Overview

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #35

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer #35

Credits

  • Words: Brad Meltzer
  • Art: Georges Jeanty
  • Inks: Andy Owen
  • Colors: Michelle Madsen
  • Story Title: Twilight, The Final Chapter: The Power of Love
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: May 5, 2010

What struck me most about this issue of Buffy was how much it felt like I was watching the TV show. This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, given this series’ title, it’s the entire point.

In this so-called final chapter of the Twilight arc, Buffy and Angel (Twilight) wake up from their universe-warping bumping of uglies to find themselves in a higher plane of existence (also Twilight – don’t ask…). Both characters react just about how one would expect. Brad Meltzer does a fine job capturing Buffy and Angel’s unique personalities but it’s once again Georges Jeanty who steals the show with his wonderfully expressive faces and atmospheric backgrounds.

It isn’t just the creative team’s ability to capture the essence of these characters that evokes the feeling of the television show. Even more than last issue, one could feel Buffy creator Joss Whedon’s guiding presence in this “episode” of Season Eight. It’s hard to put a finger on. There was a distinct rhythm to each installment of the TV series, though. That isn’t to say it was formulaic exactly but there was definitely a method to Whedon’s madness.

The plot alternates easily between Buffy and Angel’s post-coitus discussion of the ramifications of embracing Twilight and the Scooby Gang’s desperate fight for survival against an infinite horde of demonic “Placenturians.” The two parties start off separated by different planes of existence but swiftly draw closer together as Buffy realizes her true place in the universe is with her friends – even if it means thwarting fate. Finally, she convinces Angel, in typical Buffy Summers fashion, to give up paradise and return to the earthly plane, just in the nick of time to save Xander, Willow, and the rest of her friends.

Here again, Whedon’s guiding hand can be felt. One of the hallmarks of the TV show was its use of metaphor and the fantastic to comment on some facet of the human condition. All great speculative fiction performs this function. It holds up a twisted carnival mirror to society and dares us all to peek.

In many ways, Twilight is a coming of age tale at its core but it isn’t all about sex and intimacy, which would be the easy assumption to make after last issue. Rather, it’s about maturity, sacrifice, and unity in the face of diversity – and not unity as we define it today in socio-political terms but the unity of spirit that comes from the love and understanding between lifelong friends.

All of this – the balanced plotting, the strong characterizations, the use of metaphor, the big reveal at the end – brings to mind the comic’s television forebear. Once again, Whedon and his team successfully continue the ongoing saga of Buffy Summers in Season Eight and more than ever before, this issue feels like a season-ending cliffhanger from the TV series. It leaves you panting and out of breath and wanting nothing but more of the same.

And just wait until you see that last page…

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