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The Long Way Home, Part One is the first issue of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight comic book series. Written by Joss Whedon and illustrated by Georges Jeanty, it was originally published on March 14, 2007, by Dark Horse Comics.


Since the destruction of the Hellmouth, the Slayers — newly legion — have gotten organized and are kicking some serious undead butt. But not everything's fun and firearms, as an old enemy reappears and Dawn experiences some serious growing pains…[1]


Buffy leads a squad of Slayers, including Leah, Rowena, and Satsu, in a raid on a large, dilapidated church protected by a force field. She reflects about being at least 1800 Slayers now active, almost 500 of whom are working with the Scooby Gang spread over ten squads. Buffy even has two Slayers currently posing as decoys of her lest she become an easy target; one literally underground and another in Rome, publicly partying and dating the Immortal. Buffy communicates remotely with Xander, who runs things at Slayer headquarters in Scotland with a team that includes computer workers and psychics. A Slayer named Renee comes with information on the Barcelona squad, and Xander suggests Andrew send Slayers from Italy.

Inside the church, Buffy and her squad find three large demons and two human corpses. After slaying the demons, the Slayers investigate the dead men. They have a symbol cut into their chests, and Buffy finds automatic weapons, which leads her to believe the victims came looking for a fight. Buffy tells Xander to send a copy of the symbol to Giles, when Satsu finds the machine that generated the force field, presumably also belonging to the victims. Outside, someone wearing boots and a cape floats above the church.

In Sunnydale, General Voll of the United States Army surveys the crater left from the town. He calls the Slayers a threat to the United States Government and likens their squads to terrorist cells. A government expedition is being led sixty feet into the crater, where someone makes one of the explorers scream.

In Scotland, Buffy and Xander try to puzzle out the meaning of the symbol; Xander calls it a "guy with a monocle frowning," while Buffy opts for "a beautiful sunset." Xander tells Buffy she needs to talk to Dawn, and Buffy reluctantly visits her sister, who is now a giant living in the stable of the headquarters castle. Dawn won't divulge anything to Buffy, intending to talk to Willow instead. Buffy accuses Dawn of dating a thricewise despite everyone's warnings. Dawn says she will return to Berkeley as soon as she returns to her normal size.

After the brief feud, Buffy leaves to a balcony. She reflects she and Dawn hadn't gotten along since they changed the world. Buffy misses her mom, her home, the gang, churros, and sex, but she has to suck it up because she is a big girl now.

In a government facility, General Voll looks with disgust into the cell of a "nasty guy" captured from the Hellmouth. A lab tech explains their other subject was responsible for keeping him alive after the town's destruction. The first words of the attacker reportedly were: "I'm gonna help you kill her." In return for her help, she requests access to all of the government's magical hardware and a weapons lab for the "boyfriend." If they succeeded in taking down Buffy, she wants release and full immunity for the both of them, as well as a lot of cheese. General Voll queries about the subject's identity, and sitting inside the cell is Amy.


  • The events from this story take place after the destruction of Sunnydale and activation of multiple Slayers in "Chosen," as well as Andrew's hints on the Slayer Organization in "Damage."
  • Buffy begins the story reflecting about "changing the world." She thinks "the thing" is that "once you do it, the world is all different." In Last Gleaming, Part Five, she will finalize that the "trouble" is that "you don't." Five years later, she will conclude: "The trouble with changing the world is… worth it." (Finale).
  • It is revealed that who Spike and Angel presumed to be Buffy in Rome during episode "The Girl in Question" was instead a decoy. Andrew, responsible for this idea, had then lied to them about her identity on purpose.
  • Buffy also mentions having an underground decoy, to be featured in The Chain.
  • Xander reflects he used to work in construction, which he did since the episode "Pangs." He will resume his work in Last Gleaming, Part Five and continue until the end of the series (One Year Later).
  • Xander works in Scotland after Buffy and two other Slayers rescued him in "Antique."
  • Giles will discover in The Long Way Home, Part Three that someone sacrificed the men in the church and led the demons there to create the conflict with the Slayers.
  • The floating figure will be established in No Future for You, Part Four as the masked "Twilight," and his identity will be revealed in Twilight, Part Two.
  • Dawn recalls her close relationship with Willow during Buffy's death ("Bargaining, Part One").
  • Dawn will confide with Xander what happened to her to become a giant in Anywhere but Here.
  • It's revealed that Amy was still in Sunnydale and survived its destruction ("Chosen").
  • Amy's interest in cheese is a side effect from her time as a rat, as first mentioned in "Smashed."
  • Amy's boyfriend will be revealed in The Long Way Home, Part Three.



