Here’s a quick summary of Issue #5:
This issue opens with Buffy in the middle of a nightmare where she, Xander, and Dawn are being attacked by a mob of vampires. They make it to safety, with Buffy shutting the door on the last vampire, but when she turns, Xander and Dawn are vamped out! Right before they sink their fangs into Buffy, the first slayer appears and dusts them both. Then, she socks Buffy in the stomach, and our slayer wakes up, rushing to the bathroom to puke.
Buffy meets up with Willow and discusses the dream over coffee. Willow suggests that Buffy look in the book that Giles left her. Taking her friend’s advice, Buffy digs out the book and dives into... another dream. The first slayer reappears and claims that Buffy is “not the slayer,” and then takes off running. Buffy follows and comes to a mound of rubble guarded by a large number of vamps. At the top of the mound sticks out the broken slayer scythe. The first slayer offers some more cryptic info about how “only the slayer can pull the blade from the ground,” until Buffy tackles her and the first slayer turns into a faerie. Then, Buffy wakes up.
Buffy meets with Willow and discusses her new theory that someone is peeking in on her dreams. The two friends devise a plan where Willow will watch over Buffy as she sleeps and, hopefully, dreams. Buffy quickly enters slumber land and meets the faerie that helped her body-double in The Chain (Buffy: Season 8 #5). Apparently, the faerie originally came to punish Buffy, thinking that she was an impostor. Having realized her mistake, the faerie leads Buffy back to the mound holding the slayer scythe. Willow also appears, and it becomes clear that she, not Buffy, is the one who needs to remove the scythe. The scythe could be the key to restoring magic to the world, and Willow says that she needs to take the scythe and take a long trip to see if it is possible. Buffy and Willow say goodbye and when Buffy wakes, Willow is gone.
The issue ends with Buffy returning home from an errand and rushing to the bathroom as her roommates try to bring up the fact that they’re kicking her out due to their slayer-fear. In the bathroom, we see Buffy has a pregnancy test... and it’s positive!
We get some quality Buffy/Willow time. Things have been predictably icy between these best buds ever since Buffy destroyed the Seed and banished magic from their reality. There’s been distance and awkwardness, but this issue has them spending the most time together that we’ve seen this season, acting more like the friends that they once were. Still, Buffy and Willow are clearly in a new phase when it comes to their mending friendship, and it’s a tender spot. At one point, Willow mentions she wasn’t sure if they were still best friends, and the scene drips with buried pain from both of them. Buffy has never been one to miss out on the pain, but adulthood has a slightly more bitter version for her to taste.
Buffy’s Giles moment. It’s a small moment, but it means a great deal. Some fans will surely be bitter that this is the first she’s mentioned her late watcher, but Buffy’s been burying this (and the book Giles left her) for some time now. It was nice to see her let it out, even just a little bit.
The bun in the oven! So, Buffy got knocked up. This begs for a ton of questions to be answered, but we’ll have to wait and see exactly what direction Whedon, Chambliss, and company decide to take this arc. What I will say is that it seems exciting, risky, and huge - exactly what I’ve come to expect from Buffy. I love that Buffy continues to be pushed into adulthood. Whedon has never been content to tread water with his slayer, refusing to let her remain in high school for season after season like many teen shows; she’s had to continue growing ever since. The big moments always come. You can’t help that. Last season, Buffy lost her “father,” something we all have to experience at some point. This season it looks like she’ll be passing through another defining, and human, moment: motherhood.
I really had no problems with this issue. (Nice job, Chambliss and Moline!) I know that’s not very objective, but too bad. Stake me.
The Ugly (Fan Buzz, that is...)
Fan reaction has been mixed for this issue, mainly due to the pregnancy situation. Still, the issue got good reviews from BAMFAS and a few others.
Who’s the daddy? This seems to be the big question with the fans right now? Can it really be Xander, when the earlier scenes that suggest he’s the one seem to reek of red herringness? Is there some way Angel and Buffy’s flying, cosmic, naughty fun from Season 8 could be the culprit? What about those roses in Issue #1 of this season from the mysterious and hansom neighbor, Heinrich? (Little bit of nerdy trivia: Heinrich Joseph Nest was the name of the Master when he was human. Coincidence???)
Buffybot disarmed? Last week we got a spoiler-y reveal of the Buffy: Season 9 #8 cover, showing our heroine losing an arm to a vamp opponent with a sword. Some fans now seem to think that pregnancy will keep our slayer from being “disarmed.” Still, Dark Horse Senior Managing Editor Scott Allie stated clearly that this would not be a mislead, and that it would actually happen. Only time will tell...
The Willow Spinoff. Allie has stated that several characters will be featured in separate miniseries during Season 9, and it looks like Willow is going to be one of them. Her quest to restore magic via the broken slayer scythe has epic written all over it, and I’m sure we’ll see her stop by London to visit a certain slayer and the vampire everybody hates as well.
Melaka’s mommy? Some fans have suggested that it would be cool if Buffy turned out to be pregnant with twins... Melaka and Harth from Fray! While that’s fairly impossible given that Mel and Harth have the last name Fray, and their story takes place over 200 years in the future, it is an interesting idea to think that Buffy may be a blood ancestor to Mel and not just a “sister” through their slayer heritage.
Things are heating up with Season 9, scoobies! Angel & Faith #6 is up next, and we’ll get a peek at a young Giles and his time in the Watcher’s Academy. Think of it like Harry Potter but with way more decapitations.
‘Till the end of the world,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer