Review: Buffy The Vampire Slayer #39

It’s the penultimate end to Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 8 and things are about to go from worse to horrible. Things escalate and start to get answered in this issue. Even though the Slayers (led by Faith) and Wiccans (led by Willow) are fighting a gruesome war against all manner of demons, it really all comes down to Buffy and Angel. The Slayer with a heart and the Vampire with a soul are once again able to hurt each other, despite their newfound powers, but that doesn’t mean they’re pulling any punches. But can Buffy destroy her one, true love? Xander and Giles don’t think so and each decides to motivate Buffy to win. Unfortunately, one them pays the ultimate price. Yes, this issue a main character that has been part of the Buffy-verse from the very beginning dies. Even more unfortunate, that sacrifice is all for naught as Buffy winning may not be the best plan.

I don’t think any other comic has kept me on the edge of my seat for every single page like “Last Gleaming” Part Four has. Editor Scott Allie has always promised that this Season 8 series would be epic in regards to the Buffy-verse and this final story by him and creator Joss Whedon more than delivers on that promise. It’s all been building to next month’s finale, issue #40, but this issue sets things in motion by deciding the fates of a couple of characters and really amping up the peril. Anything could happen in the end and it will be interesting to see who is still around and what’s left to tell for next year’s Season 9 series.

Georges Jeanty is outstanding in this issue and this may be his best work to date, which is saying something since he is usually superb. I will be really disappointed if Jeanty doesn’t continue with the artwork for the series next year, but after all the intricate work he has done for the past four years I can see him wanting to take a break. Embellishing Jeanty is inker Andy Owens and colorist Michelle Madsen and all three, just by virtue of the legion of characters in this issue, do a phenomenal job and I can’t wait to see what they draw for us in the finale. Tune in next month for what promises to be a stunning season finale!

It’s war, and there will be casualties not soon forgotten as Buffy faces her most fearsome enemy. Buffy creator Joss Whedon and series artist Georges Jeanty join forces for the most emotional issue to date as they approach the finale of Season Eight.

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