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Return to Sunnydale, Part One is the eighth issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten comic book series. Joss Whedon is the executive producer.

Synopsis

A Halloween issue spectacular takes Buffy and crew back to Sunnydale as they follow the stolen Vampyr book, finding a massive magical party at the Hellmouth – and a demon devouring revelers![1]

Summary

In Xander and Spike's apartment, Buffy discovers from Xander and Spike that the Vampyr book is gone. Buffy is anything but pleased, having entrusted the two to watch over it while Willow cast protection spells on their apartments, and demands to know which one of them screwed it up; Xander and Spike immediately try to foist the blame onto one another.

Xander then tries to deflect the blame onto Willow, pointing out how she said the protection spells were already in place. Willow insists they are, and no one should have been able to taken the book except one of them, though she did send Dawn to Giles' apartment, thinking he may have taken it.

Giles and Dawn enter at that moment, and Giles confirms that Willow's protection spells are intact and he has no idea where the book is. Spike accuses Giles of taking the book for himself to "make himself old enough for a legal shag," but Giles retorts that both Xander and Dawn had motive for doing so, in order to restore their relationship. Buffy cuts in at that moment, and then Giles ponders where Andrew is; at that, they realize Andrew has taken the book, and that Willow's spell made Andrew an authorized user as well.

Willow insists that she didn't specifically include him, and Buffy rants that Willow should have specifically excluded him after everything that's happened, pointing out that Andrew roofied her and transferred her mind into a robot body, and that he was a friend of Warren, who murdered Tara. Willow admits that Andrew means well, but she doesn't trust him and should have been more careful when she cast the spell.

Spike proposes they give Andrew the benefit of the doubt, pointing out he could have been mind controlled, while Xander suggests he was tricked, similar to how Simone tricked him. Using a tracking sigil they placed on the book, Giles and Willow discover that Andrew is taking the book to Sunnydale. Giles recalls that while Sunnydale collapsed into the ground, the Hellmouth is still there, which supports the theory that Andrew is being influenced by a malevolent entity.

Dawn reveals that it's Halloween, and that ever since the supernatural became public knowledge, people go to Sunnydale to party, calling it "a celebration of the occult at the town that proved its existence" and "Burning Man with cosplay." Annoyed, Buffy recalls that it's the first Halloween since magic was restored, and the partygoers have made themselves the "perfect sacrifice" by deciding to party on a Hellmouth.

The Scoobies decide to split up. Buffy, Willow, and Spike go to Sunnydale, while Giles researches who or what they're up against. Xander and Dawn can help Giles with research while they're not busy with work and school. Xander reminds them they're going to the Hellmouth, where the big Big Bads come from. Willow insists that if they hurry, they can keep this particular Big Bad from coming through, but if they're late, they'll be dealing with a "megapowerful hell demon that can probably slaughter us all in our sleep. Or as we call it, Wednesday."

The scene cuts to a monster calling himself the Soul Glutton, explaining his backstory. In Aztec society, he strode the mortal world, killing and eating for fun, believing it was all he could want... until he met a female of his kind and settled down in his home dimension, starting a family and running a "blood farm" of humans. That all ended one day when the Slayer of his time entered his dimension using an enchanted sword that drained the target's energy; Soul Glutton survived the attack while his family died and his last human slave escaped. Since time passed much slower in his world than it did on Earth, the Aztec Slayer was long dead, but he vows to make the entire human race pay for what she did to him and his family.

As it turns out, the Soul Glutton is describing his backstory to a group of revelers at Sunnydale, who believe him to just be another reveler in a costume. He proves them wrong by impaling one of said revelers with his trident. Nearby, oblivious to what's going on, Andrew arrives at the Trio's lair, and lets out an evil cackle...

Meanwhile, Buffy, Willow, and Spike have arrived. Willow has been trying a subtle spell to make everyone leave, but is having trouble with the raw new magic. Spike attempts to scare them off in vamp face, only to be mistaken for a cosplayer of William the Bloody. Much to Willow's relief, the revelers have the common sense to stay out of the actual crater, which is where they're headed. "Welcome home," she declares.

