Turbulence is the thirty-first issue of 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.
After Willow unearths giant Tibetan goddesses to help in the fight against Twilight and his disposable soldiers, the Slayers are forced to retreat when the goddesses go AWOL and attack indiscriminately. Without powers the Slayers are unable to keep up the fight against missile fire, grenade launchers, and tanks. It would seem that all is lost, and Buffy — all alone — must make her last stand on a battlefield covered in the bodies of friends and foes.
At sunset, Buffy flies high over Tibet, reflecting on the fact that she can fly, and how it used to scare her, but now she is becoming used to it, has better control over landing and taking off, and how she also wants to, despite her better judgment, keep her newfound powers a secret.
Outside the monastery, Willow and Oz are in mid conversation, with Willow telling Oz that after they deal with the Wrathful goddesses, heal the wounded, and get their powers back, they will leave Tibet. Willow apologizes to Oz for bringing war to his peaceful home, but Oz reminds her that everyone, including Bay, will be okay and that she is not the first person to bring war to a peaceful place. Willow muses on how he always knows just what to say to make her feel better. As she smiles, she asks if he has any ideas on how she can get her powers back really fast. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Willow is hit by a big green cloud of magical energy, which knocks her off her feet. As Oz watches, Willow is suddenly filled with magicks, her eyes glowing white, she notes that he didn’t kid around when it came to returning her magic, to which he responds that her being hit with the magic had nothing to do with anything he did. Soon, Willow realizes the same thing, and notes that the magic came to her as fallout from some cataclysmic mystical event. Oz asks her if she knew which event it was, she responds that she doesn’t: it has not happened yet.
Suddenly, Xander and Dawn come running to Oz and Willow, informing them that six of their Wiccans have endured the same burst of magical energy as Willow, resulting in two of them vomiting in the process. Willow says that the magic came from a temporal ripple and that something powerful is coming and it will be coming soon. She then asks if the Slayers had any signs of their magic being returned, to which Xander replies they haven’t yet, but marvels at the fact that now with magic on their side, they can now deal with the goddesses. Willow takes flight and plans to subdue the goddesses underground in the hopes that doing so will bring everybody back to full power again.
In the infirmary, Buffy talks with Riley, who is injured and surrounded by beds full of injured Slayers, witches, and soldiers. Buffy jokingly refers to herself as General Custer for leading the charge against Twilight’s army and causing so many to be injured or killed, and without a triumph to show for it. Riley reminds her that in war, nobody really wins, but in Buffy, he saw courage, intelligence and compassion for the mere fact that she is treating the enemy soldiers. After telling her how proud he is of her, Buffy asks him if he received a lot of morphine for his pain, which he admits he did in addition to a few shots of Jack Daniels. Buffy urges him to rest and she walks amongst the injured.
At Twilight’s base, he is speaking to Giles, Faith, and Andrew, each laying on the ground and who are being held hostage and are barely conscious. He notes that among the mass destruction and with all the people that have fallen from the battle, in addition to a confusion spell sent out onto the battlefield by his team of witches, he tells the trio that it will be hours before they will be missed and days before anybody comes looking for them. The three prisoners do not buy this however and each believe that Buffy will be driven to find them when she realizes they are missing. Twilight says that soon everything will happen as he wants it to, and that Buffy will finally be able to see the manifest truth to his beliefs.
Back at the monastery, four witches stand in a circle trying to locate those who are not accounted for among their ranks. The witches are having trouble finding anyone, and Dawn guesses they may not be able to locate the missing because of the mountains surrounding them, and Satsu notes that a bunch of the survivors scattered into the woods and that it may take days for them to find their way back to the monastery, Xander has the idea to send out a mystical way to help the lost return, but quickly takes it back, citing that the missing will find the way back on their own.
Meanwhile, out on the mountains, Willow battles the goddesses, she worries about what will happen if they reach a populated area, and though she has her magic back, the goddesses are still much stronger than she. She tries many attempts to foil them, including trying to bind them at the feet with a magical lasso in the hopes of making them fall back into the earth. The goddesses retaliate these attempts with them kicking Willow through the air, but as she can fly, these attacks do not harm her.
Back in the infirmary, one of Twilight’s wounded converses with Buffy, asking her what she is, if she is a witch. She responds she is a Slayer, but the soldier had never heard this term before. He then talks of how Twilight warned his soldiers that if they were captured, Buffy and her group would use magic to torture them. Buffy responds that if they had magic on their side, he as well as the other wounded would have been healed by this point. Suddenly, the soldier begins to rant about being in love and talks about a girl from his youth he loved, but he never told her, he expresses his regret at this as he slowly dies. Xander comes up to Buffy and they begin to talk. Buffy tells Xander she is tired of seeing death, dying and her friends being hurt, and she is also tired of causing the pain she is witnessing.
As they walk out into the garden, Xander reminds Buffy that this is a war, one she did not start, so she is not at fault, but Buffy is not so sure. Xander switches the subject to Willow getting her powers back, and Buffy wonders if it is possible that like her, Willow received many more unusual powers then before. Xander says that her power returned all of a sudden, and that she did not go dark, but is now out there fighting the goddesses alone.
Xander tells Buffy how proud he is of her, and she tells him of the conversation between her and Riley. When Xander begins to praise Riley, Buffy wonders when he became a fan of Riley. Xander replies he has always been a fan of Riley — as Riley was Buffy’s only other relationship that did not end with the guy turning psychotic.
