Last Gleaming, Part Three is the thirty-eighth 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.
While Super Buffy is fighting side by side with Spike in Sunnydale, Angel is on the other side of the world fighting demons of his own. As Twilight he was given a clear mission in regard to Buffy — help her reach the next plane, together create a new world, and end all suffering. But Buffy doesn't play by the rules, and this "higher plane" and a lifetime of happiness with Angel wasn't gonna cut it — not if she had to sacrifice her family to keep it. And now Angel has to answer for his failings as Twilight — willingly or not.
Back in Sunnydale everyone is fighting for their lives against a horde of demons, and someone close to Buffy joins forces with a villain from the past to strive for a common goal — protect the seed.
Angel is sent backwards reeling from a blow delivered by his and Buffy’s child — the living embodiment of the Twilight universe. The winged lion is clearly angered at Angel for rejecting his role and abandoning Twilight. It questions whether Angel really thought he would get off that easy. He states that Buffy abandoned him for lack of conflict, but the Earth is clearly waning, and soon Twilight will soon become something greater than anything she has ever feared or fantasized. Angel says he won’t give up fighting, but Twilight says he would have, if not for Buffy, but it is pointless anyway, the queen is dead — mother Earth — long live the Twilight universe. It states that Buffy who set all of this in motion, when she called all the Potential Slayers. Twilight pounces upon Angel continuing that it is Angel who will finish it, bringing the Seed of Wonder from Sunnydale to Twilight, as it is Twilight's soul. Angel refuses this, saying there will be no Twilight, but it says there already is: Angel is Twilight.
Back in Sunnydale, Willow, Giles, Xander, and Dawn have met up with Buffy and Spike beneath the Earth. The Master is getting up from his fight with Buffy, wiping blood from his mouth while the gang looks on. Buffy stands behind him prepared to fight. Xander is questioning why Spike didn’t tell them the seed was being protected by The Master. But he says he didn’t know, all he knew from his sources is that the Seed enslaved a vampire 800 years ago, one Buffy had supposedly killed. But the master says death is nothing to the seed, it restored him when the Seed chose Angelus. Who he expected to be here.
Willow and Giles come to the conclusion that the Seed has been hiding behind the Hellmouth all this time, pulling the Master’s strings without him knowing. The Master dislikes this interpretation, but Buffy says that it explains the weird face she can’t wait to hit again, and Xander mocks him by relating him protecting the seed to Golem protecting the ring from Lord of the Rings. Defending himself, the Master yells to them all: “You think you understand the Seed? You don’t even understand Twilight! Remove the Seed and you doom the world! Has she told you there’s a place in her new world for you? No— she and Angelus will see you all dead!” This surprises Buffy, leading her to say, that this guy is really challenged on the major plot points, but Dawn says he’s not the only one. Spike then defends Buffy by saying she and everyone else is very much opposed to letting hell pour in, the only problem is the demons are already here, anticipating the seed being taken out of Sunnydale. Above the ground, Faith beheads a demon, and Andrew stabs another demon through the chest. There are still soldiers, demons and explosions going off everywhere above ground, below Dawn is sensing that that things are not going well. As demons arrive behind them, demanding the seed and throwing Dawn into the wall with great force.
Buffy orders to take them down and the gang reacts instinctively, Buffy, Spike and Giles leaping into action, while another demon pins Willow to the wall asking for the Seed’s whereabouts. But she quickly sets him on fire and the rest of the gang eliminates the remaining demons, whilst Xander holds the seemingly unconscious Dawn, calling out to Buffy for assistance. But the only assistance Xander needs is help carrying Dawn who is rather heavy. His comments annoy Dawn who is actually conscious and relatively uninjured, just a little bloody. Buffy instructs Xander to get Dawn to safety and the duo leave.
A cut to Angel reveals that he is in a trance like state, the green light of the Twilight Lion, reflected on his skin. His eyes’ completely white, as if he is seeing a vision. Back at the Hellmouth the Master tells Buffy that it would be wise, with Buffy’s new found strength that they team up to take on what’s coming by protecting the Seed. Cutting him off, Buffy breaks off the end of an axe, telling Spike to hold the Master while Buffy stakes him. Willow quickly interrupts instructing Buffy to think about what’s going on, if these new demons want the Seed removed then the Master who wishes to protect it is an ally. Giles consoles Buffy’s dislike of this idea by telling her that the Earth demons — those who are attached to this world — don’t want the apocalypse anymore then more than the Scoobies. Willow adds that the Master may have the power of the Seed on his side; he can help them stop Twilight. Buffy asks if there is something Willow isn’t telling them about what happened when she fainted. Willow says she didn’t faint it’s more that she was summoned. She also says she’s been thinking about this and she has the idea that since the Seed can connect the spiritual realms to the new Twilight world maybe they can use it to heal the Earth, draw the demons out, to make it a better world.
Just then they enter the circular room in which the Seed sits on its podium, beaming clouds of red light. The Master says that the power of the Seed embraces the worlds and it’s not letting go. As he says this, his eyes begin to change into a furious red and he whacks Buffy and Spike to the ground. The Master explains the Buffy’s power decreases in the presence of the Seed, as one of its defenses. Buffy attempts to stake him again but fails. Willow pleads with the Master who is not taking kindly to Buffy saying they don’t want to hurt the Seed, all they want to do is protect it. Willow tells them that Buffy is weak down here and that she should go above ground where she can do some good.
There is another cut to Angel in which is still in the same state. In Sunnydale Giles tells Buffy that this is what he was looking for in Europe the ‘totem’ mentioned in #34. He had never thought to look in Sunnydale but he says it is the perfect place. He says that a greater power lies behind this trouble, one that can kill Buffy and Angel. He says the Twilight prophecy was unclear but always terrifying. All of this started with Buffy changing the world, there was bound to be some casualties.
