A Beautiful Sunset is the eleventh issue of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight comic book series. It was written by Joss Whedon and illustrated by Georges Jeanty. Joss Whedon is the executive producer.
Buffy reflects on her long history as a Slayer and awakening the thousands of other girls around the world. In flashbacks, it becomes clear that each battle the Scoobies and the others had fought came with sacrifice, but in a way, came with a connection as well. Buffy admits that while it can be a bother sacrificing her life as well as others, it has always been done for the better. She has grown, she has moved on to the better and potential she always knew that she could live up to.
Next, Xander and Buffy discuss a major problem: Simone Doffler, the punk, pink-haired Slayer from Rona’s Chicago squad. Xander tells Buffy that they tried to remove Simone from her rough, urban environment, but see her on a security tape stealing ammunition and other things in a robbery, the unconscious bodies of two guards also found in the tapes. Buffy feels worried that she is not making a big change in the Slayer community and feels that what the government and everyone else thinks is true: she is not making the difference she said she was making. Xander comforts her and reassures her that things are going to be all right. The two then reflect on the revelation that Buffy stole from a bank in Switzerland to support her and the Slayer Organization and how she and Willow are having issues. Xander suggests that she ease her worries by going on a vampire hunt, and Buffy decides to go with Satsu.
While the other Slayers and giant Dawn are celebrating at a huge party to ease their recent stresses, Buffy gears up to go on her vampire hunt. Satsu follows and Buffy forces her into the vampire lair. While the two are slaying, Buffy discusses how she knows that it had been Satsu who gave her the kiss of true love in to save her from Amy’s curse and while Buffy appreciates the gesture as kind and sweet, she isn’t interested in Satsu in a romantic way. Buffy tells Satsu of her romantic history and how all of her relationships, be it romantic, family, or friends, end badly. Buffy states that there is something wrong with her, that everyone notice that something around her is wrong, that she can never really love, and, like all Slayers, will be alone. She breaks down in tears, but the moment is interrupted with a crash from Twilight. Satsu is knocked out while Buffy and Twilight have a brawl in the air.
Twilight bests Buffy in battle with moves she had never witnessed and takes her fear of flight to a whole new level by flying her all around Scotland. When he is about to throw a roof at her, Buffy tells him that killing her will only bring more Slayers to the call, that there will only be more to deal with. It is revealed that Twilight doesn’t want to yet kill Buffy and instead wants to talk to her. He reveals that while one Slayer in the world was enough to deal with, thousands is not tolerated. He replies that the world can’t contain them and it will eventually suffer. Twilight further feeds Buffy’s insecurities by stating the obvious, that they have not changed the world, they have not helped it. He flies off before the rising of the Sun while Buffy rushes back to the graveyard that Satsu and her were in to help Satsu. While Satsu feels she had failed Buffy, Buffy comforts her.
In an unknown base, Twilight tells his comrades that to truly defeat the Slayer, one has to strip her of her greatest armor, her moral certainty. They have to twist her view of right and wrong or twist the view of the ones she helps.
Back in Scotland, in an infirmary, a bedridden and bandaged Satsu expresses her disappointment to a bandaged Buffy. Satsu understands Buffy’s view on love and asks if she was hurt, Buffy states that she will eventually heal, that together they will heal. Buffy talks to Xander of her confrontation with Twilight and how he is stronger than anything she has encountered so far. She expresses the fears that Twilight released in her, that she isn’t making a difference, that the girls she had awoken aren’t and that she doesn’t have any connection with them. Xander assures her that Buffy awakened confidence and purpose that the girls never had before. Buffy jokes that Xander should just ask Renee out already while Xander jokes that she shouldn’t state the obvious and that she shouldn’t change the subject. He assures Buffy that what she has created is more than a monster-fighting army, it is a connected state. Buffy still feels she had no connection amongst the girls. Xander replies that it is not her that is supposed to, that the person who brought all of it together gave up her connection so that the others would feel it and so that the other chosen girls can feel like they have a place to fit in, a place where they belong. Buffy agrees and sees that what she truly did was all for the better.
- Buffy recalls sharing the Slayer powers with girls all over the world in "Chosen".
- A flashback includes Buffy fighting Caleb in "End of Days".
- Xander describes Simone being part of Chicago (The Chain) and Italy (The Long Way Home, Part Two) Slayer squads.
- Buffy mentions Willow’s opinion on her robbing a bank, as she discovered in Anywhere but Here.
- Dawn is at least 18 (the drinking age in Scotland) and not yet 21 (the drinking age in California), making this story between late 2004 and early 2008.
