Buffy the Vampire Slayer # 37
(Dark Horse; Vol 1, 1998-2003)
Creators: Tom Fassbender & Jim Pascoe (writers); Cliff Richards (penciller); Joe Pimentel (inker).
Setting: Season Five
T.V. Character Appearances: Buffy, Dawn, Spike, Anya, Xander, Willow, Giles
Major Original Characters: Yuki Makimura (vampire)
Summary: Buffy awakens from a strange dream full of foreboding to find Dawn standing at the foot of her bed. Dawn and Buffy argue about whether Spike can be trusted, and Dawn says Spike is better than Buffy's previous boyfriends, Riley and Angel. Meanwhile, Yuki Makimura visits Spike and apologizes for her minions attacking him earlier and pays him to lure Buffy to the site of the old high school on the following evening. The next morning, Xander returns home from night-work at a construction job, much to Anya's dismay. At the Magic Box, talk turns to Dawn and Buffy realizes that everyone else has a false memory of Angelus having attacked Dawn at the high school when they first discovered Angel had turned. Buffy storms off and, that evening, walks to a cemetery where she is attacked by Yuki. Yuki reveals that she was the missing Slayer and escapes. Giles arrives and Buffy accuses him of lying for keeping the truth of Yuki's origins from her. Giles says he's discovered why Yuki wants the mysterious Eidu amulet. Meanwhile, somewhere near the site of the old Sunnydale High, Yuki and her minions discuss how their master will soon rise again to be incarnated in an existing fleshy vessel. But before that can happen, a sacrifice is necessary; and at the construction site, Xander has just arrived to work!
I don't find the the Yuki Makimura storyline particularly interesting. The big reveal that she was a Slayer came across flat, and another demon summoning? *yawn*. I do quite like the idea of "flashbacks" showing how events would have been different if Dawn had been around during the show's first few seasons--something the show itself could have had a lot of fun doing. The artwork remains strong, especially the bold coloring and depiction of Makimura, though sometimes the artists slack a bit on facial features. I'm not 100% convinced by Giles keeping need-to-know info from Buffy at this stage of the characters' development, and it comes across as forced drama.
* There's a mention of Joyce being in the hospital. I'm fuzzy on what this refers to; I know what happens to Joyce in Season 5, of course, but I think that was out of the blue. Maybe she was injured in a previous issue or episode. [Later Edit: Poor memory on my part--Joyce is in and out of the hospital a lot in Season Five]