Last Gleaming, Part Two is the thirty-seventh 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.
Spike and Buffy are finally reunited (*sigh*) and lucky him — he's discovered the source of all her problems, and it's not Angel. Now Buffy must revisit the place where love was indiscriminate, the Scoobies were formed, and Hell's mouth was closed for good.
Joss Whedon and Georges Jeanty launch readers into the finale of Buffy Season Eight, promising more adventure, twists, and turns. Bonds are tested, lives altered, and oh! — the fate of humanity hangs in the balance.
All cleaned up from her rather messy fight with the legions of demons now making their way into this universe; Buffy exits the shower in Spike’s room drying her hair with a towel, while Spike looks on from his bed. They briefly reminisce at the fact that they are heading back to Sunnydale, but decide to move on to more pressing matters, the Seed of Wonder. Which Spike explains has been there before anything else, humans or even the First Evil, which has a nice irony to it. He explains that it is just as the name implies, the source of all magic in the world. Everything in this universe came from it, since the time when demons overran this world most likely spillover from a lesser dimension, the Seed brought them forth and kept them in place. It kept all of the old magics, warring demons and bubbling energies from seeping back into the Old dimension wherever that was. The Seed is the only thing powerful enough to keep everything from bleeding back.
Spike explains to Buffy that it’s best to think of it as a cork in a bottle: “As long as the cork (the seed) stays firmly in place at its current residence, the Hellmouth, Sunnydale, then the world will remain as it should, but pull it out.” And he continues to pull the cork out of a bottle of Madeira. Which Buffy believes would have been more impressive if he had held it upside down and something had come pouring out. But the point is clear: remove the seed and the world ends. So as long as it stays buried underground with its protector they’re safe, until two morons — Buffy and Angel — decided to shag a universe into existence and release these demons all over this dimension.
Buffy immediately rushes to her own defense, explaining that it wasn’t like they were out of control though they were; it was more elemental, like they were outside themselves, in each other. Which Spike really doesn’t want to hear, considering it’s Buffy. Which disappoints Buffy who misses the fact that they don’t talk anymore, like they once did, she’s his dark place. Sharing a moment, they kiss each other — which in reality is just Buffy thought's while she was suppose to be listening Spike while he explains how stop the apocalypse. He then leaves to update the group telling Buffy to get some sleep, which invokes a rather dirty sex dream of Buffy’s.
While Dawn anxiously attempts to block out thoughts of Spike’s bug minions working around them, Xander consoles her by telling her maybe after all of this — and if they survive — they should get an apartment together. Without Buffy and the mess that accompanies living with a slayer army, just the two of them. Xander would get a job, Dawn would return to school and they could just scrape a living. She immediately agrees but questions whether or not they have what’s in them to survive the fight that’s coming. While they talk, the General listens on through an air vent.
In Japan, Angel arrives to assist a group of troubled slayers with the task of killing a Placentaurian targeting them and a group of civilians. Back on the ship the gang discusses the seed and how odd it is that it’s been there the whole time unbeknownst to the Scoobies for seven years. But Spike says they do have an advantage: the Earth demons will not want the new universe demons to get the Seed cause if they do, the world will end. He also explains that every since the seed was planted, Twilight has been an inevitability and it’s possible that maybe the world has just run its course, everything has a life span and maybe the Earth has reached the end of its.
As they talk, Willow suddenly collapses. She wakes up in her Spirit world with Aluwyn standing over her. Aluwyn immediately begins to warn her, if things go the way they do, Willow will never be able to return here, which Willow isn’t worried about, considering how close earth is to being swallowed by hell. But Aluwyn says her friends won’t let that happen, the vampire and the Watcher will find another way. With the seed removed the gates of hell open wide. That’s what Twilight wants. Mother earth destroyed… so the new world can thrive — the queen, dead — long live the queen. But hell only pours in if the seed is removed, destroy the Seed, and the gates and path are gone, hell has no available avenue to this world and you have a world without magic. The slayers and vampires already active would remain but all other connections to other realms would be severed, and everyone who gets their power from elsewhere — witches — lose everything. She continues that it’s not only Twilight she has to stop. Willow asks her if she knows who will betray Buffy, and Aluwyn's face falls. Back on the ship, Willow wakes up telling her friends that they have to protect the Seed.
Angel still keeps up the fight, saving and assisting Slayers and killing as many demons as can. He says to himself, “But you were right Buffy, I do need this.” And then swoops down to save more people.
