The Long Way Home, Part Three is the third issue of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight comic book series. It was written by Joss Whedon and illustrated by Georges Jeanty. Joss Whedon is the executive producer.
With Buffy incapacitated, Amy the witch has taken the opportunity to-get this-lay siege with an army of the undead. Willow takes her on in a witches’ battle royal as hundreds of Slayers defend their Scottish citadel, but without the kiss of true love, Buffy will be out of commission indefinitely-with an unwelcome familiar face, and an image you won’t soon forget.
The figure in the duster and red shirt is revealed to be Ethan Rayne. He reveals that he and Buffy are trapped within her dreamspace, the conglomeration of all of a person’s possible dreams. Ethan urges Buffy to escape so she can help the battle raging outside.
Willow and Amy are locked in a magical duel, with Willow absorbing Amy’s magics to decode them. Willow then casts a spell that makes the army of zombies behave as if they are at a ball. Amy retaliates with another magic spell, which Willow counters — her eyes and hair turning black in the process. While Amy taunts her, the gigantic Dawn crushes Amy beneath her foot.
Meanwhile, Ethan has led Buffy through her dreamspace to Amy’s cage from her time as a rat. Buffy then sees three Xs, and Ethan begins speaking in riddles, saying that “Twilight is falling”, and to remember the things she has seen in her dream.
With Amy out of the way, Willow addresses Buffy’s condition. She reveals that someone in the room is in love with her, even though that person may not have realized it or will not admit it. Willow then commands all the people in the room to close their eyes and asks the person in love with Buffy to come forward and kiss her. Buffy, feeling something on her lips, suddenly awakens, yelling “Cinnamon buns!”.
Xander contacts Andrew in Italy to see if their station was attacked, and cautions him to be on alert. Xander then visits a wounded but recuperating Renee, reassuring her that she did her best in the battle.
Buffy and Willow examine Amy, now held in a binding spell. Buffy and Willow attempt to catch up: Willow asks about Dawn’s giant condition — asking Buffy if the cause was having sex with a thricewise — and Buffy asks about Kennedy. Willow reveals that Kennedy died, prompting Buffy’s shock and sympathy, but Willow quickly explains that it was only a short-lived mystical death, adding she always says that wrong, and that they are currently taking a break. Willow traces the source of Amy’s power, finding that it came from something besides Amy herself. The tracing spell opens a portal, and forcibly transports Willow to the army base with Amy in tow; Buffy fumes to Xander that they had been tricked. At the base, Amy mentions that they had agreed to capture Buffy, but figured that Willow would serve as bait. Unseen, Amy’s boyfriend boasts of being looking forward to killing Buffy, but adds that he’s most excited about revenging himself on Willow. The figure emerges from the shadows and is revealed to be a skinless man: Warren.
- Amy taunts Willow by referencing her time as Dark Willow at the end of the sixth season. Dawn also mentions it, asking if Willow had became evil again when her hair turns black.
- Buffy’s flashback features several glimpses from the past years, such as her “Buffy&Angel 4Ever” signing ("The Prom"), surviving the destruction of Sunnydale ("Chosen"), the Master, Caleb, her high school graduation ("Graduation Day, Part Two"), the death of her mother ("The Body"), reading the Vampyr book with Giles, Faith Lehane, among others.
- Ethan helps Buffy to identify the number 30, which is revealed to be the room he’s been maintained captive (The Long Way Home, Part Four). Similarly, in his last appearance ("A New Man"), he had warned Giles about the number 314, which revealed to be the room of the 314 Project.
- Willow, seeing the military base Amy had been, questions about the return of the Initiative, the as organization was defeated and deactivated in "Primeval".
- Warren appears skinless, as he had been flayed by Willow in "Villains".
- It’s eventually revealed that the mysterious person that kissed Buffy was actually Satsu (A Beautiful Sunset).
- Angel (Only in visions)
- Caleb (Only in visions)
- Rupert Giles
- Alexander Harris
- Kennedy (Only mentioned)
- Ken (Only mentioned)
- Faith Lehane (Only in visions)
- Amy Madison
- Catherine Madison (Only mentioned)
- The Master (Only in visions)
- Warren Mears
- Ethan Rayne (Only in visions)
- Willow Rosenberg
- Spike (Only in visions)
- Buffy Summers
- Dawn Summers
- Joyce Summers (Only in visions)
- Twilight (Only mentioned)
- Andrew Wells
Organizations and titles
- Initiative (Only mentioned)
- Scooby Gang
- Slayer Organization
- Twilight Group
- United States Armed Forces
Weapons and objects
- Joyce Summers, died of natural causes (in visions).
Behind the scenes
- About his variant cover, Georges Jeanty has stated: “I really like the idea of Willow and Xander helping Buffy get back together, since that’s essentially their job. I thought it would be really cool to personify that idea. But I submitted the regular crop of ideas also. I was really pulling for a cover like this; so much so, I actually included a version of it for issue #2.”
- Joss Whedon makes a cameo appearance in Buffy’s dreamspace.
- Another cameo is a Fray comic book, which one of the Slayers in the Italy squad is seen reading.
- This issue marks the return of the “Slay the Critics” fan mail section.
- The Long Way Home, Part Three was the twelfth best selling comic issue in its publishing month, with 106,634 sales in May 2007 at comic specialty stores. It was also among the 300 best selling of June, September, and November 2007.
- As the printings were sold out, there were two additional printings available for this issue.
- In the panel Dawn stomps over Amy, the onomatopoeia originally covered most of the action, which was changed into transparent letters when first collected in trade paperback.
Goofs, bloopers & continuity errors
- Willow has her eyes colored as brown, instead of green as they most commonly appear.
- Giles has his eyes colored brown, instead of green (as portrayed by Anthony Stewart Head) or blue as they most commonly appear.
Pop culture references
- Buffy associated the three Xs in her dream space with Vin Diesel, due to the XxX movie franchise he starred.
- Dawn compares the zombies’ dance to the novel Pride and Prejudice (1813).
- This issue was adapted into a Season Eight Motion Comic episode.
|Buffy - “‘My love’. He called me ‘my love’. And then I threw up in my mouth a little.”|
- ↑ "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8: #3". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
- ↑ "Season 8 Library Edition, Volume 1"
- ↑ "Top 300 Comics Actual--May 2007". ICv2, June 17, 2007. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
- ↑ "ICv2's Top 300 Comics & Top 300 GN's index". ICv2. Retrieved December 27, 2017.