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New Rules, Part Four is the fourth issue of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten comic book series. Written by Christos Gage with Nicholas Brendon and illustrated by Rebekah Isaacs, it was originally published on June 18, 2014, by Dark Horse Comics.


Getting help from Dracula seemed like a good idea, until he stole the Vampyr book — and Xander! Now Buffy, Spike, Dawn, Willow, and Giles must save Xander and retrieve the book before it's too late. Dracula has already begun to study how the lack of magical rules can work in his favor…


Buffy tries to work out a plan for stopping Dracula and getting Xander back. In a hotel room, Xander helps Dracula write in the Vampyr book to make Dracula look youthful forever. Buffy, Spike, and Dawn go on shake down mission to try and find the whereabouts of both Dracula and Xander. Dawn confides in Buffy she is reliving and feeling all her old memories since she was saved after the Seed of Wonder was restored, and her feelings for Xander have reverted to her teenage self's immature "puppy love."

Dracula has used the book to make himself master of all the vampires. Three vampires come to pay homage and end up attacking him, saying one of them will become the King if they can kill Dracula. He disposes of them, but this makes him realize he needs to make the magic rule more definitive.

Giles is still struggling with his immature magic abilities, but Willow reassures him that someone else can take over the grownup responsibility for awhile. Buffy, Dawn, and Spike return to their apartment, still unable to locate Dracula. They realize Spike now also considers Dracula his master and can lead Buffy to him.

Dracula and Xander change the wording in the Vampyr book to make Dracula "the most powerful vampire of all," which has immediate repercussions. Buffy, Andrew, Spike, Giles, Willow, and Dawn arrive at the hotel and are met by vampires trying to protect Dracula. They are able to fight their way through and make it to Dracula's hotel room, just in time to see him start to transform. Xander tries to undo what he's written in the book, to no avail, and begs for Buffy's help to save Dracula. Andrew and Xander realize the book has a tendency to give what you ask for but not in the way you intend. They work together to try and undo what was done by writing something else in the book, but it repeatedly fails. Dracula grows taller and bigger by the second.

Dawn realizes Xander may be able to provide them what is happening inside Dracula's brain since the two are linked. He looks inside Dracula's head and sees himself in the Deeper Well fighting Buffy. Willow and Giles realize that what was written has turned Dracula into the Old One who created vampires. When Willow tells Giles he was killed, Giles tells her that the most powerful Old Ones cannot be destroyed and come back when they have an opening. Buffy realizes what is happening and tells the Scoobies to hit the creature with everything they can, but it is too late. Dracula has already transformed into Maloker.


  • "Dark Willow" is a recurring gag in this issue, remembering when she was corrupted with dark magic in the episodes "Villains," "Two to Go," and "Grave."
  • Dawn recalls Buffy saving her from fading away (The Core, Part Five), but reveals it caused a reset of her emotional memory, restoring her to her first appearance with fourteen years old, when she had a crush on Xander ("Real Me").
  • Buffy and Dawn talk about the death of Joyce ("The Body").
  • Buffy mentions fruitlessly trying to stake Dracula, in "Buffy vs. Dracula."
  • Despite not identified, the Soul Glutton makes his first appearance in Maloker's flashback. He will confront the Scoobies for the first time in Return to Sunnydale, Part One.
  • Xander visualizes Maloker's memories from the Deeper Well fight in The Core, Part ThreeFive.



Organization and titles[]





Rituals and spells[]

  • Cleaving spell

Death count[]

  • Mohawk vampire, staked by Buffy with the Scythe.
  • Brown-haired conquest vampire, beheaded by Dracula.
  • White-haired conquest vampire, staked by Xander.
  • Conquest vampire with bandana, beheaded by Dracula.

Behind the scenes[]



  • New Rules, Part Four was the 115th best selling comic issue in its publishing month, with 19,365 sales in June 2014 at comic specialty stores.[2]


Pop culture references[]

  • Spike mentions Buffy watching marathons of the police and legal TV series Law and Order.
  • The Deep One swears to the Lovecraftian character Cthulhu.
  • A poster in Slurg's Supernatural-American Social Club mentions "Hellapalloza" in parody of the music festival Lollapalooza.
  • Buffy says Dawn is going "Heisenberg in yoga pants," referring to the nickname of the character Walter White on the TV series Breaking Bad.
  • Spike and Andrew use the expression "catch-22" from the novel Catch-22 (1961).
  • Buffy quotes the popular phrase "Take us to your leader."
  • Xander mentions the story of The Wizard of Oz.
  • Giles refers to Buffy as the detective character Sherlock Holmes.
  • Xander compares Dracula's transformation to the character Hulk.
  • Andrew and Xander compares the Vampyr's rules to "The Monkey's Paw" (1902) short story.
  • Andrew mentions the "Newhart Gambit," referring to the season finale of the Newhart TV show.
  • Xander mentions film director, producer, and screenwriter Peter Jackson.
  • Xander compares the Primordium Age with the work of the special make-up effects creator Stan Winston.



Cover artwork[]



Giles: "Damn it all to hell! This is complete and utter bull–"
Willow: "Language, mister!"
Dawn: "I remember everything that's happened. Being with Xander, falling in love with him. But I don't feel it. I have that stupid high school crush on him I had when I was fourteen. But what he feels for me is so deep, so intense…"
Buffy: "And you can't handle it."
Dawn: "No. I can't. Not on top of… everything else I'm catching up on…"
Buffy: "Everything… Wait, are you saying it's like the past few years are coming back to you all at once, for the first time? Dawnie… Even Mom?"
Dawn: "It's like I just lost her. All over again."
Andrew: "Work with me here. Vampires have a kind of special relationship with their sires, right? Well, isn't Dracula, like, Big Daddy Master of all vampires in a way?"
Spike: "Listen up, Sunshine. No one's my master. No one. Except, of course, for the lord of all vampires, Dracula. Oh, bloody hell. The pounce has been messing about with the book, hasn't he?"
Willow: "We need to make a path to the stairs."
Giles: "I suggest a spell of cleavage — Cleaving. I meant cleaving."
Buffy: "Hormones are fine until they get you killed. Do it!"
Xander: "Now I'm in the Deeper Well… and I see us. I'm fighting us. Buffy, you look tiny! Like a feisty, foul-mouthed action figure!"