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Buffy – Season 8: Wolves At The Gate (Pts. III & IV)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

250px-buffy_wolvesatthegate_tpb1This one was supposed to be finished off months ago, but someone didn’t do it (you know who you are . . . Tanya!).

I had given up on being able to continue this, as I had assumed I would need to rely on either forking out a lot of money in shipping fees at Amazon, or the magnanimity of those back in Canada mailing me the issues once in a while.  However, due to this wonderful, magical, beautiful internet we’ve all helped to create — and to me not being lazy and actually bothering to find the proper shareware program — I can know simply download each new issue shortly after it’s released, thereby making this archive up-to-date again!  I know this is technically illegal, but I’ve purchased all 7 and all 5 seasons of Buffy and Angel on DVD, respectively, and I’ve bought Fray, and I’ve bought Tales of the Vampires and Tales of the Slayers and Spike: Asylum . . . basically, I’ve given them lots of my money already; downloading these new ones, which are not available for purchase here anyway, should not be a big deal.

So, down to business.  I have some catching up to do.

With that in mind, here we are — the conclusion of Wolves at the Gate.  The body tingles and the mind races in anticipation, does it not?  Well, probably not for anyone reading this now — you’ve finished them months ago.

Is it strange that I can actually feel sad when a character in a comic book who’s only existed for one issue dies?  Yes, yes it is.  And, when Buffy carries Aiko’s body, wrapped in bandages, to the Japan team’s headquarters and lays it in the temple, it is oddly affecting.  Maybe I just miss this series so much right now everything seems imbued with great significance.  But it’s a good start, and gives everything a hint of heightened tension.

Which is then, in typically excellent, sarcastic, subversive, sacrilegious Buffyverse fashion, destroyed by Dracula showing up and asking if he can finish eating her.  Splendid.

I guess it’s good to finally get the Xander/Renee ball rolling; it seems entirely temporary anyway (meaning, it seems obvious she’s gonna die at some point — that’s what always happens, right?) so why not get on with it (and of course, as soon as I write that — I’m doing so as I read along — she gets Scythed in the back).  So, little quicker than I thought would happen, but, hey, I did say it would happen, didn’t I?

Dawnzilla vs. MechaDawn and a battle on the streets of Tokyo?  Funny and cool in an utterly ridiculous way, but I don’t know.  I mean, that’s the kind of thing that everyone notices — like, the news and the UN etc, and Buffy gets kinda boring whenever the ‘real world’ gets involved (i.e. Season 4), so I hope they find a way to do the aftermath without having the army come after them but without just explaining it away either, because that would just be lazy.  Although . . . it’s possible this is a post-apocalyptic world (you know, Angel – After the Fall, and all that), so maybe that doesn’t matter any more.  Don’t know yet.

Overall — as I said before, this is ‘monster-of-the-week’ stuff, but it’s damn good monster-of-the-week stuff, and I always like it when there’s at least some plot development in these types of arcs (in this case, all personal and emotional and relationship-y stuff).  So, thoroughly good and important and enjoyable.

Best lines:

MechaDawn: “I like blue jeans and irony.”

Andrew: “My giant-sized teammate is fighting a mechanized version of herself on the streets of downtown Tokyo . . . I’ve been preparing for this day my entire life!”

‘Time of Your Life’ will conclude at the end of November, so I’ll be talking about it then.

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