- Twilight mentions noticing Buffy disliking flying with Willow, as they’ve done in Anywhere but Here.
- Buffy says that Satsu, covered in mud, looks like herself in a dream she once had, a reference to the events from "Restless".
- Buffy tells Satsu the rule number one of being a Slayer is “you are always in danger”, an advise that resonates episode "Faith, Hope & Trick", in which she told Faith: “first rule of slaying: don't die.”
- Satsu blames her lip gloss for Buffy discovering she was the one who gave her a true love kiss in The Long Way Home, Part Three.
- Buffy mentions her past failed relationships, claiming that the ones who love her tend to go to a hell dimension (Angel in "Becoming, Part Two"), burn up (Spike in "Chosen"), or start letting vamps suck on them and they leave (Riley in "Into the Woods").
- The masked Twilight takes the decision of attacking Buffy just moments before, as revealed in Riley: Commitment Through Distance, Virtue Through Sin.
- After seeing his mark in various of his followers’ chests, Buffy first identifies Twilight.
- Twilight references Buffy killing Caleb using the Mʔ by slicing him in two from the crotch up. This is an early clue to his identity, as only one other person was present when it happened ("Chosen").
- Twilight mentions Buffy having been killed before “to little effect”, as she was killed and resurrected in "Prophecy Girl".
- Caleb (Only in flashbacks)
- Simone Doffler (Only in television)
- Riley Finn (Only mentioned)
- Alexander Harris
- Rona (Only in flashbacks)
- Willow Rosenberg (Only in flashbacks)
- Spike (Only mentioned)
- Buffy Summers
- Dawn Summers
- Vi (Only in flashbacks)
- Andrew Wells (Only mentioned)
- Unidentified Slayer (Only in flashbacks)
Organizations and titles
- Scooby Gang
- Slayer Organization
- Twilight Group
- United States Armed Forces
- Simone Doffler's gang (Only in television)
- Witch (Only mentioned)
- Italy (Only mentioned)
- Slayer Organization command center
- United States
Weapons and objects
- Unidentified vampire, staked by Buffy Summers.
- Unidentified vampire, staked by Satsu.
- Unidentified vampire, decapitated by Satsu.
- Unidentified vampire, thrown into sunlight by Buffy.
Behind the scenes
- This is the first Season Eight issue to not have a cover by Jo Chen; this arc debuts artist Jon Foster for main covers.
- A Beautiful Sunset was the fourteenth best selling comic issue in its publishing month, with 88,070 sales in February 2008 at comic specialty stores.
Pop culture references
- Buffy refers the event in which she robbed a bank as her “little Thomas Crown Affair”.
- Xander mentions professional baseball team New York Yankees
- Xander quotes the movie Casablanca (1942) with the phrase “You wore blue.”
- French: Une Aube Radieuse (A Radiant Dawn)
- German: Ein Schöner Sonnenuntergang (A Beautiful Sunset)
- Italian: Uno Splendido Tramonto (A Beautiful Sunset)
- Russian: Великолепный закат (A Glorious Sunset)
- Spanish: Una Bonita Puesta de Sol (A Beautiful Sunset)
- Turkish: Mükemmel Bir Günbatımı (A Perfect Sunset)
- This issue was adapted into a Season Eight Motion Comic episode.
|Buffy - “Once upon a time… I did something good. I didn’t do it alone, of course - but that’s the point. I found a way to share my power. Girls all over the world were given power — not just strength, though that come in handy — but purpose, meaning. Connection. Saving the world means keeping the status quo. But apocalypses come because the world is trying to change. It has to. That either means chaos, and the morons chaos inevitably employs… Or it means moving forward. To something better. And I did that.”|
|Unidentified follower - “You didn’t kill her.”|
|Twilight - “That’s been done, to little effect. The trick is to strip her of her greatest armor… her moral certainty. However hapless she may be about her personal life, this girl has always firmly believed she was on the side of right.”|
|Buffy - “Are we doing any good? We’ve been fighting more demons, but… But it just seems like there’s more demons to fight, and, what, is that because of us?”|
|Xander - “Buffy. Turn around. I live with a bunch of slayers. Dozens of girls who are… So filled up with purpose, with confidence they didn’t have before… The walls are vibrating with it. I can’t sleep, the place is so charged. […] Maybe now we’re only cleaning up messes, but we’re just getting started. What you’ve created here is a lot more than just monster fighters. It’s… You know, ah…”|
|Buffy - “Connection.”|
- ↑ "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8: #11 A Beautiful Sunset." Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved February 05, 2018.
- ↑ "Top 300 Comics Actual--February 2008" ICv2, March 17, 2008. Retrieved February 05, 2018.