Buffy: My God is that really the name you picked? Twilight? Y’know I lived that idea first, right? (And my vampire was so much better.)
Yes, “Buffy’s” new mega-villain is named “Twilight.” Ironic, much? To many, Buffy the Vampire Slayer ended back in 2003. But, for a slew of dedicated Whedon fans, the monthly comic book Buffy: Season 8 continues the stories of their favorite characters in a world where “Buffy” and her friends are responsible for the army of slayers they created in the television shows finale. Whedon and his writers continue to push the story to extremes and manage to rival both the Twlight and True Blood phenomenon with current story lines including the outing of vampires to the world, the rising popularity of the undead among mortals, and the classification of “Buffy” and her slayer army as terrorists. Also, “Buffy” has super powers! It’s been a Buffy lover’s dream.
Oh, and there’s that guy named after the “Edward” and “Bella” movie. “Twilight” has been a mysterious, masked thorn in “Buffy’s” side for some time now. Finally, in Issue #33, successful novel and comic writer Brad Meltzer is bestowed with the honor of unmasking Season 8’s big bad. Many already knew the identity of “Twilight” due to an accidental online reveal that went viral a few months ago; however, Meltzer has stated in many instances that the reason for “Twilight’s” existence will have more impact than just who he is. If you haven’t heard it elsewhere, “Twilight” was revealed to be “Angel,” making this season every bit as thrilling and confusing as it should be.
Meltzer has been applauded by many for having a solid grip of the Buffy characters, and he continues to write them in this issue with knowing and grace. “Andrew” has a hysterical scene with multiple fanboy references, while “Buffy” and “Xander” continue to have some great, and well due, moments as she struggles with her new superpowers. Although “Willow” claimed (in the last issue) that “Buffy” is absorbing power from the dead slayers, “Twilight” hints that this is only half the answer. Given that “Twilight” and “Buffy” share the same superpowers, one has to wonder what other hidden connections exist. “Twilight” also drops hints that both “Willow” and “Giles” have been hiding things from “Buffy.” As we all know, that always ends well!
The reveal of “Twilight” is done in the middle of a cinematic, air borne fight (with the snarky Twilight reference mentioned above thrown in for good measure) and plays out over the last half of the issue. Meltzer doesn’t beat around the bush, and as “Buffy” and “Angel” duke it out, it is refreshing to not only see the required shock and hurt from “Buffy,” but also some immediate clarifications such as “Angel’s” quick statement, “…don’t think I’m Angelus either.” As he reveals over the course of the fight, this is the same “Angel” that beat back Hell in Brian Lynch’s Angel: After The Fall, the comic book continuation of Angel.
So, what is the ensouled, vampire champion doing as “Twilight?” Distracting “Buffy’s” enemies is the answer that “Angel” gives. According to Angel, things could’ve gone a lot worse if he hadn’t been distracting others from “Buffy” and her girls. While still remaining his trademark cryptic self, “Angel” claims that “Buffy” forced this confrontation by creating her army of slayers. There’s a lot more said about history and destiny that I’m sure will become clearer in the next few issues, but for now, the speculation can be quite fun and it’s great to see “Buffy” and “Angel” together again. Meltzer also does a great job of building the tension. It feels like we’re building towards an epic and worthwhile climax. The issue ends with “Angel” asking, “What if, just once, the right thing to do is also the most wonderful? Buffy…don’t you want to be happy?” With that “Buffy” and “Angel,” locked in a kiss, rise into the clouds. A fair distance away “Willow” tells “Xander” and “Satsu,” “I think they’re f#@%ing.”
While many are probably tearing their hair out trying to piece together “Twilight’s” plan, here’s one interesting theory to ponder until the next installment. With a public war between slayers and vampires and the continuing theme in Buffy regarding reformed or non-evil demons and vampires, wouldn’t it be interesting for “Buffy” and “Angel” to serve as an example for the road to peace? Maybe they’ll have a bed-in like John and Yoko. Or, maybe vampires and slayers will be the latest minority that will struggle to obtain the right to marriage. Slayers and vampires f#@%ing to save the world. It’d make me smile.