So, what happened in the new issue? As you may already know, presumably-good guy Severin turned out to be a bad guy, Simone's accomplice, a Siphon who sucks demonic essense out of demons and slayers; while presumably-bad guy, demon Eldre Koh, turned out to be a good guy and Buffy's ally. He also became Spike's partner and confidant; the latter confided into him: he has feelings for Buffy and doesn't want her to know about them, because she needs normalcy in her life.
In the climactic scene Severin tries to suck Buffy's slayer power out of her, Spike rushes to the rescue, Severin grabs him too, and...
Then Severin is shot by detective Dowling, and our heroes are saved. They don't interact afterwards: Spike runs away when Eldre Koh starts pressing him about Buffy again. Did they feel each other's feelings, connected through Severin? Some people on forums think it's quite possible. But, in any case, the scene of them almost dying in Severin's hands is very shippy. Both Buffy and Spike think they're about to die, and both utter each other's names. One can hear the sound of violins at the background.
The scene is so shippy that I am really, really afraid for the future of favorite blonds. Joss never gives shippers anything unless he plans to take away much more than he has given.
Overall, the issue is very good - quick-paced, with great twists and a couple of great one-liners. (Buffy about Severin: "[he] tried to turn me into his personal Duracell". Willow to Buffy after the fight is over: "I wanted to be here in case you joined the no-powers club. I thought you might need a magic-free shoulder to cry on".) But overall dialogues are functional and straightforward - I'd love to see more quips and quirks. Maybe it's because the issue is mostly about action
A little bit of nitpicking: Spike sends group text messages about Siphon on page 8. On page 14 Xander and Dawn haven't got it yet; at least they act like they haven't. Continuity problem or something to do with the plot?
The art is energetic and very cinematic. Colorist Michelle Madsen did particularly good job here: red and blue light from police cars are reflected on objects, faces and silhouettes, pulsing with action, with alarm, with emotions.
So, where do we go from here?
So far, Buffy and Spike are the only persons whom Severin zapped but not killed. The consequences can be varied. For example, Spikee may catch the Siphon virus and become the next Siphon. He may turn half-human, half-vampire (an idea explored in Babrverse and in "My Life Closed Twice" by Anaross). He may turn human (although I doubt it) - gradually. Or maybe he has read Buffy's mind, has felt her love and now wants to leave because he doesn't want her to spend her life with a vampire. Or he may stay just the same Spike, slightly shaken by the experience but otherwise unchanged.
The same situation is with Buffy. Writers can go in each direction. By the end of the issue she says that she is still a slayer - but she may lose her powers gradually. Or she may acquire new powers
By the end of the issue Buffy promises to Willow to help her ("Your magic, Will. We'll figure it out, I promise"). On the cover of the next issue Willow is shown leaving, and in the lettercol Allie says that "we say goodbye to a key character". My guess is that it's Allie's way of saying that Willow will go on a spiritual journey - either to rediscover magic or to deal with its loss.
Interesting detail: the power that Severin sucked out of vampires can do positive things - heal, for example. Maybe it's a clue to Willow's possible way of regaining her magic.
Oh, and the red-glasses guy from #40 is Severin (we see him in these glasses in a flashback). Pity. My hope to see Ripper is crushed.