Wolves at the Gate, Part Four is the fifteenth issue of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight comic book series. It was written by Drew Goddard and illustrated by Georges Jeanty. Joss Whedon is the executive producer.
Having traveled from her base in Scotland, Buffy ventures to the heart of Japan in order to reclaim her stolen scythe, in Drew Goddard’s conclusion to Wolves at the Gate. Along the way, Buffy and the legion of Slayers join forces with the irresistible Dracula to defeat a tight-nit group of nefarious vampires, in which the Slayers suffer a massive hit.
The issue opens with Renee’s thoughts and regrets as she dies. As Xander is overcome by grief and holds her as her life slips away, Dracula sends Buffy for Willow. Buffy replies that she cannot leave Xander alone, and Dracula vamps out and fights to his side, replying that he is not. Willow, in turn, is locked in mid-air combat with Kumiko. Kumiko deflects Willow’s attacks easily, revealing that they are both students of Saga Vasuki and thus knows the counters to her spells: they “speak the same language”. This prompts Willow to say “Good. Talk to me,” and cast a spell that causes both their eyes to flare blue and connect.
Whether the spell had its intended effect is not clear, but Willow is plunged into a vision of a burning city, the Scythe, and Saga Vasuki, who calls her “darling Willow”, and asks if she thought she couldn’t find her or if she thought she could hide from who she is and what is to come. Willow emerges from the vision and passes out, but the spell leaves Kumiko seemingly unaffected. As Willow begins to lose consciousness, Buffy steels herself, then jumps from the penthouse to stab Kumiko midair, leaving her and an unconscious Willow to continue falling.
Dawn, leading the fight out on the streets, is confronted by a mecha version of herself, albeit with a tail, who taunts Dawn. Toru notices Kumiko’s absence and begins the incantation to de-Slayer Buffy and her army. Dracula, Satsu, and the slayers then burst onto the roof and enter melee combat with the vampires there. Dracula tackles Toru, sending the scythe flying, and Satsu jumps off the building to catch the falling scythe.
Willow and Buffy emerge from the pool of water Willow had created at the last minute to cushion their fall. Upon noticing Satsu falling, they engage in a bit of relationship banter, before heading to catch Satsu. Willow then flies the three of them back to the roof, where Buffy is unable to kill Toru using the scythe since he can still dematerialize into a fog. Dracula gives Willow his sword and tells her how to use it to remove the vampires’ special powers: it, like the Scythe, is a weapon bound with the spirit of a demon. Before she does the incantation, Willow asks why Dracula cannot perform it himself, and he indicates that he will also be affected by it. The incantation succeeds, and Buffy notes that the “scales are balanced again”: the slayers can fight the vampires.
Andrew coaches Dawn how to beat the mecha, by twisting its head off, which she does. Willow throws Dracula his sword as he requests, but Toru catches it and taunts Dracula for being an old man, saying he doesn’t know what to do now he’s just a regular vampire again. But Dracula, enraged, disarms Toru and cuts off his hands and feet. He then mocks Toru in turn, reminding him how he was renowned and feared long before he became a vampire (much to Toru’s apparent surprise). Toru demands for Dracula to kill him, but Dracula scoffs at him, saying he has no honor, and hands his sword to Xander for the killing blow. Xander executes him, and Buffy comforts Xander as she orders the rest of the slayers to hunt down the fleeing vampires.
The night following the battle, Dracula, who has lost his powers of domination, comes to Xander. He is sitting vigil with Renee’s ashes, and Dracula asks if Xander wishes company. When Xander refuses, he says farewell, referring to Xander as a manservant. Xander says that if Dracula ever calls him “manservant” again, he will kill him in his sleep. Dracula suggests a number of other titles, ranging from “Minion” to “Houseboy” and is met with similar threats.
While the the two are alone, Satsu confesses both her love for Buffy and her acknowledgment that she needs to not be in love with her. Satsu asks to be left in Japan as the field office leader, to give them some distance. Buffy agrees, and then they have sex again as a goodbye. At the same time, Willow is magically communicating with Saga Vasuki, Xander is scattering Renee’s ashes, and Dracula is leaving by ship.
