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Buffy Season Eight: Twilight, Part 1

Dawn: "See, the Monkey's Paw is starting! Just like I said!"


Buffy and Xander are in the woods (still in Tibet) testing out exactly what superpowers Buffy has. Buffy runs faster than a speeding bullet, lifts a locomotive, and leaps over a tall Tibetan monastery in a single bound (carrying Xander). They try mind reading (no), x-ray vision (no), and heat vision (no).

As Buffy and Xander geek out, Willow and Dawn are having a somewhat heavier exchange about the plot of "The Monkey's Paw" when Dawn reminds Willow that "free" power isn't free, that there is always a price. Willow and Dawn slowly realize that Giles, Faith and Andrew are missing, and tell Buffy and Xander.

(Meanwhile, another threesome, Amy, Warren, and the General, are lurking in the bushes 7.2 miles away from our heroes.)

Willow casts a spell in a weird language that will take her to the slayer who needs her most, thinking it will take her to Faith. Buffy understands the language -- a-ha, another power. Willow teleports to a messed up, deserted apartment building in Kuala Lumpur; broken boxes everywhere, spattered blood, bad smells, someone chained and dead. Willow teleports to a cargo container at the port of Miami, Florida -- more boxes and blood (shades of Dexter). She looks inside a box and says that Giles, Faith and Andrew are screwed.

Giles, Faith and Andrew wake up in Twilight's headquarters next to a huge weird machine that I think we've seen before. Andrew says it's a death trap for heroes out of an X-Men comic. (I don't know the comics -- is it a famous one?) Apparently, Andrew and Warren used to talk about building such a machine back when they were buddies.

Buffy discovers that she does have a visual power: telescopic vision, and after getting freaked by seeing things at a distance that she really doesn't want to see ("Ew. Ew. Like internet ew."), she notices Amy, Warren and the General and zips over there. Turns out that Twilight kicked the three of them out, and they're ready to switch sides to get back at Twilight.

Back to Willow, who is now in Morgan City, Louisiana. She discovers many dead slayers in a swamp, killed by a mob, according to one slayer who isn't quite dead yet. Willow returns to tell Buffy that her superpowers didn't come from the goddesses. They are transferred powers from all the slayers that were attacked and killed in the last two days.

And back at Twilight's HQ, Giles and Andrew figure out that it was a three for three exchange. Twilight arrives and says, "Now who wants to hear a really cool master plan?


This was the darkest issue yet. Considering how down I've been on Buffy in the comic book format, I was surprised by how much it upset me. Buffy's original powers came from a terrible place to begin with, and her superpowers came from an even worse place. (No wonder the powers felt "right" to Buffy; they're magnified slayer powers.) What a horrible, tragic reset of the wonderfully upbeat and empowering seventh season finale. I'm not happy about this.

I did like the beginning, with Xander massively geeking out and testing Buffy's superpowers. I also thought it was appropriate and touching that Dawn was the one to bring up the Monkey's Paw thing with Willow, considering how Dawn practically acted out the story herself when Joyce died, and how she was also an early victim of Willow's addiction to magic. The Andrew/Warren stuff was semi-fun, too.

So I guess what I'm saying is that this was a good issue, a fast read. It was just a tremendous bummer. Dead slayers everywhere. Whatever Twilight's master plan is, I hate it already.

Bits and pieces:

-- This issue has a subtitle: "Buffy has F#@$ing superpowers."

-- The story started right where the last one left off; Buffy says she acquired her superpowers "yesterday".

-- The cover shows Buffy flying in a very Superman pose.

-- There are captions giving a brief background for every character throughout the issue. We later learn that it is Andrew speaking.

-- Teleportation gives people gas. I seem to remember Buffy throwing up a lot in a previous issue, too.

-- I've lost track. Where's Kennedy? Is she in Tibet?


Buffy: "You wrote 'Goonies never say die' on your bullet?"

Xander: "You've got me? Who's got yoooooooou?"
(You can almost hear Margot Kidder saying it.)

Willow: "Satsu, any sign of Andrew?"
Satsu (radio): "Last I heard, he was painting a magic lasso for Buffy."

Xander: "Teleportation?"
Buffy: "No."
Xander: "Superbreath?"
Buffy: "No."
Xander: "Adamantium claws?"
Buffy: "Xander..."
Xander: "Can you shoot arrows?"
Buffy: "That's not even a power."
Xander: "Solve a mystery?"
Buffy: "Not a power."
Xander: "Spin a web any size?"
Buffy: "Why would I even wanna do that?"
Xander: "To catch thieves, just like flies."

Faith: "I'm... man, I'm gassy. Someone needs to get punched for that."

Andrew: "My god, the view screen is better than the window. The jealousy is sucking my cortex like a ceti eel."

I'm going to learn from my past frustrations and not rate the individual issue. I'll rate the entire volume,

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


  1. I'm glad to see another Buffy season eight review, but having just read the latest issue a few days ago, I have to warn you: you really won't like where the story is going. I'm still waiting for the last issue to see if they can somehow mitigate the horror of the penultimate one, but I sincerely doubt it. Joss hates us (old fans), and isn't afraid to show it.

  2. Thanks for the warning, Emma. I think I'm okay with it. Maybe when I'm done the fortieth review, I'll block the whole thing out of my head.

  3. Although they've been a bit hit and miss at times I was enjoying the season 8 comics until these last few story arcs. ‘Retreat’ left me feeling cold while ‘Twilight’ just got more and more absurd with every passing issue.

    I’ll read the final arc because, regardless of the story quality, I love these characters and it’s rather pointless to quit now when I’m this close to the end. But I seriously doubt, even as an avid comic reader, that I’ll bother with season 9 when it comes out.

  4. "Joss hates us (old fans), and isn't afraid to show it."

    You missed the point, Emma. Joss doesn't give us what we want. He gives us what we neeeeeeeed.

    Oh, boy, this Twilight story is such a mess (hey, thanks to Joss, this sentence now has two meanings!). As Mark said, it only gets more absurd from now on, and the issues harder to understand. This whole "season 8" looks more like a fanfic than, you know, an actual season with a believable storyline. And I don't say that just to be harsh. It does look like a fanfic (specially the following issues).

    You cannot be forewarned enough, Billie. Things get ridiculous. Where the Wild Things Are level of ridiculousness.

    As for issue 39 (no actual spoilers follow, but any whedonite will understand what I'm talking about): I was so pissed! I wasn't shocked, because I couldn't even keep track of everything that was happening. But, damn it, what an unnecessary thing to do!

  5. Tom, I'd given up on season 8 but your comment sparked my curiosity. I really wish I hadn't read it. Awful.

  6. Gotta say I'm right there with Emma and Tom L. I've been reading comics since 1979 and have several thousand comics (mostly superhero), and am a big Buffy fan, and I really wanted to like this series, but those last two story arcs (Twilight and Last Gleaming) were just awful.

    I don't think Joss hates old fans, but I do think he is pretty freakin' insensitive sometimes. I was okay with the death of Anya, but was not okay with who he kills off here (not spoiling anything 'cause Billie already read # 40 as of my writing this).

    I also find that Joss pretty much doesn't admit when his work is bad. Which is understandable, since he makes money off these things, and there is probably some denial mixed in there. But the fact that he did kind of admit that Season 8 went off the rails toward the end is practically a confession that the last 15 or so issues were, well, garbage. Can't really think of any other way to describe them.

    Great reviews by Billie. I'm such a comic dweeb that I'll probably end up reading Season 9, but I really, really hated how Season 8 ended. And the show was definitely much better.


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