Written by Brad Meltzer
Art by Georges Jeanty
After speculating all season long, readers finally get to find out who the mysterious big bad Twilight really is…unless you keep up with the comic news blogosphere in which case it was spoiled months ago. But if not, you finally get to find out now.
This issue is part two of the current Twilight arc where Buffy and the eponymous Twilight finally have their big throw down. Buffy is sporting her nifty new Superman-esque abilities and is ready to use all of them on Twilight, who has been behind the scenes seemingly manipulating strings to turn the world against her and her Slayer army.
The series’ (both show and comic) trademark wit and pop culture references are here in full force. Xander continues to bust out super hero references in his pep talk to the pumped-up Buffy, only to be outdone by Andrew later on. Plus the irony of Buffy’s villain being called Twilight is not lost on the characters.
Where the issue falls apart for me is the Twilight reveal just not making any sense. And it’s not as if it was done at the end of the book for a cliffhanger. It’s midway, followed by a conversation that hints around but doesn’t really go anywhere, supposedly to be explained in the next issue. Every seemingly off issue hopes to be explained and fixed in the next issue, but that doesn’t necessarily make the prior one work.
I find this issue to be an example of a problem I’ve had with most of Season Eight – the lack of normalcy. This issue has Buffy flying around, throwing trees she sharpened on the spot at Twilight, who’s also flying and taking every sonic-boom-inducing hit without flinching. The whole time, Twilight starts to reveal the truth and destiny behind everything that’s quite eye rolling… And all this time, Andrew plays around with a repulsor glove stolen from Tony Stark.
Ever since Buffy had her covert Slayer army operating out of a hi-tech Scottish castle, with Nick Fury Jr. (a.k.a. Xander) shacking up with little Dawn (please tell me I’m not the only one still weirded out over that), the franchise lost a relatable normality it originally had. Buffy was this Peter Parker character, dealing with everyday problems of school, work, relationships, family and friends while also being a superhero, but that took a hit at the end of the series. It is an element I miss.
I’m not getting sold on Buffy’s new powers, the greater conspiracy behind Twilight or the destiny between the two that makes Twilight be who he is. It just isn’t meshing together well. The dialog is solid and witty. The humor works. The scripting has a nice flow. Everything is fine, except the plot, which is kind of a crucial part.
If you’ve ever read any of Buffy Season Eight before, you know what you’re getting with Georges Jeanty. It’s that usual flat face look with bright colors. The further away from a close up, the more ridiculously neglected the character gets.
Some of the expressions just seem off, particularly Twilight’s when he takes off the mask and has a wide, goofy smile.
There’s a repeated panel gag in the latter half with Xander, Willow and random Slayer. It works and has a good punch line in the last one. One more repetition would have killed it though, so it stopped just in time.
Over all, it’s ok. It gets the job done, but it’s nothing spectacular.
I really want to like Buffy Season Eight. It has these characters I enjoy, and the dialog is often spot on. I just can’t like the plot and direction the issue and the overall series have been taking.
Overall (Not an Average) 5.5/10