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Magical Downgrade

January 17, 2010

     The Scoobies’ and Slayers’ attempts to get rid of their magic so that they can stop being chased by Twilight and his thugs continues in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight.  Andrew is convinced that one of them is a spy, and he suspects Oz’s wife, Bayarmaa.  Everyone is doing various kinds of work, from constructing weapons to weaving to milking cows (which Willow doesn’t particularly like).  Both Faith and Buffy find it weird to be giving up being Slayers, but for Buffy, it means that she won’t be the big boss anymore.  Andrew watches everyone to see if they could be a spy, including Buffy and Xander who talk about Willow being evil again in the future.  Andrew confronts Giles about her, and Giles agrees that he should keep an eye on Willow.  Willow is extremely mad at Oz for getting to have a normal life, but she manages to calm down just in time for Buffy to tell her about having killed her in the future.  And then Xander and Dawn make out (FINALLY).  Willow is still pissed about losing her magic, but everyone has to deal with it and learn how to use actual weapons, like assault rifles and bazookas.  When Twilight’s army comes, Oz and Bayarmaa’s old werewolf “friends” come to assist.  The battle continues until they summon the local goddesses, who had absorbed their magic, to help out.  After that, everything goes crazy, as the goddesses begin killing indiscriminately.  Buffy rescues Riley, who is still pretending to be working as a spy for her.  Warren and Amy bicker some more, and Buffy gets picked up by one of the goddesses as they retreat.  The goddess drops her, and when she wakes up next, the battle is over, and they lost.  But somehow… she’s flying.

       Well, that was one hell of an arc with a lot of things for which we’ve been waiting for a while.  Xander and Dawn finally get together, and it’s actually kind of cute, despite the possible questions about pedophilia that I’m sure some people may bring up.  But they’re not THAT far apart in age.  Willow starts to go dark again, though rather subtly so, mostly through her angry rants and that one time her eyes briefly go black.  The whole Riley being a triple agent thing finally starts to pay off as he gets “rescued,” and Oz and Willow finally get time to talk for the first time in forever.  Jane Espenson handled all these crazy things very well, covering the little individual plots of every single character involved quite expertly.  The idea of the goddesses seems very interesting (they’re goddesses, not gods), and I’m curious as to how much they play into her “new powers.”  But basically, Espenson wrote this arc very well with great characterization, though I still would have liked to see more of the events that directly led to it (all the attacks on the various Slayer camps).  Goerges Jeanty’s art is still quite good, though it tends to peak and valley in quality every so often (like with Xander’s eyepatch in one scene).  Every so often, his faces look like the spitting images of the characters’ actors, which is awesome.  His designs for the goddesses look cool, but they’re often a tad sad, since they look so cool.  But on the whole, this was a great arc with a whole of change for all the characters involved.  I can’t wait to see what happens next, even though the identity of Twilight has been completely spoiled.  Yes, I’m mad about that, but this book is so cool that I’m not too upset.

Plot: 9.0      Art: 8.8      Dialogue: 9.3      Overall: 9.0

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