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Riley: Commitment Through Distance, Virtue Through Sin is a one-shot of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight comic book series. It was written by Jane Espenson and illustrated by Karl Moline. Joss Whedon is the executive producer.


Acclaimed Buffy television writer Jane Espenson is back with answers to one of the surprising twists she and executive producer Joss Whedon introduced in the hit story arc "Retreat"!

In the midst of the battle, Buffy's former flame, the demon fighting soldier Riley Finn, seemingly in league with Twilight, was revealed as a double agent working for the Slayer army. Now Espenson and artist Karl Moline (Fray, Willow) uncover the secrets of Riley's recruitment by Buffy, his infiltration of Twilight's inner circle, and what's become of him and his superspy wife, Sam.

This essential one shot delivers thrilling spy adventure and is filled with major revelations for the story of Buffy Season Eight![1]


Riley and Sam are planning to settle down in Iowa, taking over half of his parents' farm. However, Riley has been approached both by Twilight, to join the anti-Slayer forces, and Buffy, to spy on Twilight for her as a double agent. Sam encourages Riley to accept Buffy's offer but Riley is hesitant to go back into the world-saving life. He worries that Sam will take it as permission to accept more missions from the government during their "retirement." Sam tells him that she does not need permission; if the government wanted her help, then it would be important - like helping Buffy was. Riley is also concerned about what he may have to do to gain Twilight's trust.

As they talk, they attend a calling from the Military to deal with a missile acting up. Sam notices that the coordinates are already set, and it always resets when they attempt to disable the weapon. Questioning what must be at the other end, Riley and Sam take a plane and a boat to a remote location, where another missile drops. The bombs circle a certain island, where a General waits for them. They notice the whole thing was to bring them there.

Meanwhile in Scotland, Angel and Whistler are discussing their overall plan. Angel does not like the plan, though Whistler insists that uniting Buffy's enemies against her and pushing her to evolve is the only way to achieve the greater good. He has seen possible futures where Angel comes clean with Buffy at this very moment, fighting beside each other, but also losing the war beside each other. Whistler asks Angel to decide where his loyalty lies: on Buffy or the world. He puts his Twilight mask back, and prepares to face Buffy in the cemetery.

On the island, Sam and Riley are confronted by military members of the Twilight Group. He answers he has decided to accept their offer, and the Twilight symbol is carved on his chest. Riley then whispers to himself where his loyalty lies: Buffy.




Organizations and titles[]



  • Huxley, Iowa
    • Finn farm
  • Scotland
    • Cemetery


Behind the scenes[]


  • Riley: Commitment Through Distance, Virtue Through Sin was the 40th best selling comic issue in its publishing month, with 38,119 sales in August 2010 at comic specialty stores.[2]


International titles[]

  • German: Hingabe Durch Ferne Tugende Durch Sünde (Commitment Through Distance Virtue Through Sin)



Cover artwork[]



Angel: "I hate this."
Whistler: "A mask like that is gonna flatten the hair, Angel. Can't be avoided."
Angel: "Not just that. Although, yes."
Angel: "[Buffy] should be the most powerful player in the game, not a piece on the board. This is wrong."
Whistler: "You know the answer to that, Angel. If you tell her, it doesn't happen. She needs to feel powerless in order to find the ultimate power. You can do what she'd want. Or you can do the right thing."


  1. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Riley (Jo Chen cover)". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved on February 8, 2019.
  2. "Top 300 Comics Actual--August 2010". ICv2, September 13, 2010. Retrieved on February 8, 2019.