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July 15, 2009

     In the newest arc of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight, Twilight sends hundreds of demons to Scotland to locate the Slayer main base.  Willow has dozens of spells protecting the base and everyone inside, but the demons still manage to find them.  In Germany, Faith and Giles are forced to flee to Scotland, as are Andrew and his Slayers in Italy, after a brief altercation with Warren.  Additionally, other Slayers from around the world, like Kennedy and Satsu, likewise have to retreat.  They all meet up in a rather tearful reunion, but the demons follow them and start attacking the base.  As the battle rages on, Willow finds out from an interrogation that it is the use of magic that is drawing all these demons to them.  They retreat onto the submarine that Kennedy and Satsu got from their battle with the little stuffed-animal demons, and Buffy and Giles talk about Willow’s constant use of magic and Buffy’s visit to the future.  In order to lose their pursuers, Buffy asks Willow to cast one more spell: to send the whole submarine to Tibet, where a nonchalant Oz awaits.

     This is a rather cool arc that is both an opportunity to revisit an old character and deal with the natural result of the mass popularity of vampires after Harmony’s little on-air feeding.  However, I have one complaint about this issue, which is a rather big one.  Where’s the setup?  All of a sudden, they’re under attack.  We don’t get any explanation as to what exactly triggered the attack or when it began.  It’s too much of a sudden occurrence, and I’m not really a fan of that.  It makes the story feel rather disjointed from where we last left off, which was Dawn’s return to humanity.  Now, that’s actually my only complaint.  I’m excited to see Oz again, and it’s great to see all the current Scoobies (Buffy, Willow, Xander, Dawn, Giles, Faith, Andrew) back together again.  I’m hoping that this arc also finally reveals the identity of Twilight, because I’m dying to know who the big bad is.  Jane Espenson wrote the best issue of the previous, semi-connected arc, and she’s proving her skill with the Buffy characters once again in this issue.  Georges Jeanty also continues to do his usual superb work in these pages, though I must admit that I wasn’t sure that was Oz for a while.  There are only three arcs left in this “season,” including this one, and I can’t wait to see how the Scoobies will get out of so great a predicament.  Then again, they’ve saved the world from multiple apocalypses, so I’m sure they’ll manage.

Plot: 9.2      Art: 9.0      Dialogue: 9.1      Overall: 9.1

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