Soon, the conversation changes as Buffy begins to express her regret at missing her chance with Xander, now that he is with Dawn. Xander walks away and tries to ignore Buffy’s prying, and Buffy jokes with Xander and calls him names. He stops and Buffy bluntly asks “What about me?” Xander asks Buffy if she has feelings for him, and she admits she does. Xander replies that those words would make a difference if it were said a long time ago, and if she actually meant it. Buffy seems hurt by this and tells him that feelings change and develop as people change, but Xander reminds her that he finally made the list of romantic interests after her lesbian tryst with Satsu, so it is hard to take what she is saying seriously, and how it suddenly comes about right at the moment him and Dawn begin their relationship. Buffy continues to deny what he is saying, but is unable to do so for long and she loses her tough exterior. Xander talks of how weird it is being with Dawn, seeing as how he has known her since she was a child, and talks about how she has changed into a great woman that he is in love with.
Buffy begins to cry, and gives Xander and Dawn her blessing. They hug, and Dawn shows up, looking jealous at seeing the hug, despite both Xander and Buffy proclaiming the innocence of the hug. Buffy tells Dawn she approves of her and Xander, but Dawn quickly changes the subject and informs them about how Willow is having trouble containing the goddesses. Buffy formulates an idea, and the three head inside.
Back where the witches have gathered, Willow has been magically summoned and she communicates her distress with stopping the goddesses. Buffy tells Willow to not focus on the goddesses, but instead just dig a big hole. Kennedy questions Buffy’s order, and then follows Buffy, Xander, and Dawn outside. Buffy tells the trio of something that can help stop the goddesses, and it was something she had been keeping secret up until this point. Xander, Dawn, and Kennedy all take guesses at what this secret is, and all Buffy says is to be quiet and turn their eyes to the sky. Buffy takes flight, Kennedy notes that seeing Buffy fly is kind of hot, but Xander and Dawn do not agree as they both stand there, mouths wide open and eyes glued to the skies.
Buffy comes upon Willow and the goddesses, just as Willow is magically opening a giant hole in the earth. With ease, Buffy tosses, punches and stomps the goddesses one by one into the earth, and with both Buffy and Willow in mid-flight, Willow closes the earth. As they fly back to the monastery, Willow informs Buffy they need to run some tests on her, to see where she developed these powers from, and tells Buffy she is not so sure that the same event that re-empowered her is not the same one that empowered Buffy.
Buffy then reveals to Willow that Xander and Dawn’s being in love. She only responds saying that she had known about them being in love, even before they did.
- Buffy mentions being scared while flying with Willow, as seen in "Anywhere but Here".
- Willow notices that her getting her powers back felt like a fallout from an upcoming mystical event. This will take place in issue Twilight, Part Three.
- The masked Twilight fails to remember Andrew’s name, a recurring gag in the series ("Gone", "Never Leave Me", "Two to Go", and eventually Own It, Part Five). He knew him from their encounters in "Damage" and "The Girl in Question".
- Buffy blames herself for the war, and Xander says they’re not discussing this again, referring to their conversation from A Beautiful Sunset.
- Xander says he was always in favor of Riley, as opposed to Angel ("The Yoko Factor") and Spike ("Entropy"). Proof of this, Buffy recalls when Xander convinced her to go after Riley in "Into the Woods".
- Buffy makes fun of the age difference between Xander and Dawn, comparable to her misunderstanding in "All the Way".
- Xander tells Buffy it’d be great if she had actual feelings for him years ago, in reference to when he declared for her in "Prophecy Girl".
- Xander and Buffy mentions the time when she had sex with Satsu, as he caught them in Wolves at the Gate, Part One. His accusatory interpretation of her going after a girl before him will reflect on what Spike tells Buffy and discuss with Xander in Love Dares You, Part Two.
- Xander mentions Dawn loving him her whole life, as she had a crush on him since her creation ("Real Me").
- Jenna Abrams (Only mentioned)
- Bayarmaa (Only mentioned)
- Riley Finn
- Rupert Giles
- Alexander Harris
- Faith Lehane
- Daniel Osbourne
- Willow Rosenberg
- Buffy Summers
- Dawn Summers
- Andrew Wells
- Unidentified soldier (Turbulence)
Organization and titles
- Unidentified soldier, succumbed to his wounds.
Behind the scenes
- Turbulence was the 25th best selling comic issue in its publishing month, with 47,013 sales in January 2010 at comic specialty stores.
Pop culture references
- Referring to the Wrath goddesses, Xander mentions famous girl bands in trio: Destiny’s Child, Shonen Knife, and Dixie Chicks.
- Buffy compares herself with General Custer, known as a tragic military hero.
- Riley has drunk a few shots of Jack Daniel’s whiskey.
- Xander says knowing Dawn since she was little makes him feel like Humbert Humbert, the pedophile character in the novel "Lolita" (1955).
- French: Turbulence (Turbulence)
- German: Turbulenzen (Turbulence)
- Italian: Turbolenza (Turbulence)
- Russian: Турбулентность (Turbulence)
- Turkish: Türbülans (Turbulence)
- ↑ “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 #31 (Jo Chen cover)”. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
- ↑ “Top 300 Comics Actual--January 2010”. ICv2, February 13, 2010. Retrieved January 30, 2019.