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Buffy Season Eight: Wolves at the Gate, Part 2

Dracula: "Manservant, your moor is one snide comment away from a swarm of bees."
Xander: "Okay, okay, calm down. Nobody wants a swarm of bees."


The issue begins with a flashback to "fifteen minutes earlier." Dracula is utterly depressed, bewhiskered and filthy, and looks several hundred years old. Butterfield, Dracula's tiny, purple-faced minion, tries to tempt him with a young victim to hunt, to no avail. But suddenly, Dracula senses something outside and calls for a razor. Xander and Renee arrive and Dracula answers the door, looking like his old, or rather young, self.

Dracula acts busy and hard-to-get, but he is obviously fond of Xander and happy to see him. Turns out Xander spent some time with Dracula after Anya's death and the fall of Sunnydale, and they sort of became friends. After tea and mutual compliments (with a bemused Renee looking on), Xander asks Dracula if someone may have, er, possibly stolen some of Drac's powers. Turns out Dracula lost his secrets to the Japanese vamp gang in a Tibetan speakeasy while he was gambling for a motorcycle. An infuriated Dracula is now out for blood, ready to go to Tokyo to get his stolen powers back.

Andrew, wearing George Hamilton's costume from Love at First Bite, gives the slayers a lecture on Dracula's powers. Buffy, Willow, and a slayer I should recognize but don't talk about the Japanese ninja vampire sect in Tokyo. The leader's name is Toru; he was the long-haired one who vanished in the armory. Buffy instructs a Slayer in Toyko named Aiko to keep an eye on Toru but not to approach, even though Aiko is a serious bad ass who has slain numerous kabuki demons without getting a scratch.

Buffy rounds up all of the slayers and they get on a cargo plane for Japan. On the plane, it's Willow's turn to have "the talk" with Satsu about Buffy not being serious about her, and Satsu gets it. Then Willow pumps Satsu for the lowdown on what Buffy is like in bed.

Toru and Raidon, on the streets of Tokyo and aware that slayer Aiko is following them, talk about "the spell" and reining in Kumiko, who wants in on the kill. Toru pulls out something the size of a silver dollar with a red, glowing center. Kumiko, flying above, hits Aiko with a red beam of light from the Scythe she carries through the red glowing center of the trinket, and Aiko loses her Slayer powers. Toru attacks Aiko, breaks her jaw and bites her. To be continued.


This issue was so hilarious (at least up until the end when it took a serious turn) that I couldn't stop laughing. Everything Dracula said was too funny, and I liked that they kinda sorta made him an ally, which I hadn't expected. I thought Xander's relationship with him was very cute. I don't find racism at all funny, but Dracula's over-the-top comments about the Japanese ninja vamps and Renee as Xander's "moor" really did fit his character. He's very old, after all.

So the Japanese ninja vamps did find a way to break Willow's Slayer spell. The end, with Aiko taken out so brutally, was something of a shock. Of course, if the bad guys have to go through all that each time they need to take a slayer's powers away, taking out Buffy's entire army won't exactly be easy. Maybe the bad guys will take over a satellite in space like a James Bond plot in order to set off the beam all over the world, or something, instead. Maybe that's what Twilight has in mind. He has military types in his pocket, after all.

Did Buffy make the right decision, taking her entire army to Japan? Is she simply putting them in harm's way? And what happened to Giant Dawn? Did they sling her under the cargo plane or leave her behind?

Bits and pieces:

-- Butterfield, Dracula's manservant, looked like Peter Lorre. (If you don't know who that is, Peter Lorre was the little nervous guy in Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon.)

-- Dracula complimented Xander on his weight loss. I thought that was funny. Artists can make characters look like anything they want.

-- We never did find out what Buffy was like in bed. And why Willow wanted to know.

-- Andrew did another board, this time on Drac:
Known Powers: Transmogrification (bat, wolf, night panther, fog, bees)
-piercing hypnotic stare
-impervious to stakes
-romantic undertones (technically not a power)

Butterfield: "Perhaps you'd like to change out of that bathrobe, at least."
Dracula: "No, I'm quite content in this robe."
Butterfield: "Allow me to launder it then, Master. You vomited cabbage and rubbing alcohol all over the front of it. And that was over a month ago."

Dracula: "Butterfield has just loosed an Albanian boy in the hedge maze, and if I'm not quick to slaughter him, his blood will become alkaline from the terror."

Dracula: "I'll alert the kitchen. If I know my manservant, he could use a plate of hot mealworms before he changes into his manservant bloomers."

Andrew: "And then Xander went and lived with Dracula for a few months."
Slayer: "Wait... what?"
Andrew: "Yeah. It was sort of like a semester at sea, only with harpies instead of co-eds."

Slayer: "This is seriously his worst lecture since his one on that weapon from Krull."

Dracula: "I can't see myself in mirrors. I fear my best days are behind me."
Xander: "No, you're more handsome than ever."
Dracula: "Do you really think so?"
Xander: "Yes!"
Renee: "Oh, for the love of god..."

Dracula: "The very idea that some two-bit, run-of-the-mill vampires could just come along and... take them from the... lord of darkness... (pause) oh balls."

Dracula: "Those filthy yellow swine!"
Xander: "You know, I really don't remember you being this racist..."

Willow: "Also, she's not, you know..."
Satsu: "A dyke?"
Willow: "I was gonna say, 'Friend of Sappho,' but okay, whatever the kids are saying these days."

Satsu: "I'm not telling you anything!"
Willow: "Oh, yes you are! Did she make that high-pitched squeal? I call it her 'shoe-sale' noise."

Three out of four stakes,

Billie Doux reviewed all of Buffy and Angel, so she knows the plural of apocalypse.

1 comment:

  1. One of the complaints many fans have about the Series Finale was that Xander didn't mourn Anya's death. I never thjought so, it always seemed to me there was no screen time for mourning, and that he'd do it in his own time. In this issue, there was confirmation of that.


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