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Paradise Forsaken

June 23, 2010

Buffy Summers and Angel may have just had destiny sex, but that doesn’t mean that everything’s over.  No, the final part of Brad Meltzer’s story on Buffy is Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight #35, which begins with Buffy insisting that it’s a trap, expecting enemies to pop out of nowhere.  But as Angel points out, there are no enemies.  Giles explains that Twilight is a place, and he did have some knowledge of it as a myth before he even met Buffy.  These invading demons are here to take over, as Twilight is the new world.  Andrew and Warren fight some demons, and Amy and the General wonder if Warren has forgotten that they’re going to betray the Scoobies later.  Angel says that this is a place they only reach together, and he also explains that the clothes they keep changing to, and the places they keep going, are clothes worn by Slayers and vampires and where those Slayers and vampires met.  Buffy just wants to see her friends, and Twilight reacts to her, showing the old world attacked by demons.  Although Angel tells them that they finally get to be happy, and that her friends will survive, she doesn’t want to leave the people she loves behind.  She reminds Angel that she never does what she’s supposed to do, and that she’s going to ignore evolution.  With a sigh, Angel goes with her.  They go back to Earth and start beating the crap out of all the demons.  Just then, some kind of large ship bursts in.  And out of it walks none other than Spike, telling them that he’s here to put an end to Twilight and all these demons once and for all.

Okay, so this issue does help to redeem the ridiculousness that was last issue.  There’s no nudity, and people aren’t spending the whole issue saying that Buffy and Angel were meant to have sex, and that they’re having sex straight into a higher plane.  They do spend a fair amount of the issue saying that, but not all of it.  Instead, we get Angel trying to convince Buffy that this is their destiny, that they were meant for this perfect world and all that jazz.  You know, I really preferred things when the Big Bads were people Buffy could actually punch.  Not higher planes or alternate dimensions or concepts.  Or metatextual references.  Unfortunately, that is really weakening this story.  It’s not Brad Meltzer’s fault, since I am certain that was Joss Whedon’s idea.  But he gets burdened with these crazy concepts.  I still don’t know how much of this is Meltzer.  I liked all his comic book references before, but now, they’re getting old.  They don’t terribly add to the story, and they seem to be the main way Meltzer’s putting his own voice in this story.  I just still really hope that the sex scene was Meltzer taking things too far.  Georges Jeanty’s art is as spot on as ever.  There is one panel in which Willow looks like an old lady, and Giles’ lips have moved down his face, but aside from that, it’s great.  His Spike is also great, which is good, since I really missed him, and I was hoping he’d look right.  I do really wish, though, that Whedon hadn’t come up with such a crazy idea.  If this is the end of Buffy once and for all, it’s not exactly the best end.  I think that the ending of Season Seven, with the First Evil, was more appropriate.  I kind of feel like Whedon was overreaching himself with this idea, getting too excited because the medium has less restrictions.  I still trust him to end things right, but this is really pushing the envelope.  Or maybe “coming close to jumping the shark” would be more apt.

Plot: 7.3      Art: 9.0      Dialogue: 8.8      Overall: 7.7

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