Inside the Trio's hideout, Andrew is annoyed to discover the bomb shelter isn't as earthquake-proof as the salesman claimed; the place is in shambles, but it's revealed that the members of the Trio made copies of their DNA and consciousness and saved them on USB flash drives, which are still intact. Andrew uses Jonathan's backup to summon him as a hologram. Revealing the true Jonathan's death, Andrew promises to set things right using his DNA sample and the new rules of magic to resurrect him rather than simply making a test tube baby or a robot body. However, they have one more stop to make on the "resurrection tour", and Andrew places the Vampyr book in a "super-secret confidential briefcase" to prevent anyone from tracking them down.

Around that time, Buffy, Willow, and Spike discover the Trio's bunker, entering it to discover they just missed Andrew. They come across the lock boxes containing the Trio's DNA samples. Buffy and Spike recall that Warren was being kept alive by Amy's magic despite being skinless, and would have died when magic went away. They ponder over whether or not Andrew may be attempting to resurrect Warren... and then the Soul Glutton attacks, intent on avenging his family's death on the current Slayer.

Willow's light magic, originating from the soul, only powers the Soul Glutton up, so Willow goes dark and attacks him with dark magic. Weakened from expending too much soul energy, the Soul Glutton retreats, bringing down the bunker on the trio, which they barely escape. Realizing the party would be like a "steroid buffet" to the Soul Glutton, they realize they need to stop him, but they can't loose Andrew. Willow reveals that Andrew needs a DNA sample to use as a baseline to resurrect Warren, and while the one from the bunker is contaminated and they don't know where Warren was when he died, his family held a funeral and buried his skin. She sends Buffy and Spike after the Soul Glutton, while she goes after Andrew.

Descending into the still intact tunnels of Sunnydale, Buffy and Spike comes across the remains of Spike's old crypt. Spike admits that he doesn't like to remember the monster he was back then, which is why he didn't return to the crypt after he was ensouled. At that moment, Spike apologizes in earnest for what he did to Buffy before, including his attempted rape, to which Buffy insists that Spike didn't have a soul then, and he can't hold what "that guy" did against him any more than he could blame Angel for Angelus' crimes; she's not excusing what his soulless self did, but they're both totally different people now, so it shouldn't matter now. At that moment, the Soul Glutton emerges, now larger and holding a group of revelers in his hand.

Around the same time, Willow comes across Warren's grave, only to discover that it hasn't been touched. At that moment, Willow recalls that while the lock box containing Warren's DNA and USB drive were crushed, the box itself was undamaged; Andrew personally broke them both, meaning he doesn't want to resurrect Warren at all. However, he is planning a resurrection spell, but since he has Jonathan's DNA and can resurrect him anywhere, why hasn't he left Sunnydale?

The issue ends with Andrew seated before the grave of Tara, revealing that she's the other person he plans to resurrect.

Continuity

Appearances

Individuals

Organizations and Titles

Species

Events

Locations

Weapons and Objects

Death Count

Behind the Scenes

Trivia

  • This issue was announced as a “starting point,” highlighted by Dark Horse Comics as "the perfect place for new readers to jump on to continuity arcs."
  • Steve Morris main cover is a wraparound; the back reveals The Soul Glutton and three gravestones: Buffy's, Giles's, and Warren's.
  • Rebekah Isaacs's variant cover mistakenly features Harmony and Clem, who would only appear in issue Day Off (or Harmony in My Head); a subscript was then included: "This scene is not accurate depiction of the events in this issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There is no prom, and there may or may not be a battle for the prom queen’s crown…"
  • Artist Richard Corben and colorist Beth Corben Reed guests for The Soul Glutton tale's pages.
  • Willow refers to the Scooby Gang adventures with "as we call it, 'Wednesday," in reference to the weekday comics are published. This is similar to Buffy's quote "Dawn's in trouble, must be Tuesday" from "Once More with Feeling".

Collections

Pop Culture References

Gallery

Cover Artwork

Preview

References

  1. http://www.darkhorse.com/Comics/24-759/