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.
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!
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, if he does this, then 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 is important. 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, which Angel hates. 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.
- This issue confirms Riley's work as a triple agent, as revealed in Time of Your Life, Part Four and Retreat, Part Five.
- Whistler refers to Riley as Buffy's "other ex," alluding to Spike ("As You Were").
- It's hinted that Angel and Buffy meeting was predestined to create a new world and being the evolution of the universe, which eventually begin to take form in Twilight, Part Three. Angel also stated Buffy was his destiny in an alternate reality in "The Wish," but this is fully confirmed in The Hero of His Own Story.
- Angel and Whistler's conversation takes place just after Buffy has her first encounter with the masked Twilight, in A Beautiful Sunset.
- In "The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco," Número Cinco replied that Angel would be "the one in a mask standing in a cemetery in the middle of the night," which is what Angel does in this story.
- Riley Finn
- Samantha Finn
- Mr. Finn (Only mentioned)
- Mrs. Finn (Only mentioned)
- Buffy Summers (Only mentioned)
Organizations and titles
- Huxley, Iowa
- Finn farm
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.
- German: Hingabe Durch Ferne Tugende Durch Sünde (Commitment Through Distance Virtue Through Sin)
|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."|