Buffy the Vampire Slayer # 42
Dark Horse (Volume 1, 1998-2003)
Creators: Tom Fassbender & Jim Pascoe (story), Cliff Richards (pencils), Joe Pimentel & Will Conrad (inks)
Setting: Season Five
T.V. Character Appearances: Spike, Willy, Buffy, Giles, Anya, Xander, Dawn, Willow, Tara
Major Original Characters: None
Summary: Buffy tracks down Spike at Willy's Bar and angrily confronts him about Ezekiel's Bane. Buffy thinks the magical item is related to the attacks by the jealousy-inducing Avendschrook demons, but Spike explains that there is no relationship and that he sold the Bane to a woman named Coma. He goes on to say that Avendschrook demons are rare and have to be called forth by some sort of catalyst. Meanwhile, back at the Magic Box, Giles, Xander, and Anya conduct an inventory and discern that vials of videer dust and a small statuette have gone missing. Anya says it must have been Willow taking them, and Xander agrees and says he's sick of Giles playing favorites. Angry shouting begins as the Avendschrook watch gleefully! Elsewhere, Tara explains to Willow that the spell she had cast earlier was a temperance spell that didn't work. Willow tells her Xander and the others were mean to her because they're jealous of their love. When they arrive at the Magic Box, Willow and Tara square off against Xander and Anya, all four of them mystically influenced by the Avendschrook. Buffy and Spike arrive during the fighting, and Giles realizes it must have been a broken bottle of videer dust that summoned the demons. The power of the spilled regeant wanes, however, and Spike takes the last remaining bottle for safekeeping. He chastises the others for being overcome by their emotions and for being hypocritical in condemning him for being a vampire when he's the only one with self-control. Dawn arrives and tells Spike he needs to be more trustworthy, and Spike says he will if she stops sneaking around and listens to Buffy.
A let-down conclusion to the trilogy after a strong first couple of issues. The big confrontation in the Magic Box falls flat, as does the sudden realization that spilled "videer dust" is the reason the Avendschrook arrived. I think Spike's big speech is supposed to be impactful, but again it didn't do a lot for me. It wasn't out of character, per se, and I guess Spike is trying to get the Scoobies to see him differently throughout part of Season Five. So all in all, a couple of funny moments (see below) but not particularly memorable.
* I enjoyed Willy's reaction "Hey!" when Buffy told Spike he was wasting his time in a "crappy dive bar."
* Funny dialogue when Willow and Tara arrive at the Magic Box to confront Xander and Anya. Willow: "You can't have our love!" Anya: "You can't have our merchandise!"
* A letter writer has a good idea that was later taken up in the Season 8 comics: introduce some new characters that the readers can care about, because those characters can change and grow over time, and actually be put in risk. The inevitable downside to media tie-in comics is that they can never alter the status quo set by the show if they want to stay roughly in continuity.