Or – “Days of Future Tense…”
Evil Willow in the future!Â Slayer versus Slayer!Â Buffy in a minidress!
Need we say more?
Previously, on Buffy The Vampire Slayer: The time-space continuum has been twisted back onto itself, and Eddie’s nowhere to be found (but I’ve seen his sofa.)Â Thanks to magical intervention, Buffy Summers has been thrust into the future world of “Last Slayer” Melaka Fray.Â The two Chosen Ones played the “heroes meet, heroes fight” misunderstanding card, but when the chips are down, they find themselves…Â on opposite sides of the fence.Â Back in the past, Xander and Dawn (now transformed into a centaur) have come under attack from mystical enemies, and been forced to evacuate their castle hideout.Â Willow and her slayer lady Kennedy are stuck in Manhattan, hoping to get Buffy back from the future.Â But the worst blow was still waiting for Buffy, who found that not only did her fellow Slayer turn on her and give her the old Pearl Harbor, she did it under the counsel of one of her oldest friends (now several decades older):Â Willow Rosenberg.
We start shortly after last issue left off, with Melaka and her sister (who is a future cop in a catsuit) chaining Buffy up and presenting her to Willow.Â “I’d forgotten her excellent nose,” says Willow, proving she is who she has always been, and Fray reminds her that they had a deal.Â “I’m still not killing a Slayer, no matter what you showed me,” Melaka says, and Willow tells her all they have to do is keep Buffy here.Â They discuss time paradox, and the end of this future, but they’re suddenly interrupted.Â “Oh my god!” cries Buffy, “You went dark again?Â You are so in trouble for going dark…”Â Heh.Â Before Willow can do anything, Fray’s twin brother Harth (who got the knowledge of the Slayer that the chosen one usually has access to) arrives, and asks why Willow’s story is changing, and why she’s playing both sides against the middle.Â Fray gets angry, and Willow tells her that their world is ending.Â Fray accuses her of lying, and Willow smiles.Â “I’m lying to SOMEONE.Â Would you bet your whole world it’s you?”Â Harth prepares to kill everyone and let the universe sort it out, but before he can Gunther the merman (though killed last ish) arrives in a sharklike battle cruiser and blows his zombie minions to smithereens.Â Buffy breaks free and makes a run for the past…
Back in said days of yore, Xander and Dawn prepare to march on the ghostly lizard men who have surrounded them, alongside various creatures of the forest, completely outgunned…Â when suddenly the slayers and their wiccan backup arrive.Â “Slayers!Â F#%# ’em up!” screams the leader, and Xander and company leap into battle.Â In the future, Buffy snags a passing aircar, and makes a run for the time portal, only to find herself face to face with her replacement (which isn’t as much fun as various movies about remarrying might make you believe.)Â Both girls leap into action, fighting to save the world they know, while future Willow watches her whole plan fall apart.Â In the past, Amy the witch, and Warren the skinless frank confer with their seemingly Kryptonian cohort Twilight about how their plan to kill the slayers has fallen apart.Â Twilight remarks how depressing young love is to another shadowy figure, who reveals himself to be…Â I think it’s Riley Finn?Â I’m not sure.Â It’s either Riley, or someone pretending to be Angel.Â Maybe.Â I’m going with Riley.Â Buffy manages to get the better of Fray, smashing Fray’s version of the Scyth (which isn’t a Scythe) and knocking the Slayer down, only to find Future Willow blocking the path.Â “You know I”ll go through you,” Buffy says, and shows herself to be smarter than people think.Â “Why does it have to be ME?” she asks, and a tearful Willow says, “It’s a long story” before allowing Buffy to kill her.Â Past Willow suddenly leaps through the portal (blindfolded, mind you) to snatch Buffy and bring her home.Â In the far future, Melake and her sister realize that the world hasn’t disappeared, and that Willow is finally dead.Â “What does that mean?” Fray asks, and big sis responds, “Means it’s a good day.”
This issue finally explains the whys and wherefores of what Evil Willow was up to, having fallen prey to the immortal’s curse.Â There’s some cute moments (Kennedy telling Buffy and Willow to watch their hands in the climactic hug is cute as hell) a couple of bombshells (assuming that it *IS* Riley, mind you) and some nice brainwork by Ms. Summers, not usually known for the grey matter.Â Overall, the effect is nice…Â The artwork (by Karl Moline, co-creator of Fray) is nicely done, but not as photo-realistic as one might have hoped for a book like this, making for some confusion in certain situations, but handling the fight scenes awesomely.Â The pacing felt a bit strange for some of the issue, but overall, it’s a nice piece of work from Joss Whedon and company.Â Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 #19 earns 3.5 out of 5 stars, an very nice issue overall.Â I am not sure how long this particular “season” is going to last, but at the very least, it’s nice to see that we’ve got ideas that manage to break new ground while keeping the familiar elements in place…