Review By: Blake M. Petit BlakeMPetit@gmail.com
Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Last Gleaming Part Five
With the world’s magic gone, where will Buffy turn next?
Writer: Joss Whedon
Pencils: Georges Jeanty
Inks: Andy Owens
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Letters: Jimmy Betancourt
Editor: Scott Allie
Cover Art: Jo Chen (Cover A), Georges Jeanty (Cover B)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
From the beginning of this series, Joss Whedon said that each story arc would be the equivalent of an episode. Using that as our metaphor, this final issue of Season Eight is that last epilogue sequence in the season finale. The battle is over, the threat is eliminated… but at what cost?
The costs for Buffy, of course, have been absolutely enormous. Giles, her Watcher and the closest thing to a father she’s had in years, has died in battle. If that weren’t bad enough, the world’s conduit to magic has been destroyed. Yes, this means that many of the creatures they’ve battled for years are cut off, but it also means that Willow is powerless, that Buffy is back to her old levels of strength, and that her army of slayers is no more. The vampires, however, remain, and thanks to Harmony’s “outing” of their existence to the world, the treat is worse than ever.
This book takes us on a tour of most of the survivors, as Buffy tries to figure out where she’s going. We get a heartbreaking conversation with Willow, a ray of light with Xander and Dawn, and an absolutely devastating reading of Giles’ will. And all props to artist Georges Jeanty here – the absolute agony he puts into Buffy’s face in this sequence is some of his best work ever
The book serves a strong wrap-up to Season Eight, but the last few pages also give us a clear feeling for Season Nine, which Whedon promises will have a more “back-to-basics” approach. Less of the big, world-altering stuff in Season Eight, more character stuff, and more of Buffy doing what she does best, which is whale on vampires. Who doesn’t want to see that? I’ve enjoyed Season Eight, and really look forward to Season Nine.
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