- Renee’s wound by Toru’s attack (Wolves at the Gate, Part Three) proves to be fatal, an assassination Dracula allows Xander to avenge killing Toru.
- The demon from Willow’ vision in Anywhere but Here has her name revealed as Saga Vasuki; although, she’ll finally identified as Aluwyn in Willow: Goddesses and Monsters.
- Buffy and Willow’s mystical bound is manifested once again, as revealed in The Long Way Home, Part Four.
- The phrase “Did you think you could hide from what you are? Or what’s to come?” mirrors Sineya’s (through Tara) in "Restless" and Dracula’s in "Buffy vs. Dracula".
- Buffy promotes Satsu as Tokyo squad leader, as she had told her she could lead her own crew in A Beautiful Sunset.
- Buffy and Satsu have sex for a second and last time, after their night in Wolves at the Gate, Part One, to which Satsu refers when she answers a vampire about Buffy tasting “sweet”.
- Due to Renee’s death, Xander once again stay with Dracula to grieve a lover, as he had done in Antique after Anya’s death.
- Renee’ death and Satsu staying in Tokyo are more examples to Buffy’s theory in "I Robot, You Jane" about the Scooby Gang’s misfortune in relationships.
- Mecha Dawn
- Xander Harris
- Kumiko Ishihara
- Willow Rosenberg
- Buffy Summers
- Dawn Summers
- Saga Vasuki (Only in visions)
- Andrew Wells
Organizations and Titles
- Tokyo, Japan
- Slayer Organization Tokyo headquarters
- New York City, USA (Only in visions)
- Chrysler Building (Only in visions)
Weapons and Objects
- Renee, killed by Toru.
- Three unidentified vampires, staked by Buffy Summers.
- Raidon, staked by Satsu.
- Mecha Dawn, beheaded by Dawn Summers.
- Toru, beheaded by Xander Harris.
- Unknown number of vampires, slayed by Dracula and the Slayer Organization.
Behind the Scenes
- Georges Jeanty’s variant cover features an homage to Seven Samurai (1954) movie poster.
- About the possibility of Kumiko Ishihara’s death, editor Scott Allie has declared it’s purposeful uncertain: “When doing a comic like this, it’s always good to leave some things open. You’ll have to wait and see if Kumiko is dead or not, and you might have to wait for another Season to ever find out. Wiiiiiide open.” Kumiko never appeared or was mentioned after Buffy stabbed her, but the witch couldn’t have died because of this, as a knife in the back isn’t fatal for vampires and she wasn’t dusting in the following panel. It’s possible that the injury made her not survive the fall, dying with the impact, but it’d be just a speculation, as neither situation was ever confirmed.
- According to Georges Jeanty, for the scene with Buffy and Satsu having sex for one last time, he purposely placed Buffy below Satsu to enhance the idea of Buffy, of dominant personality, surrendering to Satsu. He also wanted to showcase in this scene a tattoo on Satsu’s lower back, but Joss Whedon vetoed this idea.
- Wolves at the Gate, Part Four was the twelfth best selling comic issue in its publishing month, with 80,464 sales in June 2008 at comic specialty stores.
Pop Culture References
- Buffy mentions actress Judi Dench and politician Eleanor Roosevelt as distinguished women part of her “list”.
- Mecha Dawn is a reference to Mechagodzilla, to much of Andrew’s enthusiasm.
Goofs, Bloopers & Continuity Errors
- Although Willow had already reversed the incantation and negated the vampire’s shapeshifting abilities, a panther is seem in the battle while Dracula and Toru duel.
- This issue was adapted into a Season Eight Motion Comic episode.
|Renee - “I’m not ready. I hope he knows. I never got to tell him. Xander, I’m not ready. I’m so scared.”|
|Buffy - “Scales are balanced again girls! They’re vampires, we’re vampire slayers. Time to do what we do.”|
- ↑ "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8: #15 Wolves at the Gate". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved February 08, 2018.
- ↑ "Scott Allie Q&A for #22 - February '09". SlayAlive Forum, February 04, 2009. Retrieved February 09, 2018.
- ↑ "Season 8 Library Edition, Volume 2"
- ↑ "Top 300 Comics Actual--June 2008" ICv2, July 21, 2008. Retrieved February 09, 2018.