|"The Core, Part One"|
|Publication date||May 8, 2013|
|Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine #21|
Angel & Faith
"What You Want, Not What You Need, Part One"
"The Core, Part Two"
|Published by||Dark Horse Comics|
|Editor(s)||Scott Allie & Sierra Hahn|
|Cover artist(s)|| Phil Noto|
|Letterer(s)||Richard Starkings & Jimmy Betancourt|
"The Core, Part One" is the twenty-first issue of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine comic book series.
Back at the apartment, Willow was working her magic furiously to restore Dawn's health. However, her magic is not a complete full-power and she could do nothing long-term that would actually save her life. Meanwhile, Xander was suddenly teleported from a portal, looking very bruised and beaten up. Buffy immediately inquired what happened to him and he told the truth: Severin and Simone had figured out a way to reverse Twilight, simultaneously sparing Dawn's life and preventing all the horrors that had happened last year. They expressed a desire to want him on their side. She bluntly asked him why he did not accept this proposition, seemingly implying she believed he would fall for the bait. Xander was seen angry and annoyed at her lack of trust in him until recalling their fight earlier. He told her that she died to save Dawn's life and could not forget that enough to betray her. Buffy was touched by this and hugged him in gratitude. As Xander continued to inform her of the Vampyr book they had wanted him to steal, a blast suddenly came from the apartment.
Buffy and Xander rush to the scene, revealing Willow had finally made some progress with her magic. Dawn was now conscious and awake, but was still very sick and constantly forgetting faces as well as other memories. She asked them what was wrong with her and Xander told her that she was dying, but made sure to hug and comfort her. Willow sadly informed them that she had at the most only bought Dawn a few days extra and could not cure it. Buffy shared a moment with her sister, assuring her that she loved her and would do absolutely anything she could to save Dawn.
Going back to Buffy's apartment, the Scoobies hash things out and come up with a game plan. Buffy realized that Severin's fascination with the Vampyr book to find the entrance to Middle Earth since the place was extremely well-protected and holding several very powerful Old Ones. She came to the conclusion that the three of them needed to travel to England to the Deeper Well so they could stop Severin as well as power Willow up like a magical battery, hopefully saving Dawn's life in the process.
Buffy used Kennedy's jet in order to fly to England. Beforehand, Dawn pleaded to Xander for him to stay with her in San Francisco. Shockingly, he gently refused this and disagreed with her belief that they could handle it by themself. Xander drived his point by arguing that he would be able to fix everything, not them. They eventually reach the Deeper Well. One side was guarded by two guards, while the New Zealand side was left defenseless. Meanwhile, Simone and Severin are revealed to already be there. They discuss Xander and how he had feeded them information about the entrance as well as what Buffy was planning to do was well. It was revealed that he had allowed Simone to beat him earlier so she would found him escaping and "rejecting" helping them more believable.
Meanwhile, Spike finally arrived in San Francisco after his time in London. When he walked in apartment and was told what was going on by Andrew, he realized that he had just missed Buffy and the others. However, he casually shrugged this occurance off, claiming he was not there to be play Buffy's "puppy dog" and was mostly there for Dawn's sake. While she displayed a lack of memory of who Spike was, he nevertheless decided to stay and watch over her, resuming his role as her "babysitter".
Back in the Deeper Well, Buffy and her friends are seen ready to take on a showdown with the council. Buffy was confident and determined, her final closing line being "Bring it."
- Buffy expressed some guilt to both herself and Willow over her mistakes during Twilight's period before the end of magic, admitting that if she had asked more questions over what was happening she would've done something differently. This ironically paralleled Angel's remorseful lament over his own terrible decisions involving Twilight in "Live Through This, Part One."
- Spike's decision to watch over Dawn was the first time he ever "babysat" her as well as having his special relationship with her seen since the "Bargaining, Part One" and "Bargaining, Part Two".
- Spike absently mentioned the death of Drogyn and how he was no longer around to guard the Deeper Well, referring to Angel's murder of him in "Power Play".
- The last Old One in the Deeper Well was said in this issue to be the one who created the first original vampire. However, this is contradicted by Illyria who had expressed an awareness of vampires in her time as a ruler thousands of years beforehand in "Shells".
- Buffy Summers
- Xander Harris
- Willow Rosenberg
- Dawn Summers
- Andrew Wells
- Illyria (in flashbacks; primordial form)
- Billy Lane
- Drogyn (only mentioned)
- Kennedy (only mentioned)
Organizations and Titles
Weapons and Objects
Behind the Scenes
|Willow - "And I know it's been ages since we've had some quality girl talk, but the questions aren't helping."|
|Buffy - "Oh. Right. Hint heard. Hint about to be taken."|
|Buffy - "Why does Simone want that book? She's rejected every Slayer bone in her body."|
|Xander - "And nearly broken every bone in mine."|
|Willow - "I think it means I exceeded my recommended daily allowanced of magic."|
|Willow - "What happened to your face?"|
|Xander - "What happened to your magic?"|
|Buffy - "Nothing good ever happens when we go underground."|