Buffy Season 8 Volume 8: The Last Gleaming
Joss Whedon (Author), Jane Espenson (Author), Scott Allie (Author), Georges Jeanty (Author), Karl Moline (Author)
Dark Horse Comics
June 21, 2011
Buffy Season 8 Volume 8: Last Gleaming is like a big season finale – or a season finale and the couple of episodes that lead up to it and really introduce what’s going to happen.
Spike’s back in the picture and has knowledge of another evil facing the world that Buffy and company will have to deal with. Or face possibly world ending badness. Or maybe even something worse than that.
Of course, he shows up on a ship piloted by bugs . . . Spike’s sort of the insect-y Doctor Who here (especially after you see his arrival on Earth).
It wouldn’t be “Buffy” without some sort of a betrayal and this one’s big. Can Buffy get past it and manage to save both the world and all her friends and Slayers?
You’ll just have to see.
This was a good finale while still leaving quite a few things open for the Season Nine comics that are coming (soon, it seems). It brings Buffy, Angel, and Spike back together for the first time since BtVS Season Three – for better or for worse. Buffy’s reaction to Spike being back in the picture did seem a little strange given where they were at the end of Season Seven. A lot of relationships (especially those involving Buffy) have had their own life in the comics, though. (Her feelings – or even attitude – towards Spike do seem to fluctuate for seemingly no reason. I’m hoping that changes for Season Nine.)
The Xander/Dawn relationship isn’t as squicky as I would have thought. It’s been developed well throughout this season and progressed slowly enough that it doesn’t seem sudden or out of nowhere at all. It will still seem strange to some people, I’m sure, but it’s been done well and I kind of like it. (It’s growing on me.)
I liked the art in this volume. The baddies were really unique and the colors were great. Except for I think two instances the characters were easily discernable (but I figured one out). The main few characters – Buffy, Dawn, Xander, and Spike, especially looked great.
I’m still not sure how much I love this way of doing Buffy, but I still love the characters and the Big Bads. There were seasons of Buffy I didn’t like (not the same ones most people didn’t like!), too, and I still adore the show. I think I’ll still read Season Nine to see where it all goes.