After These Messages... We'll Be Right Back! is the twentieth issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight comic book series. It was written by Jeph Loeb, and illustrated by Georges Jeanty, Eric Wight, Ethen Beavers and Adam Van Wyk. It was originally published on December 17, 2008 by Dark Horse Comics. Joss Whedon is the executive producer.
Acclaimed comic-book writer Jeph Loeb (Batman: The Long Halloween) was set to executive produce, alongside Joss Whedon and animator Eric Wight, the proposed Buffy animated TV series. While Buffy fans won't be viewing that show anytime soon, Loeb, Wight, and Whedon offer the next best thing — a comic inspired by the animated series!
As she slays various demons, Buffy remarks that things were far simpler in the past. After the slaying is done, Buffy returns to the Slayer Organization command center and gets some sleep, albeit in Xander's bed rather than her own. As she sleeps, she dreams of waking up in her old bedroom in Sunnydale to her mother's voice and the presence of a rather young Dawn. She realizes that it is all a dream, but continues through it, relishing nostalgia.
Later at Sunnydale High School, Cordelia and Harmony give Willow a hard time about her looks, while Buffy reassures her that one day Cordelia will be dead and Willow will be a "sorceress supreme". Xander appears skateboarding through the halls and running into Principal Snyder. After his board is confiscated, Buffy consoles him that one day Snyder will be eaten by a huge snake, and that Xander will get to wear an eye patch and be in charge of a lot of women.
The Scoobies meet up with Giles in the cemetery where he warns that, despite their party plans, the fate of the world is at risk from the disciples of Morgala, a cult of vampires who worship the dragon, intent on summoning it that very night. Rather quickly, Buffy locates and dispatches three of the disciples with surprising ease. Feeling accomplished, Buffy finds that she still has time to attend that party, feeling as though it is owed her.
At home, Buffy and her mother discuss Buffy's life and future, saying that Buffy "can always come home again". While on her way to the party she encounters Angel, who congratulates her on her vanquishing the five followers of Morgala. Buffy asks if he knew someone's past and future, would he change it; Angel answers with a no. Upon leaving, it clicks to Buffy that Angel said five followers and not three, meaning that two disciples were still at large. She ditches the party and heads back to the cemetery, where she locates the last two. She dispatches them, but not before they use a large gem to bring the image of the dragon to life. Buffy and the dragon fight over the city of Sunnydale, where Buffy manages to loosen the gem from the dragon's head to destroy it.
As she is about to crash to the ground, she is woken by Xander urging her to find some place that is not his bed to sleep. It is revealed that all is as it should be: Xander has his eye patch, Dawn is still a centaur, and Willow is a witch and still a lesbian. Xander informs Buffy that she was only asleep for a few seconds. Buffy realizes that things weren't simpler in the past; her life has always been complicated, it was just complicated in a different way. But regardless, she notes that it was nice to be able to go home again.
- During Buffy's dream, Joyce doesn't know she's the Slayer yet, as it's only revealed in the following year ("Becoming, Part Two").
- Buffy reflect about her dream being Ethan Rayne again in her dreamspace as a ghost, as he had done in The Long Way Home, Part Three.
- It's revealed that Buffy is aware of Cordelia's death ("You're Welcome"), as she mentions to Willow in her dream.
- Xander arrives at school skateboarding (then falling in accident), as he had done in "Welcome to the Hellmouth".
- Snyder is the principal at Sunnydale High, the dream taking place after his admission in "The Puppet Show".
- Buffy tells Xander about Snyder being eaten by a giant snake, in reference to Richard Wilkins as the Olvikan in "Graduation Day, Part Two".
- Buffy almost mentions to Willow she's a lesbian, but refrain from doing so as she only discover her identity while in college, as revealed to Buffy in "New Moon Rising".
- Joyce tells Buffy she'll graduate, go to college, and meet a nice boy, which she had done in "Graduation Day, Part Two" and "The Freshman".
- Buffy reflects about not knowing "Angelus", who she met in episode "Innocence".
- Buffy debates about telling Willow about having killed her in the future (Time of Your Life, Part Four); she'll eventually tell her in Retreat, Part Three.
- During her dream, Buffy wears the cross she was given to by Angel in "Welcome to the Hellmouth". When he notices it, she states that it went with the outfit, similarly to when Willow had pointed out she was wearing his jacket in "The Pack".
- Angel (Only in visions)
- Cordelia Chase (Only in visions)
- Rupert Giles (Only in visions)
- Alexander Harris
- Harmony Kendall (Only in visions)
- Morgala (Only in visions)
- Ethan Rayne (Only mentioned)
- Willow Rosenberg
- Snyder (Only in visions)
- Buffy Summers
- Dawn Summers
- Joyce Summers (Only in visions)
- Andrew Wells (Only mentioned)
- Richard Wilkins (Only mentioned)
Organizations and titles
- Apocalypse (Only mentioned)
- Armenia (Only mentioned)
- Dreamspace (Only mentioned)
- Madrid, Spain (Only mentioned)
- Sunnydale, USA (Only in visions)
Weapons and objects
- Three unidentified demons, slayed by Buffy Summers.
- One unidentified vampire, staked by Buffy.
- Five vampires, staked by Buffy (in visions).
- Morgala, destroyed by Buffy (in visions).
Behind the scenes
- Jo Chen's main cover is a reference to artist Norman Rockwell's style.
- Georges Jeanty's variant cover was illustrated after this issue's guest artist Eric Wight's style, and notably features the Alpert Mausoleum from the television series.
- As confirmed by Scott Allie, "this issue was based on an episode of the unproduced animated series" with the script adapted to Season Eight context. Notably, it has a plot similar to the Buffy the Animated Series pilot, with the Scooby Gang's interest in going to a house party while attacked by Morgala, as well as some common lines and gags.
- The issue ends with the message "That's all folks!" in reference to Looney Toones animated series.
- After These Messages... We'll Be Right Back! was the seventeenth best selling comic issue in its publishing month, with 71,896 sales in December 2008 at comic specialty stores.
Pop culture references
- Joyce tells Dawn to finish eating her Pop-Tarts.
- Buffy mentions using the Google search engine.
- Buffy compares her dream experience to the movie Pleasantville (1998), starring the mentioned actress Reese Witherspoon.
- Buffy confuses the name Morgala with actor Morgan Freeman.
- Buffy mentions her "spider-sense" in reference to fictional superhero Spider-Man.
- Buffy mentions having rides at Disneyland theme park.
- After Buffy tells about her dream, Willow noticed the similarity to The Wizard of Oz (1939) film and asks about its fictional character Toto.
- French: On Se Retrouve Tout de Suite… Après la Pub (We'll Be Back… After the Ad)
- Italian: Torniamo Subito… Dopo La Pubblicità! (We'll Be Back… After the Advertising!)
- Russian: После перерыва — мы вернёмся! (After the Break — We'll Be Back!)
- Spanish: Después de Estos Anuncios… ¡Estaremos de Vuelta! (After These Announcements… We'll Be Back!)
- Turkish: Bu Mesajdan Sonra… (After This Message…)
- ↑ "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 #20: After These Messages . . . We'll Be Right Back!". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
- ↑ "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Panel to Panel - Seasons 8 & 9"
- ↑ "Scott Allie Q&A for #20 - December '08". SlayAlive Forum, December 17, 2008. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
- ↑ "Top 300 Comics Actual--December 2008". ICv2, January 19, 2009. Retrieved February 22, 2018.