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"Anywhere But Here" was the tenth issue of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight comic book series, which was part of the Season Eight meta-series.

Synopsis

Threatened by Twilight's uprise, Willow and Buffy flew to the lair of Sephrilian, one of the Tichajt, to question the demon about the matter. During their flight, they detailed their personal fantasies. Buffy questioned Willow about Kennedy's whereabouts, but Willow avoided the question just as they finally arrived at the lair that resembled an old cottage. There, they were greeted by Robin, a Minder who stabilized the reality field inside the lair. She warned Willow not to use magic inside and informed Buffy to rescue the prince, much to their confusion. The two entered the lair and found themselves set on a never ending staircase. They decided to play a game.

At the castle, Xander surprised Dawn with a gift: her trunk full of clothes and articles enlarged. Amongst her possessions, Xander came across a picture of regular-sized Dawn with her ex-boyfriend Kenny. Dawn finally revealed to Xander that she never slept with Kenny like she had informed everyone. She had in fact slept with his college roommate, Nick. Xander comforted her saying that she was only guilty of being human. He asked if she felt better getting it off her chest. She didn't respond.

Back inside the reality field in the lair, Buffy and Willow finally met Sephrilian. Since he could walk through all realities, Buffy demanded what the mysterious Twilight signified, to which he replied: "The death of magic." Sephrilian grew impatient with them and decided to send them through a series of past and future events. First, Buffy and Willow found themselves looking at Buffy and other Slayers robbing a Swiss Bank Account for their personal funds that occurred months ago. Willow explained to Buffy that this was what the government feared.

Robin joined them as they were situated in a new setting: Buffy on the floor, beaten and crying, a cracked red seed sitting on a podium in the centre of the room. No evidence has been given yet as to how it gets broken or what it does. Robin explains that she will be betrayed by the closest and most unexpected. She then sensed a disruption and leaves. Buffy asked Willow if she was the betrayer. She claimed no, not any more than she already had. The two suddenly found themselves watching Willow and Kennedy after Willow had escaped from Warren and the U.S. Government. Willow and Kennedy argued about why Willow had kept her from Buffy for the past year. Willow broke down in tears blaming herself for Tara's death. She believed that because she resurrected Buffy, she doomed her lover in exchange and wished to avoid the same fate for Kennedy. Buffy witnessed the revelation in disbelief.

Suddenly, Sephrilian returned and informed them that he welcomed the upcoming war. Willow then lent Buffy some of her powers to slay Sephrilian. Because she performed magic, the lair exploded. However, Robin magically rebuilt it within seconds and asked what happened in there. Buffy explained "It was demons. Playing games." And she and Willow walked away in their solitudes.

Continuity

The events took place after 'No Future for You, Part Four', but before A Beautiful Sunset.

  • Willow and Buffy had previously also enjoyed the game "Anywhere But Here". [1]
  • Willow's guilt over Tara's death had also previously been featured. [2]
  • The final vision of Buffy lying injured is of the future, just after the breaking of the Seed. [3]
  • When Dawn told Xander about whom she had slept with, he curiously asked "Was this guy, by any chance, in a band?" Xander has long-since had a negative opinion of people in bands, viewing them as troublemakers and dangerous. [4]
  • The issue revealed the Slayer Organization's source of funding.
  • Though Willow states that she is guilty over resurrecting Buffy because she believes that if she hadn't, Tara would still be alive, she later admits to Angel and Faith in 'Family Reunion, Part One' that despite all the resultant pain and suffering she caused everyone, especially Buffy, she has never regretted doing so for a second.

Appearances

Individuals

Organizations and Titles

Species

Events

Locations

  • Scotland, U.K.
  • Switerzland (Only in flashbacks)
  • Sunnydale, California, U.S. (flash-forward only)

Weapons and Objects

Body Count

  • Sephrilian, killed by Buffy

Behind the Scenes

Trivia

  • Dark Horse Comics held a contest for one reader to be given a cameo shot in Buffy. The winner was Jerrod Balzer, an author who wrote an entry on behalf of his wife, Robin. He wrote about watching Buffy and sharing it with her at the beginning of the onset of Robin's schizophrenia:[5]
Robin and I didn't have cable or satellite for years, so we had only seen the original movie of Buffy until the first season came to DVD. At that time, schizophrenia was gradually taking over my wife's mind. Our growing love for the show as each season came out gave something for my wife to focus on and look forward to during those first dark and confusing years. The character Drusilla gave her a fantasy icon to relate to, and kept her spirits up as though she were a part of the story, and of course Buffy's character gave her the strength to battle her 'demons.'
Now, she's completely disabled from her illness, in and out of coherence, but I keep Buffy and Angel posters on the wall which give her focus even when we're not watching them. We've also become attached to Firefly. Again, she can relate to River in her own way. We really owe a lot to the imagination of Joss Whedon.
For this reason, I know it would mean the world to my wife, Robin, if she could see herself with Buffy in a comic. For the struggle she consistently goes through, I feel she deserves to be with a character that's helped her so much over the years.[6]
Upon reading the winner's entry, Whedon decided to expand that character's role and feature her as a critical part of the story, as opposed to a simple cameo.[5] She appeared in this issue as well as on the variant cover with Buffy and Willow.
Five days prior to its release, editor Scott Allie sent contest winner Jerrod Baltzer a copy of the issue to ease his anxiety.[7] Jerrod claimed:
I can't get over how breathtaking this issue is. I loved Robin's role and Joss wrote her perfectly. It seemed like she stepped right into the comic!
It's been very helpful, too, just this week. She's had a lot of episodes lately where she thinks people are coming after her to wrap her in barbwire and put her on the train to Hell, so she needs to find her tickets. I'll just remind her of the (incredibly accurate) metaphors that Joss used in the issue and she was able to come out of it easier. The visuals helped bring things into perspective that Buffy and Willow really are there for her. [7]
He furthered on detailing another episode Robin underwent:
If I may share a moment that just happened, Robin was just yelling about monsters trying to come in the house to kill her. I reminded her that Buffy and Willow are every bit as real as those monsters, and then I held the comic in front of her. It took a moment to process, but then she said, "I'm a minder. Buffy and Willow's got my back!"
I said, "That's right. If anything tries to mess with your mind, they'll kick butt and cut tails off."
"Yeah!" Her face brightened and her face went "normal" again. "Can I have some decaf coffee?"
"Sure, sweetheart."
"With marshmallows?"
Her episodes can last a lot longer than that. I could have been working with her all night, the poor thing terrified that she wasn't safe. But not with that comic, and I'm not fooling her, either. Buffy and Willow really ARE as real as her hallucinations. They're a part of all of us.
I also keep reminding her that fellow Buffy fans all over the world are rooting for her and it means so much to both of us. Thanks again for everyone's support. [7]

Collections

Pop Culture References

Quotes

Sephrilian: "All my faces are there to see. Buy you humans... you have too many."
- Anywhere But Here

References

  1. "The Dark Age"
  2. "The Killer in Me"
  3. "Last Gleaming, Part Four"
  4. "Phases"
  5. 5.0 5.1 Announcement of contest winner
  6. [1]
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 [2]
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