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The Core, Part One is the twenty-first 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 May 8, 2013, by Dark Horse Comics.


The Scoobies are together again — and just in time! Buffy, Willow, and Xander begin a new mission as a team in order to protect something very dear to them all. But evildoers Simone and Severin have their own plans and are ready to undermine the happy reunion![1]


In Andrew's apartment, Willow works her magic to restore Dawn's health, but her magic is different and it's going to take time. Buffy goes outside and finds Xander appearing from a portal, bloody and bruised. He reveals Severin and Simone offered him a way to save Dawn's life by reversing time if Xander turns against Buffy.

Buffy asks why didn't he accept it, and Xander complains about her lack of confidence on him, but he remembers their earlier disagreement. He explains Buffy died so Dawn could live, so Severin and Simone could never convince him to betray his best friend. Buffy hugs him, and Xander tells her they wanted him to steal the Vampyr book, which would show them where to get the power they needed. At that moment, they see an explosion coming from Andrew's apartment.

Buffy and Xander rush in the apartment to see Willow fallen on the scorched carpet. Willow says she may have exceeded her amount of magic use, but she will keep trying. Dawn wakes up, but she does not understand what is going on. Willow notes magic is still escaping her body, and Buffy states Dawn is losing her memories; Willow only gave Dawn more time. Xander suggests they use the Vampyr book to learn how to empower Willow.

Billy and Anaheed bring the book and quickly leave to the living room. Alone, Billy questions Anaheed for not telling Buffy about her being a Slayer, Dowling's state, or the zompire-Slayer. Anaheed says Buffy would lose confidence by learning other Slayers though she needed a babysitter, Dowling is fine, and Buffy doesn't need to worry about a hybrid vampire. Anaheed explains: sometimes helping is learning to get out of the way.

Willow reads from the Vampyr book about the Deeper Well, which has two heavily-guarded entrances: one in England and another in New Zealand. It is a tomb for the Old Ones, who couldn't be defeated by death, but had their essences trapped in crystal and stone. Willow notes the last Old One to be banished sired the first vampire.

Buffy doesn't like they will have to go underground and tries to understand why do Severin and Simone need the book to learn the location of the entrance to the Deeper Well. Willow explains the Deeper Well holds untold amounts of magic inside, which might affect Severin's abilities to teleport there. Xander notes attacking one entrance would also attract the guards from both sides, but the book will help them know what they are up against. Buffy declares they will go to the Deeper Well to get Willow more magic.

Buffy explains to Dawn she will stay with Andrew, Billy, and Anaheed. She hugs her sister and promises she won't fail her. As Buffy and Willow prepare their bags, Buffy confesses she acted confident for Dawn's sake. She will also be more careful with her decisions this time because Xander had a point in their discussion about Twilight. Willow says people were harsh on Buffy after she destroyed the Seed, but she had the chance to learn she doesn't have to fear her own power anymore; sometimes, things get worse before they get better.

Xander tells Dawn he'll go because can't sit in the sidelines when her life is in the line. Dawn says she wants him to be with her when her memories go away. Xander says Buffy and Willow can't do this without him, and everything will go back to normal because of what he did. As Buffy, Willow, and Xander takes off in Kennedy's private jet, Spike arrives in the apartment to stay with Dawn, who does not recognize him.

As the Scoobies reach the entrance to the Deeper Well in Cotswolds, England, they find an army of demons led by D'Hoffryn defending it from the Siphon. Buffy explains they need to enter it to save her sister, but D'Hoffryn says they will protect magic from everyone, including the Slayer. Buffy, Willow, and Xander are ready to fight.

In Lake Taupo, New Zealand, Simone and Severin watch as the Magic Council wizard teleports the army of demon to defend the English entrance from the Scoobies, leaving only the balloon demon to defend this side.


  • Buffy discovers through Xander that Simone and Severin have teamed up, which happened in Freefall, Part Four.
  • Xander mentions Buffy have died so Dawn could live, in reference to her sacrifice in "The Gift."
  • Xander refers to the Vampyr book as the book Giles left her, as seen in Last Gleaming, Part Five.
  • Dawn questions if Willow is "dark" and if she was the responsible for her to feel "empty," in reference to the time Willow offered to turn her into a ball of energy in "Two to Go."
  • Billy questions if Anaheed is going to tell Buffy she's a Slayer (Welcome to the Team, Part Three), Dowling was bitten by a zompire (Part One), and her information on Tessa Freer (Part Four).
  • Buffy says, "Nothing good ever happens when we go underground." The Scoobies have notably went underground to fight apocalypses in "Prophecy Girl," "Primeval," "Chosen," and Last Gleaming, Part Two.
  • Buffy and Willow discuss the events that led to the end of magic (Last Gleaming, Part Four).
  • Willow mentions her inter-dimensional walk-about from Willow: Wonderland.
  • Spike returns from London to San Francisco after he heard about Dawn's health in What You Want, Not What You Need, Part One.
  • Spike mentions Drogyn's inability to guard the Deeper Well in reference to his murder in "Power Play."
  • Willow explains Giles brought her to the Deeper Well's entrance in England during her rehabilitation, which happened before "Lessons."



Organizations and titles[]





Death count[]

  • None.

Behind the scenes[]


  • The Core, Part One was the 105th best selling comic issue in its publishing month, with 21,701 sales in May 2013 at comic specialty stores.[2]


Pop culture references[]



Cover artwork[]



Willow: "And I know it's been ages since we've had some quality girl talk, but the questions aren't helping."
Buffy: "Oh. Right. Hint heard. Hint about to be taken."
Buffy: "Why does Simone want that book? She's rejected every Slayer bone in her body."
Xander: "And nearly broken every bone in mine."
Willow: "I think it means I exceeded my recommended daily allowance of magic."
Willow: "What happened to your face?"
Xander: "What happened to your magic?"
Buffy: "Nothing good ever happens when we go underground."