Monday, October 11, 2010

My Review of Buffy The Vampire Slayer's 8x36: "Last Gleaming Part 1"

Written by Joss Whedon
Artwork by Georges Jeanty

Angel (re Spike): “It’s too convenient. Him showing up now? He’s got an agenda.”
Buffy: “Well, it’s likely to be a lot simpler than yours. And right now it’s useful.”

Ah, there’s the Buffy I love. One that’s happy to use Spike for her own end, rather than fawn over him for the sake of a few fanatics still obsessing over that particular relationship. And from here on it, I’ll keep most of my anti Buffy/Spike to a minimum.

Angel has a point though – it is too convenient that Spike has shown up but now we’re in a weird position of having four of Buffy’s former flames within proximity of her, even if this issue only chose to concentrate on two and to be honest, they’re not the most trustworthy of two either.

Angel’s whole shenanigans as Twilight have caused more damage than good and after Whistler warning Angel in the previous issue that he had to fight against Buffy to save the world, this issue offered nothing new on that concept either. A spirit from another realm voicing itself through a variety of hosts would be fun if we actually learned something else.

In this issue we learnt nothing from Angel – stay away from Buffy to save the universe and now, Angel’s mostly determined to try and get Buffy to stay away from Spike as much as he possibly can. Much as I don’t condone Buffy/Spike, it did make sense for Buffy to send Angel away so she could work on Spike.

Thankfully where Angel failed to offer something new, Spike was actually a bit better on the information front. I probably could’ve done without his usual Angel insults but it would’ve been out of character if Spike hadn’t gotten a few in there and for the most part of this issue, he’s actually rather enjoyable. It’s almost enough to make me forget about his moments in Angel’s comic book season, which are referenced in this issue, appropriately.

The biggest reveal were the consequences of Buffy and Angel ditching the reality/universe that they created. All the giant monsters gunning for slayers aside, the source of it – the seed being looked after by the Master was a surprising turn. I’m not sure if resurrecting another villain (without explanation) is a good idea but for the time being, I’ll bite and there’s also the return of Sunnydale as well to contend with. However there needs to be a decent pay-off coming our way soon.

Also in “Last Gleaming Part 1”

Spike is given a solo cover to himself but the alternative cover has him, Buffy and Angel going all Edward/Bella/Jacob on us from “New Moon”

Spirit Dog (to Angel): “Yeah, that’s a hot button for you, even now. That goofy little cheerleader really spun you right round, didn’t she? What are we gonna do about that?”

For no apparent reason, there’s a moment in this issue where Angel saves an Oceanic airplane from crashing.

Spike: “Glorious leader to bug one ... what happened to the wankers?”
Bug One: “We’ve lost the wankers, your majesty. However I think we may have lost much more.”

Protest Girl: “You are for vampire rights, aren’t you? I think it’s dreadful what they’ve endured. I do so wish I could get bit.”
Spike: “Just keep talking.”

I did laugh when Spike immediately recognised Twilight as Angel from the online footage. It actually makes sense that he would.

Buffy: “You gave me perfection and you gave it up. Jesus, Angel, that’s not just the love of my life. That’s the guy I would live with.”
Angel: “You’re going to tell me to go.”

Buffy: “Can everyone just agree not to trust anybody and you to get to the frikkin’ point?”
Spike: “Been to any higher dimensions lately?”

Willow turned Angel into a frog briefly in this one, Dawn was grossed out by the bug minions in Spike’s spaceship and there’s a particularly horrid moment where Amy and Warren make out in front of everyone. Giles’s reaction pretty much captured mine during that one.

The Master: “Kids. They only visit when they need something.”

“Last Gleaming Part 2” was released on October 6th. I’ll review it soon, I promise.

Not a terrible start to the final arc but “Last Gleaming Part 1” still isn’t doing enough to amp up my excitement for this ending. Maybe the Master’s return will help, maybe the various plotlines will make eventual sense and maybe Joss Whedon will stop treating this comic series as sloppy fanfiction. I can only hope.

Rating: 6 out of 10.

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