I’m also wondering when we’ll get back to seeing what the government is up to and what’s going on with Amy and skinless Warren. The next arc is “Time of Your Life,” written by Joss Whedon himself, with art by Karl Moline. They last teamed up for the Fray miniseries about a Slayer in the far future named Melaka Fray. The cover of issue #16 gives a hint of what we can expect from them in the next issue, but I’ll remain spoiler free for now.