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The Least Interesting of Possible Choices

March 20, 2010


     Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight #33  is here, and the big reveal has finally arrived.  However, it doesn’t happen in the first part of the issue.  First, Buffy is feeling sorry for herself, thinking that her new powers make her a kind of vampire.  Xander gives her a good pep talk, taken from the original Superman movie, and she gets back up on her feet.  Giles realizes who Twilight is from his voice, and Faith gets her ass kicked.  Willow and Amy cast a spell to reveal Twilight’s base, which is hidden three seconds in the future.  Both Xander and Dawn admit that Warren, Amy, and the General are a potential problem, but Twilight comes first.  Twilight reveals that there’s something Giles hasn’t told Faith, Buffy, or anyone about, and Andrew shows up in a massive geek moment, with a tricorder, Captain America’s shield, the Punisher’s kevlar, skull-crested uniform, Iron Man’s repulsor gauntlet, a Rebel Alliance helmet, and Batman’s utility belt.  Just as Twilight is about to beat him, the base is revealed, and Buffy arrives.  After she knocks him out of the base, Twilight is revealed as… Angel.  They keep fighting, and Buffy is really pissed.  Angel keeps trying to tell her that this was meant to happen, and that he did everything just to keep the villains off track and to make them grow.  They both mysteriously start glowing, and Angel says that they deserve this and that they deserve to be happy.  Swayed by Angel’s rather confusing but sappy argument, Buffy and Angel kiss.

     Well, of course, the fact that Twilight is Angel was spoiled a while ago.  Which was really quite annoying.  Even though Brad Meltzer manages to make the reveal still seem shocking despite that, there’s the core issue of the fact that it’s Angel.  Did it have to be Angel?  There’s the whole continuity problem with Angel: After the Fall and Angel, which Joss Whedon says won’t be an issue (and Bill Willingham isn’t too happy about this, that comes from two different comic book companies handling comic books in the same universe).  But I’ve never liked Angel, and that hasn’t changed.  I really don’t get his motivations yet (which seems to be deliberate), but I feel like this was such a cop-out.  In the Angel series, Whedon always resorted to turning him evil again as a plot point, even when it was overdone.  And now he’s evil again here too, just a different kind of evil.  Maybe Whedon and Meltzer will get me to buy it later on, but right now, I’m disappointed.  Georges Jeanty’s work is still as good as ever, and his Angel really does look like David Boreanaz.  Unfortunately, I never thought Boreanaz was good-looking, so there’s that problem.  Still, he’s got the perfect resemblences to the original actors down as usual, so it’s great to look at.  Meltzer did a very good job with this issue (though the comic book references are a tad heavy), despite being hamstringed by the main plot point of the issue being revealed early and a not-so-good plot decision by Whedon.  And I’ve enjoyed this book from day one, especially in the last year or so.  And of course, I’ve always enjoyed Buffy.  So I’ll stay optimistic.  But still, why did it have to be him?!

Plot: 8.7      Art: 9.2      Dialogue: 9.0      Overall: 8.7

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