Buffy the Vampire Slayer # 33
Dark Horse (Vol. 1 1998-2003)
Creators: Tom Fassbender & Jim Pascoe (writers); Cliff Richards (penciller); Joe Pimentel (inker)
Setting: Season Four
T.V. Character Appearances: Buffy, Spike, Willow, Tara, Giles, Xander, Anya, Riley
Major Original Characters: Cole (Initiative member/bug); Warren Whitcomb (entomologist)
Summary: Buffy recovers from the attack of the human-sized insects just in time, and with Spike's help manages to kill them. Meanwhile, Tara and Willow visit the cage Initiative member Cole, who is quickly transforming into an insect creature himself. They decide to seek Giles' advice. Elsewhere, entomologist Warren Whitcomb completes an autopsy on one of the insect creatures but is murdered by an unseen attacker. When all the Scoobies are in one place, they decide on a plan. Willow and Tara prepare a magical spell that will act as an insecticide, and Cole is set free in the hopes that he'll lead everyone back to whereever the hive is. The Scoobies gear up and put the plan into effect. Cole leads them to a massive underground hive filled with thousands of the insect creatures. From somewhere above, a voice taunts them. Giles looks up and sees the speaker and says "My God! You!"
Ah, Riley, you poor sap. Once again you snooze through a whole episode, and I don't think anyone cares. Nothing particularly memorable in this issue, and it's probably good it's coming to an end soon. One assumes Rebecca is the "mysterious" insect queen revealed next issue, though I'll happily be surprised if I'm wrong. The artwork remains good, with each of the cast members easily identifiable (this may not sound like a big accomplishment unless you saw some of the early issues in the series!). Willow and Tara are given some nice romantic moments, though the writers don't seem to know what to do with Spike.
* Last issue ended with Cole and Rebecca disappearing; in this issue, Cole is suddenly locked up in an impromptu cage. Something must have got lost in plotting between the issues . . .