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

Synopsis

The Sunnydale homecoming becomes less than fun as Buffy, Spike, and Willow realize that Andrew is in over his head with the Vampyr rules book and a terrible plan, and the demon they're up against has a grudge against Slayers and a penchant for eating souls...[1]

Summary

Buffy and Spike find themselves outmatched by the Soul Glutton, who has devoured hundreds of souls in an hour and has also been empowered by a "pure" soul energy, "infused with the holy light of the hereafter." Realizing he's talking about Andrew's planned resurrection spell, but Warren most likely ended up in Hell, meaning there wouldn't be much holy light where he ended up. Buffy insists that they need to hold out a little longer, and Willow will come through for them and stop Andrew.

Elsewhere, Willow is trying to deduce who Andrew is trying to bring back. No one has been to Warren's grave in ages, and he wasn't "swimming in friends" when he lived in Sunnydale. He could resurrect Jonathan at any time using his DNA sample, and Anya's body is down in the unreachable depths of the Hellmouth. She ponders who else's death Andrew would feel responsible for... and then it hits her.

Buffy realizes that the Soul Glutton is after her because a past Slayer killed her family, but remarks that she was probably hungry since the Soul Glutton resembles calamari. Enraged, the Soul Glutton attacks, but falls into the old tunnels, where Buffy and Spike had maneuvered him. Knowing it won't hold him for long and needing intel, Buffy contacts Giles.

Back in Giles' apartment, Giles reveals that the Soul Glutton is a predatory death god of various cultures, and the last mention of him is in the records of the Aztecs during the fourteenth century. The Slayer of the time journeyed to its home dimension and killed it, along with all of its kind, but clearly, the matter was not as final as it seemed. The Aztec Slayer killed it using a magic sword that drained its energy, but the sword was destroyed in the Spanish conquest, the Scythe, given its mystical properties, is the next best thing, and the Glutton's weakest point would be its head. When Buffy reveals that the Soul Glutton is being empowered from pure soul energy from a resurrection, Giles warns her not to let that happen; if the Glutton fed on a soul taken directly from the hereafter, it would be unstoppable.

After the call, Spike, recalling that the Glutton eats souls, insists if it gets ahold of him and sucks out his soul, then he'd be like he was before and Buffy should just dust him on the spot, unwilling to go back to being the way he was before. Buffy refuses, insisting that his soulless self wasn't that bad, since he looked out for Dawn, saved them more than once, and did love her. Spike states that what he felt at the time was just a "selfish bastardization of love," not the real thing. Buffy reassures him that even without a soul, there was always good in him, but the conversation is cut off when the Soul Glutton resurfaces.

Buffy and Spike immediately stab him in the head, but the resurrection spell has made him too powerful. Buffy bitterly remarks that the only silver lining is that Warren will be the one devoured by the Glutton...

Using the Siri app on his phone to continue the spell, Andrew continues to look over the Vampyr book, planning to write in that Tara's resurrection was successfully completed without negative consequences, then planning to expand upon it sou that resurrection spells have no negative consequences whatsoever. At that moment, Willow arrives, confessing that she had thought of much the same thing, and every time she comes across a new artifact or spell, her first thought was to use it to bring Tara back... but it won't, it can't, and that's the way it should be. While she appreciates what Andrew's trying to do, she won't let it happen.

Andrew points out that they don't have to live by the old laws of magic, and they can make the rules now, letting him make up to what he and the rest of the Trio did to Tara and Willow herself. In tears, Willow insists she can't do it; while she did resurrect Buffy, she pulled her out of Heaven, and Buffy was completely miserable and nearly destroyed herself after only being dead for a few weeks, so it would be even worse for Tara, who's been dead for years. Bringing her back would be selfish and cruel, and she refuses to let Andrew go through with his plan.

Meanwhile, Spike jumps onto the Glutton's head and plunges his hands into the creature's eye, getting ensnared and nearly having his soul devoured, but Buffy cuts him loose. Spike urges Buffy to run as the Soul Glutton advances on them, but Buffy refuses to abandon him.

Andrew rants at Willow that he doesn't like to be alone, pointing out that they brought Buffy back, that Angel killed Giles then brought him back, and Xander betrayed them to Simone but was forgiven, but none of them trust him or make him feel like he belongs. Willow apologizes for making him feel that way, but insists he can't fix it this way, and pleads for him to stop it. Andrew gives in at that, ordering Siri to stop casting the spell, and he and Willow embrace in tears.

Around that time, the Soul Glutton is weakened by the spell's ending, and Buffy and Spike quickly take advantage of it. Enraged, the Glutton uses his trident to cause a cave-in, forcing Buffy and Spike to make a break for it. At the last second, Willow swoops in and carries them to safety.

The next morning, Andrew and the others talk things over. Buffy and Willow admit that they've given him reason to think they don't accept him, but he's given them plenty of reason not to. They've grown, become smarter and stronger, and can handle anything that comes their way, as long as they stick together and trust one another. Buffy admits she herself needs to work on holding grudges, especially since she still holds on on Andrew for the Buffybot incident and that it's unfair to him that she forgave Xander for betraying her so fast, but Xander understands what he did was wrong and won't repeat his mistake, and asks Andrew if he will do the same. In tears, Andrew promises it won't happen again, and that he really is sorry. To make up for making him feel left out, Buffy suggests that Andrew take the remaining apartment they have in their building, but Andrew declines, preferring Oakland to San Francisco.

Back in Oakland, Andrew talks with Jonathan's digital backup. Expressing his learning of the importance of consent, he asks if Jonathan wants him to make him a new body, and the holo-Jonathan enthusiastically agrees, asking if his new body can be taller.

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References

  1. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #9", Dark Horse Comics.