Angel is awakening from his vision, with Twilight instructing him to get up and fly. He obeys. On Spike’s ship a disgruntled minion is jumped by the General, who viciously bashes his head in. Amy and Warren are behind him, Amy explains that Willow’s seal has broken on them, they can leave. She then attempts to heal the General, but he shrugs her off saying he never wants to see them again.
Buffy, Giles and Spike reach the surface, but in the sunlight Spike is put out of action and Giles says he won’t be much help either. But there is something he can do. Buffy asks him to stay but he declines saying that Buffy isn’t a girl anymore she isn’t running around a cemetery, he’s proud of her and how far she’s come. But there’s a way he can help but it’s not here. Saying his goodbyes he leaves.
Xander is getting Dawn to the medics, when he does they are met by Voll who says he abandoned Warren and Amy when Xander asks where they are. He then stays to assist in helping Dawn. He asks Xander this is really what he wants for Dawn, this life, he says Xander could be mistaken for a soldier even, but Dawn is not a slayer. He continues that there is apparently a way to stop this, all they’ve got to do is destroy the Seed. All the fighting ends, but Buffy is protecting it.
In the room with the Seed, Willow is performing a spell that is causing the room to fill with a red smoke; the Master is kneeling before the Seed. As she casts the spell, it is revealed that the Master’s hands are chained and Willow's face is bright red from the energy.
Spike and Buffy fight on above, as demons crowd them. There is an explosion which blasts them all backwards. The source of it is revealed to be Angel, carrying the torn apart remains of a demon. Buffy smiles at his appearance but he quickly punches her and throws Spike to the ground. Spike addresses him as Angelus but Buffy says it’s not. Angel turns to them and tells them that he’s not Angel, he's Twilight.
- Twilight blames Buffy for setting his prophecy in motion when she activated other Slayer in "Chosen".
- Spike reveals the Master was already enslaved as the Seed's protector eight hundred years ago, long before even his earlier appearance ("Darla"). The Master also reveals he was restored when Twilight chose Angel for its prophecy.
- The Master attempts to reveal Buffy and Angel will leave everyone else to die when they go to the Twilight dimension, without knowing that the two have already abandoned the dimension (Twilight, Part Four).
- Buffy refers to the Master as the Scoobies' original Big Bad, as he was their first long running threat (Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 1).
- Reasoning on an alliance with the Master, Giles mention the one the Scoobies made with Dracula (Wolves at the Gate, Part One).
- Buffy and the Master recalls he have killed her years before ("Prophecy Girl").
- Willow remembers Spike wasn't always Buffy's friend, as he sought her death since "School Hard", only began changing his ways in "Pangs".
- Buffy asks Willow about what happened when she fainted (Last Gleaming, Part Two).
- Giles doesn't recognize Willow's "snakey demon hottie girlfriend" Buffy described, as Buffy herself only discovered about Aluwyn in Anywhere but Here.
- Discovering the weakening effect the Seed of Wonder has on Buffy, she asks Giles this was what he searched all over Europe (No Future for You, Part One; Safe), as he revealed in Twilight, Part Three.
- Amy mentions the time she was a rat, from "Gingerbread" to "Smashed".
- The General attempts to convince Xander to destroy the Seed of Wonder, which will be done in Last Gleaming, Part Four. For this, the General uses what he heard from Xander and Dawn's plans in Last Gleaming, Part Two.
- Aluwyn (Only mentioned)
- Dracula (Only mentioned)
- The General
- Rupert Giles
- Xander Harris
- Faith Lehane
- Amy Madison
- The Master
- Warren Mears
- Willow Rosenberg
- Buffy Summers
- Dawn Summers
- Andrew Wells
Organizations and titles
- The Key
- Scooby Gang
- Slayer Organization
- Spike's crew
- United States Armed Forces
- Apocalypse (Only mentioned)
Weapons and objects
Rituals and spells
- Unidentified demon, beheaded by Faith Lehane.
- Unidentified demon, impaled by Andrew Wells.
- Three unidentified demons, punched by Buffy Summers.
- Unidentified demon, cut by Rupert Giles
- Two unidentified demons, burn by Willow Rosenberg.
- Unknown number of demons, killed by the Army and the Slayer Organization.
- An unidentified Spike's crew member, crushed by the General.
- Unknown number of demons, killed by Buffy and Spike.
- Unidentified demon, killed by Angel (possessed by Twilight).
Behind the scenes
- Last Gleaming, Part Three was the 30th best selling comic issue in its publishing month, with 41,189 sales in November 2010 at comic specialty stores.
Pop culture references
- Xander compares the Master's face and attitude towards the Seed with fictional character Gollum.
- Willow described the Seed as Buffy's kryptonite, in reference to the fictional material with weakening effect.
|Buffy - "I get it. All this started when we shared the power. We changed the world... bound to be some casualties. Wouldn't be the first time for me. It's what we do."|
|Buffy - "I won't be able to keep up with you. [...] But there's something I can do."|
|Buffy - "You can stay."|
|Giles - "This may be Sunnydale, but we're not running round cemeteries anymore, Buffy. You're not that girl. You've become something I never could have imagined—"|
|Buffy - "Giles— These powers—"|
|Giles - "I don't mean the powers. But you must put those powers to use now. And I can help, but not here. I'll see you when this is over—"|
- ↑ "Buffy the Vampire Slayer #38: Last Gleaming part 3 (Jo Chen cover)". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- ↑ “Top 300 Comics Actual--November 2010”. ICv2, December 6, 2010. Retrieved May 7, 2019.