The third and final chapter to “Apart (of me)” is a wonderful exploration of identity and free will. Buffy’s mind, trapped in a bot, regrets over never going to get the “perfect” life. But, her arch nemeiss, Simone, has all the confidence in the world in Buffy. If only she could tap into the very essence of Buffy, well then, Simone is quite sure all her vampire slaying dreams will come true. It’s all in how you look at things: for some, that glass is half empty and they can barely roll out of bed; for others, that same glass is half full and they’re well on their way to world domination.
Andrew Chambliss and Scott Allie have written a story that shows us just how complicated self-doubt can be. There’s Buffy mind, trapped in a bot. And there’s Buffy’s body, programmed to think it’s Buffy. All thanks to the most unreliable of Watchers, Andrew. Seemed like a good idea at the time. The programmed Buffy was “safely” tucked away in suburban digs. The Buffy bot was rigged up to kick vampire ass. The Buffy bot can’t help but wonder if it’s not all meant to be. It will take some strong will power if both Buffys are ever going to see that glass as half full.
As we drop in on this issue, the Buffy bot is tied up in a basement while the programmed Buffy stands guard. The Buffy bot tries to appeal to the other Buffy’s sense of reason. Is this really what she considers “freedom”? She escaped her nice house in the suburbs to lurk around a basement that “smells like bicycle chains”? The programmed Buffy ignores that and lectures her captive on how she betrayed the Slayer cause. How, she asks, do you form an army without any guns? Guns? That’s when it hits the Buffy bot that Simone, with such a fetish for guns, must be behind this! Simone, not one to disappoint, appears and quickly lays in on the Buffy bot. She barks a number of threats which are scary considering this one does bite.
Back in San Francisco, Detective Dowling is very messed up over his killing his partner-turned-zompire, Cheung. The tide seems to be turning, just a bit, against the zompires but things still look pretty dire. This leads us to Spike and Andrew, who have lost track of the Buffy bot but have stumbled upon a major stash of…guns. We also get a few more big hints that Simone is plotting quite a big plan, one with just as deadly a backup plan.
Cliff Richards on pencils and Andy Owens on inks continue to keep us locked into the story. Buffy has a very natural way about her, albeit she’s currently split in two! That said, we’ve got a natural and easy vibe running throughout, whether it involves action or contemplation. This issue gives us plenty of both. You’ve basically got Buffy versus Buffy; and then you’ve got Simone versus everyone! But that’s not all. The quiet stuff is very important too. Amid an intimate convesation between the two love birds, well the Buffy bot and Spike, there’s a moment when Spike comes out and says, “Come with me now.” It’s a quick little tease but shows that, whatever may happen, Spike remains quite smitten with Buffy. This sparks something in the Buffy bot and it looks good.
Issue 10 is out June 13. Visit Dark Horse Comics.