|The Core, Part Two|
|Publication date||June 12, 2013|
|Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine #22|
The Core, Part One
The Core, Part Three
|Published by||Dark Horse Comics|
|Editor(s)||Scott Allie & Sierra Hahn|
|Cover artist(s)|| Phil Noto|
|Letterer(s)||Richard Starkings & Jimmy Betancourt|
Buffy, Xander, and Willow must fight against all odds to get past the mystical council and gain entry to a magical hotspot – the Deeper Well! New allies are born while old enemies bring the heat. Grave dangers await our heroes at the center of the earth!
At the Deeper Well, Buffy was fighting through crowds of demons with her slayer scythe, reflecting on how she had last used it when she destroyed the Seed. Willow was also fighting with her, using her magic against the demons. Xander was back at the entrance, still texting information to Severin and Simone over their plans. Meanwhile, Severin and Simone were threatening the last guard of the Deeper Well, a little girl with a balloon. The balloon popped when Simone shot her and turned into tentacles, lunging for them. However, the battle is immediately ended when Severin overpowered and drained it of her powers. Severin ordered Xander to buy them more time to get in, only for him to be attacked by another demon.
Buffy was still fighting, this time against D'Hoffryn. During her scrap with him, Buffy was suddenly snatched up by a flying gargoyle. She struggled against it as the gargoyle nearly succeded in killing her. However, Buffy was saved when Illyria and Koh appear to decapitate it. They argued that they were with her on this, only for her to reject them. Koh admitted that he had been accused of killing his family and was consequently imprisioned for it, but had came to terms that he could not change the past, but he can still help her save her sister. She was hesitant still, but agreed that he could help, showing that she forgave his previous betrayal and could trust him.
Back in San Francisco, Billy and Anaheed are skyping with Devon, who was asking Billy to return back home and fight against the increasing zompire crowd. Dawn had freaked out and locked herself in the bathroom, unable to cope with what was happening to her. Spike comforted her from outside the door, promising her that he was there to help her. He told her stories about herself and his special bond to her, trying to make her comfortable. Dawn nervously came out of the bathroom when he got to the part about her being The Key. She lamented that she couldn't remember any of it, but what he said felt right to her. They hug.
Spike continued to tell her stories about Dawn, but he faltered when he realized that he couldn't remember everything he meant to say. Without telling her what was wrong, Spike took a tape recorder from Andrew and refreshed his memories of Dawn so he wouldn't forget her. As he was leaving another message for himself, Billy and Anaheed take off, asking Spike to tell Buffy "something about Simone Doffler" if he saw her since she wasn't answering her phone.
It cut back to the fighting in the Deeper Well. Xander was still being attacked by a demon, but was saved by Willow, Buffy, as well as Illyria and Koh. Buffy and the others talk more strategy over their next move, while Xander subtly called up Simone, again told they needed more time. Buffy and Willow are finalizing their plan and prepared to continue fighting. Xander panicked at this and told them that they'd die if they went through with it. This failed to change their resolve. Unable to watch his friends risk their lives unneccessarily, his guilt spilled over. Xander told them everything he did to turn back time and reverse Twilight with Simone and Severin.
Buffy was understandably hurt and betrayed by his lack of trust in her. Illyria then stated that what those two planned to do would create a tear in the reality, ending the world as a result. Buffy was furious, angrily saying that it wasn't just about saving Dawn anymore, now they had to save the world. Again.
- Buffy recalls not using her scythe since she destroyed the Seed of Wonder, in Last Gleaming, Part Four.
- Buffy mentions her Slayer Organization army, disbanded in Last Gleaming, Part Five.
- Koh's reason of years of imprisonment was revealed in this issue, first mentioned in Guarded, Part Three.
- Spike tells Dawn about the time they invaded the Magic Box and found out she was The Key ("Blood Ties").
- Xander reveals to Buffy and Willow about his betrayal (The Watcher).
- Buffy declares "We have to save the world. Again," which mirrors her phrase in "Becoming, Part Two."
- Buffy Summers
- Willow Rosenberg
- Xander Harris
- Dawn Summers
- Andrew Wells
- Simone Doffler
- Eldre Koh
- Billy Lane
- Balloon demon
- Vampy Cat (cameo)
Organizations and Titles
- Cotswolds, England
- San Francisco, USA
- Santa Rosita, USA
- Sunnydale, USA
Weapons and Objects
- Balloon demon, absorbed by Severin.
- Unidentified Magic Council member, decapitated by Koh.
- Unidentified Magic Council member, disintegrated by Willow.
Behind the Scenes
- Andrew has a stuffed Vampy Cat in his apartment.
- Billy and Anaheed move to the mini-series Love vs. Life.
Pop Culture References
- Buffy describes Koh's story as being "Shawshanked," in reference to the movie The Shawshank Redemption.
- Billy wears a Gap hoodie.
|D'Hoffryn - "Retreat, Slayer!"|
|Buffy - "I'll die first."|
|Buffy - "Sorry you got Shawshanked, but it doesn't change anything."|
|Xander - "If you let go, I promise I won't swing it at you."|
|Xander - "When I told you I turned down Severin and Simone…I lied. I told them where the other entrance to the well was."|
|Buffy - "You what?"|
|Xander - "I did it to save your sister."|
|Buffy - "You did it because you didn't believe in me. In any of us."|
|Buffy - "We had one mission Xander - save Dawn. But thanks to you...we have to save the world. AGAIN."|