Buffy Season Eight
Issue 40: Last Gleaming, Part Five
Written by Joss Whedon
Drawn by Georges Jeanty
Publication date January 19, 2011
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Comic Series
"Last Gleaming, Part Four"
"Magical Mystery Tour, Featuring the Beetles"
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine"
"Angel & Faith"
"Live Through This"

"Last Gleaming, Part Five" was is fortieth and final issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight.


"Last Gleaming, Part Five" picks up four months or so after "Last Gleaming, Part Four", rather than immediately after, with Buffy working as a waitress at a coffee shop in San Francisco. She's carrying a tray of drinks when she's tripped by an unknown person, but her Slayer skills help her from spilling the drinks. She IDs the tripper as a Slayer, then talks with Kennedy, who's been dumped by Willow.

Buffy and Willow have a conversation about the aftermath of Buffy's latest act -- which Buffy almost calls a "mistake" before catching herself -- and Willow says that the world's lost its heart, which isn't worse than being destroyed, but it will be. Willow alludes to missing Aluwyn, who she'll never see again.

Buffy has a nightmare about Angel killing Giles. Dawn wakes her up and it's revealed that Buffy is crashing on Dawn and Xander's couch. Xander heads out to work, and Buffy and Dawn have a nice sisterly conversation about how things are different since Buffy destroyed the seed (though they never directly refer to that act). We learn that the world doesn't care as much about slayers, vampires are still big, and Harmony is a contestant on "Dancing With the Stars."

Elsewhere, the General is complaining about the government's perception of the aftermath of all this. He thinks the war is over, and they've won, when he gets abruptly shot in the head by Simone.

Meanwhile, Faith and Buffy are at the reading of Giles' will, and it turns out Giles has left pretty much everything to Faith, who's "just as freaked as Buffy" by that decision. However, Giles did leave something to Buffy: the Vampyr book that Giles showed to Buffy when they first met which Faith takes as a sign that Giles saw Buffy as the one true Slayer. Buffy and Faith part, with Faith serving as caretaker to a catatonic Angel, since "Buffy can't look at him" and "everyone else wants his head on a pike." Spike knocks on the window of Xander and Dawn's apartment, and Buffy opens it for him, but he she can't invite him because it's not her house, but she does go out to the fire escape to talk to him. He has some vague warnings for her and a pep talk about how she's the only one who can make the hard decisions, and she's always under fire. She starts to tear up, and heads back inside. After some more back and forth, with Spike supporting Buffy's decisions, Spike flies off again in his bug-powered ship.

As Buffy tries to sleep, Dawn makes some fake-sex noises to convince Buffy to leave the apartment and get back on the job making Buffy go out to patrol. She encounters three pissed off slayers (who no longer call themselves Slayers), including the one earlier from the coffee shop. She doesn't want to fight them but they attack anyway, and are defeated. The whole incident sets off an inner monologue in Buffy that plays out over various images, including those of Willow reading a book containing an image of Aluwyn; Simone; a bloody, silhouetted man wearing glasses; and the faerie from the underground, concluding with a final page of Buffy saving a girl from a vampire attack: "So that sucked. And as bad as it feels to take out my own girls... I know there's more coming -- and not just 'cause Spike's playing cub reporter. I know because that's how betrayal works. It sends out ripples of hurt. Ones you can't even see. Sometimes I'm not even sure which part was the betrayal. Everyone's got their version... (I'm pretty sure it was boinking Twilight, but still...) I just know it all comes back. And then some. The trouble with changing the world is... you don't. Not all at once. You just inch it forward a bit at a time, and watch it slip back, like the Greek guy with the rock. And you hope that when you're done, you've moved it up a little, changed it just enough. You hope. Let's go to work."





Weapons and Objects


Behind the Scenes

  • At a 2011 DragonCon panel, artist Georges Jeanty revealed that, in the scene Kennedy tells Buffy that Willow "dumped" her, he draw her breaking the fourth wall and looking to the readers, as a nod to the fact that most Buffy fans dislike the character.[1]



You made everything different, Buffy.
―Willow Rosenberg
You’re the only Slayer. You always were.
―Faith Lehane
You getting this, Breathless? I’m Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. And you’re a bunch of whiny thugs. You come after me again – you so much as look at me funny…then I will fight you.
―Buffy Summers