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The Core, Part Four is the twenty-fourth issue of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine comic book series. Written by Andrew Chambliss and illustrated by Georges Jeanty, it was originally published on August 14, 2013, by Dark Horse Comics.


In a last-ditch effort to save Dawn, the heroic trio of Buffy, Willow, and Xander must split up and tackle their own demons, real and imagined. As the season's Big Bads — Severin and Simone — threaten to turn back time, the mystical council partner with Koh and Illyria to prevent a tragic tear in the fabric of time![1]


Fighting in the Deeper Well, Buffy asks Simone how she could turn herself into a vampire being a Slayer. Xander tries to sneak into Simone, who punches him unconscious. She grabs Buffy by the neck and says she was chosen without anyone asking if she wanted to be a Slayer, but she gladly made the decision to be a vampire.

Willow's magic detector leads her into a room, and the light in her chest explodes. Elsewhere, Severin screams, calling for Clare's help.

The Magic Council fight Maloker. Illyria and Koh declare the Siphon is a bigger problem, so Illyria decides to go after him. Koh says she will die if he takes the remaining magic keeping her alive. Illyria doesn't think magic is responsible for keeping her vessel alive anymore. Maloker grabs Koh.

Buffy kicks Simone off her and argues they need to stop Severin from destroying the universe. Simone says he will only destroy himself and, hopefully, the Council. She thanks Buffy for ending magic and allowing Simone to become the most powerful vampire. Xander stands up and attacks Simone, claiming she never intended to undo the end of magic. She says he can't even remember who he went there to save and throws him from a sarcophagus. Falling down, Xander says her name is Dawn.

Willow wakes up with smoke coming from her chest and sees a new Seed in front of her. She concludes magic brought her there not to find a new Seed, but to birth one. It tells Willow she saved the world, but magic will take millennia to come. Willow says Buffy's sister doesn't have that time and will die because she messed up. She then has an idea.

In Andrew's apartment, he can't see Dawn on his sofa anymore. Spike hopes she is still there.

Maloker throws away the Magic Council wizard and moves to devour Koh, who threatens to kill him from the inside. Xander falls on Koh, and the two fall through several sarcophagus away from Maloker.

Simone says Buffy can't win, and Buffy says she only needs to keep Simone busy while her friends win for her. Simone throws Buffy's Scythe away from her and declares she will do what she wanted since she first hears the word Slayer: kill Buffy Summers.

As Severin lies down in agony, Illyria comes to him. She explains he can't reverse time because he would rip apart the fabric of the universe. She says Clare is gone, and he should focus because can't contain this power much longer or he will kill them all. Willow arrives with the Seed and the idea of transferring his energy.

Holding Buffy on a cliff, Simone says she will die down there when Severin "goes atomic." Dislodging the sarcophagus they are on, Buffy says it may be true, but she will take Simone with her. They fall together several sarcophagus below, and Simone asks why Buffy won't give up. Buffy answers she is a Slayer and Simone is a vampire. She sees the Scythe on the next sarcophagus, but Simone jumps after it first.

Willow explains to Illyria the "seedling" needs help to grow and Severin has a collection of mystical mojo. Illyria says transferring energy will kill him. Willow argues he will blow and kill them all if they don't put all his power somewhere. Severin insists he will go back and save Clare, but Illyria says she could never alter the past. She tells him about a friend — Wesley — who lost someone important to him and became obsessed with finding a way to return her. Severin asks how could he live without her, and Illyria says he did not; he died, but died tried to save the world. Illyria argues Severin can't bring Clare back, but he could restore magic to Earth. Severin agrees, and Illyria stays to help him. Willow tries to stay as well, but Illyria says she must live to save Buffy's sister. Willow says this is not what she expected from someone known as "the Merciless"; Illyria says it's not what she expected either.

D'Hoffryn, Koh, and Xander remain fighting Maloker. Willow climbs to Xander and tells him they need to get to the surface before Severin explodes. Koh tells them to start climb while he keeps Maloker busy. Simone, holding Buffy impaled in the Scythe, says no one is going anywhere. Illyria tells Severin to hold the power to allow them to escape. Simone asks: Who will be next?




Organizations and titles[]





Death count[]

  • Magic Council wizard, thrown away by Maloker.
  • The majority of the Magic Council, killed by Maloker (only mentioned).

Behind the scenes[]


  • The Core, Part Four was the 103th best selling comic issue in its publishing month, with 20,584 sales in August 2013 at comic specialty stores.[2]


Pop culture references[]



Cover artwork[]



Buffy: "Get off."
Simone: "I would have turned a lot sooner. Just took me too long to find a vampire whose blood had more kick than that weak sauce upstairs."
Xander: "You used me. You said we could undo all this."
Simone: "Did you really think I was going to save... Who was it? You can't even remember who you came down here to save can you?"
Xander: "Yes. I. Can."
Simone: "You can't win."
Buffy: "I don't need to win. I just need to keep you busy while my friends do the winning for me."
Illyria: "You must live."
Willow: "Gotta say, not what I expected from someone with the last name 'The Merciless.'"
Illyria: "It is not what I expected either. Now go."