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Last Gleaming, Part Four is the thirty-ninth issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight comic book series. It was written by Joss Whedon and Scott Allie, and illustrated by Georges Jeanty. Joss Whedon is the executive producer.

Synopsis

It's war, and there will be casualties not soon forgotten as Buffy faces her most fearsome enemy.[1]

Summary

The battle rages on in the remains of Sunnydale; Faith fights on, but it is clear there are a few unnamed casualties. Willow remains with the Master who seems to be being repelled backwards for unknown reasons, his hands still bound with the same red chains, whilst Willow continues her chanting, the room completely engulfed by glowing red light. "It's different than before," Buffy begins, as she attempts to hit Angel, but is thrown backward by another punch, "Now we can hurt each other." Throwing himself back into the fight, Spike runs forward to hit Angel, shouting that Angel's finally picked a side. He is quickly interrupted as Angel grabs him and tells him that the sun is still yet to set. The pair flies upwards and Spike begins to smoke, now exposed to the light of the setting sun. Angel mocks him by telling him his story ends here. Flying between them, Buffy pitches them both in either direction, saying how she liked it better when they were kissing.

Still on fire, Spike falls backwards into his ships and out of the sunlight, while Buffy talks about how she's seen Angel and his attempt to be Twilight, but this is neither, this is something different, this some cosmic vengeance that she had coming. While she thinks, Angel grabs at a passing army aircraft and throws it at Buffy, which she just dodges in time before it hits the ground, exploding among friend and foe alike. Back in Spike's ship, Spike is being tended to by his bug minions who instruct him to lie still, but he ignores them, stating, "It’s finally happened, Angel gets the girl."

While the fight continues with Buffy and Angel above, Xander, who is still with Dawn at the medical station, begins to mutter repeatedly, "Oh no," saying that they’re not gonna win this war. In a flashback, Giles tells Buffy: "This crisis has led to many unlikely alliances, Buffy, I don't know that the Master is any different than Dracula." Angel then strikes Buffy hard over the head, sending her crashing to the ground. Giles' flashback speech to Buffy continues, "A demon already attached to this world doesn't want this apocalypse any more than you or I." As this is being said, Giles — seated on the back of a demon, a sword high in his hand — leads an army of earth demons forwards instructing them to leave no prisoners, cut all the new-universe demons down. And they oblige.

Back in the game, Buffy flies upwards and strikes at Angel. Giles calls out desperately to the slayers, telling them to duck and only just gets Leah out of the way in time before a demon descends and burns a portion of the fighting slayers alive. In the Seed of Wonder room, Willow mocks the Master, telling him he's nothing; he's ordinary, less than ordinary. The Seed is life and soul, it's amazing and tied to everything. And so is Willow. She then vanishes into thin air, leaving the Master chained, and mystified, saying only, "So, um. The chains? Hello?"

On the ground, a massive root flies upwards, impaling the demon circling overhead and narrowly missing Giles and Leah. Also out of the earth rises Willow, firing magic, burning demons and taking back control, she says, "Listen up, alien creeps, you didn't just attack the little things that crawl on the outside of the Earth..." A demon opens its mouth wide behind her, "You attacked mother!"

Angel and Buffy are still fighting. Angel says Willow is missing the point, does she think she can win this? Kicking Buffy he flies at the ground at top speed and Buffy follows. Leading the slayers and still baring the , Giles runs to Faith and asks her for the scythe, for Buffy. Without waiting for a reply he leaves Faith and runs down underground, with the Mʔ in hand. A demon then proceeds to attack Faith, making the slayers behind her melt, Faith only escaping by hitting the demon and breaking the spell. The other slayers are not so lucky.

In Venice, Amy and Warren are dining in a cafe, as Amy asks whether they should have stayed. Warren doesn't like this idea, saying that Buffy and Willow are the enemy. Amy says it might have been better to have more wiccans sustaining Warren's skin. But Warren argues that it was Willow who tore it off, how long would he last in her hands? Willow is blowing demons apart in an aerial battle and Kennedy and Andrew are below. Kennedy, while watching Willow, calls her a Goddess. But Andrew says that all the planes are down and the demons are winning. Before he can finish, a demon strikes him brutally across the face.

In the the church with the Seed, Xander has arrived and is waiting, hidden at an archway as Angel and Buffy come crashing through the ceiling. They fight, Angel begins with, "You created a world. You can't turn form it." Kicking Buffy aside, Angel approaches the Seed, saying, "You were chosen, Buffy." The Master comes out of hiding and attempts to attack Angel, joking that Buffy being chosen is original. Annoyed at the interruption Angel thrusts his fist through the Master's head, essentially decapitating him as he dusts immediately. Buffy praises Angel for this before she comes to her senses and kicks him in the head.

Giles arrives, meeting Xander at his hiding spot and asks why Xander is there. Before he can properly answer, Giles tells him there is nothing he can do. He tells him their power — Buffy and Angel’s — fades in proximity to the Seed. But the Seed fuels the Mʔ. Xander tells Giles to just throw it to Buffy, but Giles says that Buffy won't want to kill him, at the very least she'll hesitate. She wants to stop him, not kill him. Xander tells him there is no way Giles can go in there, saying he is all for rash acts of nobility but Giles can't get between them. "Xander," Giles begins as Buffy suffers a painful blow. "That’s exactly where she needs me." Running forwards into the room, Angel runs around behind him yelling to Buffy, "Buffy... you abandoned me... for this?!” And without pause or mercy, he breaks Giles' neck. Surveying his body, Angel says, "When they're all gone, you'll understand."

