August 6 2008

Buffy Season 8, Issue 17


Characters Seen:

Fray, the future Slayer, and her sister, Erin Fray, (who looks oddly like Buffy) are flying in an aircycle;  Erin is driving it while Fray is in the side car.  Fray places her hand on a flaying van next to them and informs Erin that this is the place.  They exchange some banter about getting ready while Fray grabs her scythe and tears the side of the van open, revealing a nest of vampires inside.

Fray tossles with one of the vamps, plummeting towards the ground while Erin gets a “router lock” on the van, driving it into a protective shield around a statue.  Fray is fighting the vampire, screaming to know where Harth is.  (For those who didn’t read the Fray mini-series, Harth is her twin brother who got vamped.  Because of them being twins, he got the prophetic dreams of a Slayer, and Fray lacks them.)  The vamp talks, says Harth has promised them the world, but he now answers to “The Madwoman”, the one he calls “The Black Hope”.  She has lived for centuries, speaks in riddles and voices.

Fray dusts the vamp.

Erin and Fray head to Fray’s flat, it’s lined with the journals of Watchers, she needs to look up who the Madwoman is, she knows she’s read about her before.

We see Harth bringing a smoking goblet to a woman in a Victorian dress.  They speak in riddles, but you get the idea they are talking about Buffy being in their time, the Madwoman says “Tonight.  The princess leaves her kingdom for the forest of the now.”, Harth doesn’t understand why she wants Buffy here, and why she wants her to find his sister.  He fears they will be a bigger threat combined.

The Madwoman tells Harth this his plan to spread vampires through the world, and keep them in mobile nests is ingenious, but that there is nothing a Slayer can’t overcome.

Harth: Then why call for another?
Madwoman: Vampires gain strength from each other.  Slayers, Ultimately don’t.  What happens in your time will cause your time to come, do you see?
Harth: I…
Madwoman: Ripples, child.  Everything is ripples.

Willow has contained the future demon that replaced Buffy, but Kennedy got hurt.  Kennedy wants to know why Willow didn’t kill it, but she says she needs to figure some things out first, but she has an idea it is from the future and swapped places with Buffy.  Since she felt the time portal was important, she is blaming herself for what has happened.

Xander bursts into the smoldering command center of the Scottish castle.  Green flames are everywhere, wreckage strewn around the room, but some Slayers remain alive.  A girl named Rowena reports to Xander that they got most of them out through the tunnels, but at least seven died in the collapse of the tower.  She’s shook up, Xander grabs her and says this is what happens, soldiers die, but they have a problem as this was obviously mystical, flames are not bright green.  He looks over her shoulder and says, “Also, intersting sidebar, flames are not medieval, combra-faced foot soldiers.”

Green snake men are breaking up what remains of the command center.  Xander yells for everyone to get to the tunnels as he takes a green arrow to the shoulder.  Rowena goes back for him, but he yells for her to get every one to safety.  As the snakemen close on Xander, Dawn, still a centaur, bursts into the room, kicking over snake men with her hind legs.  Xander is in bad shape, he can barely walk, Dawn reluctantly suggests he gets on her back and rides her.  We see them running through a field, Dawn is yelling about him pulling her hair, but he says he is holding on to her mane, which Dawn informs him they are one in the same.

Erin drops Fray off somewhere, she says this is where the last girl came to be changed, and the books talk about the Madwoman’s powers reached through the ages and changed her.  Fray says it sounds hokum to her, but she needs to check it out.

Willow is telling the Slayers how she sees things went down, how they got played for pasties… a Slayer tells her it’s patsies… Willow says the question is what is waiting for Buffy in the future, how do they get her back?

We cut back to the Fray/Buffy fight at the end of last issue.  Buffy yells at Fray to stop trying to slay her.  She gets behind Fray and puts her in a full nelson hold.

Fray: Offa me, Shifter!
Buffy: I am not shifty!
Fray: That’s spin!  You think I’m a slack?
Buffy: You are talking crazy person talk.  Put your words in word places, please!

Buffy finally starts putting it together for Fray that she is a Slayer, and Fray finally gets that she is Buffy.  “Buffy Summers is dead.” to which Buffy replies, “Occasionally.”  They talk and try to sort it out, Buffy wants to move off the flying car they landed on; Fray leaps from car-to-car, landing on a roof, which Buffy yells she can’t do.

Fray and Buffy are walking through a slummy looking area to which Buffy says is more how she had actually pictured Manhatten.  She wants to know how many Slayers there are now, Fray tells her “One… and a half”.  Fray tells her that “for cen” there weren’t any Slayers, and she is the first called since Buffy’s time.  Buffy asks about the half, and Fray explains her twin to Buffy and how he is now a “lurk”.  Buffy hugs her… and asks what a lurk is.

They are in a darkened room as Buffy goes over her new vocabulary.

Vampire are lurks, a spin is a lie, toy is bad, but spled is good.  Boy, the English language is just losing it.  I should have treated it better.

Fray yells that she can hear Gunther and he needs to turn the lights on.  The floor lights up and Buffy sees a merman swimming beneath them.  She grabs the hem of her dress and pushes it between her legs, screaming to know how long he is been down there.

Gunter: Orange polka dots.
Buffy: ACK!  Mer-sleaze.

Fray fills Gunther in on who Buffy is.  (Again, from the Fray series, Gunther is a guy who gives Fray robberies to pull off as work)  Fray wants to know what Gunther is heard, and after some conjoling, he tells her he has heard fo a woman who has been alive since ancient times.  As Fray asks more questions, Buffy is feeling overwhelmed…

The Madwoman tells Harth that Buffy is starting to feel the weight of it.  Harth is surprised she sounds sad, it is going to be a great day for them.  The mystery woman asks why Harth needs to destroy Fray, and he says she was the last thing he ever loved, and nothing is more powerful than love.  He asks if the woman agrees…

Dark Willow is shown in full light, and she says that only time is more powerful.

I enjoyed this issues a lot, but the fact that Madwoman was (Dark) Willow was pretty glaringly obvious, which did detract from the story a bit.  You kept going, “Okay, fine, it’s Willow, just get it over with!”  It should be interesting to see how the whole thing ends up playing out in the end.

If you enjoy these recaps, please consider purchasing your Buffy, the Vampire Slayer trade paperbacks through the links below to help support this site.

Buffy Season 8, Vol. 1 Buffy Season 8, Vol. 2 Buffy Season 8, Vol. 3
Includes Issues #1 – #5 Includes Issues #6 – #10 Includes Issues #11 – #15
Purchase from Barnes & Noble Purchase from Barnes & Noble Purchase from Barnes & Noble
Buffy Season 8, Vol. 4 Buffy Season 8, Vol. 5 Fray Mini-Series
Includes Issues #16 – #20 Includes Issues #21 – #25 Includes all 8 issues of the series
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