Buffy the Vampire Slayer 8.8–The Last Gleaming by Joss Whedon, Jane Espenson and Scott Allie
Inked, colored or Drawn by Andy Owens, George Jeanty, Jo Chen, Karl Moline or Michelle Madsen
Darkhorse (June 2011)
Favorite Lines: “You getting this, Breathless? I’m Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, and you’re a bunch of whiny thugs. You come after me again–you so much as look at me funny…then I will fight you.” (e-galley)
The season finale is here! At long last, the Big Bad stands revealed–Angel is back, and it’s tearing the Scoobies apart, testing the limits of their friendship. But Twilight’s unmasking is only the beginning, and Buffy must still face the ultimate betrayal.
Series creator Joss Whedon writes the final story arc of Buffy Season 8, taking his greatest characters to places only he can! Teamed with series artist Georges Jeanty, Joss reunites the dysfunctional gang of Buffy, Angel, and Spike, in the thick of it together for the first time since Season 3, and gives the Scoobies their gravest challenge ever, defending reality itself from the onslaught of demons. It’s the biggest Buffy finale ever!
• Collects Buffy Season 8 #36–#40.
• This volume also includes the spy-thriller Riley one-shot by Buffy series writer Jane Espenson and artist Karl Moline.
I gotta admit that I haven’t kept up with the Buffy comics the way I did the tv series. I know I’m not alone, but it seemed like the comics went somewhere I wasn’t ready to go. This final installment goes even further, but ends back where it all started with the Buffy we met in early on who had no one but herself. Kind of “in the end there can be only one” mentality.
The season 8 comics have a steampunk/Japanese demon tone. Spike is master of a huge, metal blimp and the demons invading earth are straight out of manga books. But for me the storytelling is straight up Buffy 101. In the past Buffy has always fought Armageddons without the world knowing what was taking place. In season 8, that is not true. She has been labeled a terrorist and is public enemy No. 1.
There’s something in the book for both Angel and Buffy lovers. I felt a flashback to season three with Angel and Spike can be so damn real when he wants to be. Both vampires have something to offer in the series and I loved it all. I felt a little squicky about Dawn and Xander’s relationship, but hey, that’s what I get for not steadily reading through the series.
In the end I’m glad I read this comic book. It caught me up to where I need to be for season nine and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. You’ve gotta read this one if only to find out which major character doesn’t survive.