Organizations and titles[]




Death count[]

  • Two humans, sacrificed by Twilight in the church.
  • Two demons, shot by Rowena and two Slayers with crossbows.
  • One demon, stabbed in the head by Buffy with a cross.

Behind the scenes[]


  • Editor Scott Allie has established: "[The beginning of] Season Eight does take place about a year and a half after season seven; but I don't necessarily think of season seven having been in 2003."[2]
  • Jeanty has described: "Joss wrote that there would be these big monsters in the first issue and he was very adamant that they shouldn't look like a 'guy in a suit' like they had to do on TV most of the time. 'We have an unlimited budget — go crazy,' he told me."[3]
  • Despite Xander's protests on being under the title of a watcher, Scott Allie has clarified the roles: "The structure [of the Scotland squad] is different than it's ever been, but Xander is essentially a Watcher (basically), and he's the Watcher of the Scottish squad. Buffy's the Commander in Chief of the whole thing, so all the squads are hers."[4]


  • The Long Way Home, Part One was the ninth best selling comic issue in its publishing month, with 109,919 sales in March 2007 at comic specialty stores.[5] It was also among the 300 best selling of April, May, June, July, September, and November 2007.[6]
  • As the printings were sold out, there were four additional printings available for this issue, as well as a special edition limited to 1,000 copies.
  • An exclusive cover illustrated by Jeanty was released with the 2017 edition of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer DVDs.


Pop culture references[]

  • Buffy wears a shirt with the symbol for Firefly, another Joss Whedon's famous television show.
  • Xander compares himself to Nick Fury, the fictional character who also wore an eyepatch and led a secret organization. Renee mentions him being a colonel when he ran the S.H.I.E.L.D. agency, and Xander says he was a sergeant during the title Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos.
  • Buffy comments it's strange to use a crucifix to kill, and Leah jokes she must not know a lot about religion. The crucifix is a common symbol in Christianity due to the method used in the execution of Jesus.


  • Buffy has her eyes colored as brown in her first panel, but they become green for the rest of the issue, as they most commonly appear.


  • This issue received two Diamond Gem Awards in 2007, as Licensed Comic of the Year and Comic Book of the Year, Under $3.00.[7]

International titles[]

  • French: Un Long Retour au Bercail, Première Partie (The Long Way Home, Part One)
  • German: Der Lange Weg Nach Hause, Teil Eins (The Long Way Home, Part One)
  • Italian: La Lunga Strada Verso Casa, Parte 1 (The Long Way Home, Part One)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): O Longo Caminho de Casa, Episódio Um (The Long Way Home, Part One)
  • Russian: Долгая дорога домой, Часть 1 (The Long Way Home, Part One)
  • Spanish (Spain): El Largo Camino a Casa, Parte I (The Long Way Home, Part One)
  • Turkish: Evden Uzakta, Kısım Bir (Away from Home, Part One)




Cover artwork[]



Voll: "They got power, they got resources, and they got a hard-line ideology that does not jibe with American interests. Worst of all, they got a leader. Charismatic, uncompromising, and completely destructive. I mean, for the love of god… look what she did to her hometown."


  1. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8: #1." Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved on November 12, 2017‎.
  2. "Ask Scott Allie - August '08." SlayAlive Forum, August 6, 2008.
  3. Georges Jeanty et al., Season 8 Library Edition, Volume 1. Dark Horse Comics, May 2012.
  4. "Scott Allie Q&A for #19 - November '08." SlayAlive Forum, November 26, 2008.
  5. "Top 300 Comics Actual--March 2007." ICv2, April 15, 2007.
  6. "ICv2's Top 300 Comics & Top 300 GN's index." ICv2. Retrieved on December 27, 2017.
  7. "Congratulations to the 2007 Diamond Gem Winners!" Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. Archived from the original on July 29, 2020.