Xander is horrified, Buffy is devastated, but she doesn't stop, she continues to whack Angel out of the way. We pan over Giles': lifeless and sprawled on the floor, Angel: slowly getting up again out of the body shape crater he left in the wall, and finally two hands picking up the scythe.

Tears, blood and dirt covering every inch of her, her jacket torn off completely, Buffy swings the scythe back thinking, simply, “No more.” But she isn't aiming at Angel and her true target it hit dead on. The Mʔ breaks through the Seed, releasing energy everywhere, hitting Buffy and Angel and causing their superpowers to be taken away, and Twilight to relinquish its hold on Angel. Reeling from the loss of magic, Willow falls from the sky, and the many faces of disempowered wiccans are seen.

In Venice, Amy and Warren collapse, both due to the loss of magic, but Warren, without Amy's power as his skin, collapses into bones, blood and guts. Finally killed. Willow has hit the ground injured and bloody, calling out desperately. In the sky, demons are being sucked forcibly from this dimension. In New York, Vi's Wicca squad says they lost connections with Sunnydale, but that’s not all...

While Willow calls out to Aluwyn, Kennedy runs up to comfort her, but all Willow does is scream, "Where did you go?" At the same time, the Twilight lion walks through Twilight dimension.

In Sunnydale on Spike's ship, Bug one announces that the demons are being sucked back to hell. Spike yells to reverse thrusters, if the demons are going to hell, he’ll be damned if they go with them. Still burnt and injured he happily says that Buffy did it, she won. He then instructs bug one that the slayer is gonna need to time to lick their wounds but, look at that... (A massive monster with tentacles has remained behind and is now fleeing across the sky) Spike says somebody’s has to stop that. And he flies off in pursuit. "We lost," Willow calls, as Kennedy fails to console her. "Kennedy— We lost—! This is the end!"

Down in the the church with the Seed. Buffy's vision has come to pass, she lies broken and bleeding on the ground, the broken Seed in the background. Xander approaches her cautiously. We pan over Giles again, as Xander approaches Buffy, Angel tries to speak to Xander, obviously upset over his actions. But Xander shrugs him off in either fear or disgust. He kneels over Buffy, calling to her softly, Giles dead behind them both. Angel is almost in tears in the background and the blade of the Mʔ sticks out of the ground broken in half.

Continuity

  • Buffy tells Angel and Spike she preferred when they were kissing, in reference to her dream in Always Darkest. Spike answers he's "fairly certain [he] never mentioned...", as he once told Illyria: "Angel and me have never been intimate. Except that one..." ("Power Play").
  • Buffy mentions seeing Angel as Angelus ("Innocence" to "Becoming, Part Two") and as the masked Twilight (A Beautiful Sunset to Twilight, Part Two).
  • The issue includes a flashback of Giles' talking to Buffy in Last Gleaming, Part Three.
  • Giles allies himself with the same demon species which Buffy fought against in The Long Way Home, Part One.
  • Warren disagrees with the prospect of the Scoobies accepting Amy and him and help maintaining his skin of magic, recalling that Willow who tore it off in the first place ("Villains").
  • Xander apparently considers destroying the Seed, as the General attempted to convince him to do so in Last Gleaming, Part Three.
  • Angel, possessed by Twilight, kills Giles in a similar way he did with his girlfriend Jennifer Calendar while soulless ("Passion"). Angel will spend the following year attempting to resurrect him, finally doing so in What You Want, Not What You Need, Part Two.
  • With the end of magic, Warren finally dies; Amy will meet Angel after the return of magic to resurrect her boyfriend, his remains secured in a jar (Lost and Found, Part One).
  • While he recovers in the ship, Spike and his crew go after the placenturian, returning to earth 62 later (Magical Mystery Tour, Featuring the Beetles).
  • Buffy crying on the floor of the church after being betrayed by someone close to her was foreseen by her in Anywhere but Here.
  • Xander's reaction to Angel killing Giles while at the church is revealed in a flashback in The Watcher.

Appearances

Individuals

Organizations and titles

Species

Events

Locations

Weapons and objects

Rituals and spells

Death count

  • Unknown number of placenturians, killed by the Slayer Organization, the military, and Earth demons.
  • Unknown number of Slayers, killed by demons and Angel (possessed by Twilight).
  • Unknown number of military members, killed by demons and Angel (possessed by Twilight).
  • The Master, punched through his head by Angel (possessed by Twilight).
  • Rupert Giles, neck snapped by Angel (possessed by Twilight).
  • Warren Mears, killed by the end of magic.

Behind the scenes

Production

Distribution

  • Last Gleaming, Part Four was the 32nd best selling comic issue in its publishing month, with 40,010 sales in December 2010 at comic specialty stores.[2]

Pop culture references

Collections

Gallery

Cover artwork

Preview

Quotes

Spike - "Finally chosen a side, have you, scared-hair? Thank bloody Christ!"
Angel - "When they’re all gone, you’ll understand."
Willow - Kennedy— We lost. This is the end!


References

  1. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer #39: Last Gleaming part 4 (Jo Chen cover)". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  2. “Top 300 Comics Actual--December 2010”. ICv2, January 9, 2011. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
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