On the ship, Faith asks what the plan is, but Giles says there is no plan. They just need to prevent the Seed’s removal. He continues that he knows this not what Faith wanted to do, but reassures her that after this there will still be girls for Faith to guide, but Faith has her doubts. Interrupting them, Spike peaks out the window, telling them they've arrived. Demons are everywhere over Sunnydale, but Willow pulls Buffy aside to tell her that no one — not just the demons — can get the seed. But she says no one will and leaps out of the ship. Spike grabs on as they fall through the earth and Buffy realizes that one way or another, it all ends here: the war.
Willow goes to follow but Xander stops her, stating that it’s Sunnydale you can’t leave him out of this, he wants to go home and it is clear so do Giles, Dawn and Faith. Under the earth Buffy wants to know about the seed, and where it is. But Spike says he still doesn't know where it's hidden. Out of nowhere the Master appears and hits Buffy from behind, and Spike realizes he’s the protector. The Master is surprised though, he was told by an unknown person or persons that they would come but he thought Angel would be with Buffy not Spike. He says their new world is not worthy of this power, Buffy has created nothing but a soulless shell. But Buffy comes up behind him and crushes his head into the ground.
In an city destroyed in battle, Angel stands unharmed along a group of Slayers, prepared for more fighting, with Placentuarian corpses laying around. Suddenly, a creature appears to him in the guise of a cat and bird , telling him his work isn't nearly done. It also explains that when it appeared to Angel through its previous vessel, it was just talking through them. It then goes on to call Angel its father. It says that it had to use vessels because it hadn't been born yet, but it's here now, and Angel can't deny the universe he created. The bird and the cat merge creating a winged lion — Twilight —, who tells Angel he has to finish what he started.
- Buffy tells Spike he's her "dark place"; in On Your Own, Part Two, he'll tell her he doesn't want to be "the dark place you run to when things aren't working."
- As he promises her, Xander and Dawn will indeed have an apartment together after surviving the battle on Sunnydale (Last Gleaming, Part Five), when she'll be back to school and he'll work in construction again.
- The General hears Xander and Dawn's plans to build a new life away from the war; in Last Gleaming, Part Three, he'll use this knowledge to convince Xander the way to end this battle is destroying the Seed of Wonder, which will be done in Last Gleaming, Part Four.
- Spike mentions being able to speak Fyarl, as he had done in "A New Man".
- Willow mentions that Buffy had a vision someone close would betray her, as revealed in Anywhere but Here.
- Spike is amazed at the destruction he caused in Sunnydale, which he wasn't able to see with his death in "Chosen".
- The Twilight manifests in the same form from the dreams Buffy mentioned in No Future for You, Part One. Aluwyn repeats the words he had pronounced in these visions: "Long live the queen."
- The First Evil (Only mentioned)
- The General
- Rupert Giles
- Xander Harris
- Faith Lehane
- The Master
- Willow Rosenberg
- Buffy Summers
- Dawn Summers
- Unidentified Slayer I (Last Gleaming)
- Unidentified Slayer II (Last Gleaming)
Organizations and titles
- The Key
- Scooby Gang
- Slayer Organization
- Spike's crew
- United States Armed Forces
Weapons and objects
- Unidentified Placenturian, beheaded by Angel in Japan.
- Unidentified Placenturian, beheaded by an unidentified Slayer.
- Unidentified Placenturian, killed by Angel at the sea.
- Unknown number of Placenturians, killed by Angel and Slayers.
Behind the scenes
- In order to avoid revealing the Master's appearance in the previous issue ahead of time, the solicitation for this issue had a bogus cover by Jo Chen in which his presence was erased.
- Georges Jeanty's variant cover features Buffy, Xander, and Willow as the were in high school, more specifically a reference to their clothes in "Welcome to the Hellmouth". The other students sitting on desks were also confirmed as Cordelia and Oz.
- Last Gleaming, Part Two was the 32nd best selling comic issue in its publishing month, with 43,021 sales in October 2010 at comic specialty stores.
Pop culture references
- Spike and Buffy sing the nursery rhyme "To market, to market".
- Buffy compares her imagination with Cinemax cable television network.
|Buffy - "Wow. Probably would have been more impressive if something poured out. Like if you held it upside down—"|
|Spike - "It’s a seventy-year-old Madeira, I’m not dumping on the floor just ‘cause you have no imagination."|
|Buffy - "You're the one who made a big thing with the cork—"|
|Buffy - "I can feel it. One way or another, the war ends here. Spike’s totally touching my butt."|
|The Master - "It said you'd come… Although she was supposed to be with the other one. Twilight. Pfft. You think your new world is worthy of this power? You've created nothing. A soulless shell — no matter what you might think of it. And this is what you bring for protection?"|
|Spike - Not protection. Distraction.|
|Buffy - "I'm sorry… You were taking about power." (slams the Master's head into the ground)|
|Spike - "My hero."|