| The subject of this article is of alternate canonicity.|
While created as part of licensed material, it is not part of the original Buffyverse, but its own developed story.
Welcome Back to the Hellmouth, Part Four is the fourth issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (2019) comic book series. Written by Jordie Bellaire and illustrated by Dan Mora, it was published by Boom! Studios on April 17, 2019.
The reimagining of Joss Whedon's groundbreaking series reaches the game-changing final chapter of the first arc as Buffy and the Scooby Gang (the name was Xander's idea, he's workshopping it, it probably won't stick) delve deeper into the heart of Sunnydale's underbelly — and make a shocking discovery about the true nature of the Hellmouth. There's no turning back for anyone on Team Slayer in this absolutely mind-blowing issue that fans can't afford to miss.
In the weeks that pass by, Buffy, Willow, and Xander have been studying,,hanging out, and fighting evil. Giles has also been teaching Willow about the occult and dating Jenny Calendar. Cordelia has won the homecoming queen title and has been daydreaming about Spike, who has been more preoccupied with learning about the Slayer.
Now, while training, Giles tells the Scoobies that while Spike and Drusilla are dangerous foes, they deserve a night off. Not asking questions, the three quickly bail out of the training session. At school, the group discuss what to do with their free time; they decide to attend a movie screening at the Bronze and invite Rose along. Buffy is shocked and nervous that Willow also invites Robin, while Xander is not very pleased with this.
At home, Buffy is talking with Joyce and Eric about her plans to go to the movies, and they try to get her to open up about her date. Joyce soon gets a call from the gallery and leaves the room, so Eric attempts to get Buffy to open up about why she is all of a sudden wearing sweater all the time and has mysterious bruises and scratches. He chalks it up to school fights and assures Buffy he is there if she needs him and won't judge her. As Buffy leaves the living room, she looks back and smiles at her mom and Eric looking happy.
At Xander's, he gets a strange text from Buffy's phone. It's flirty and it says she wants to hang with him alone before the movies. In reality, this is a trap set by Spike and Drusilla who are still in possession of Buffy's phone. Meanwhile, Buffy, Rose, and Willow meet up with Robin at the Bronze. The girls make jokes about it being Robin and Buffy's first date, a fact which Buffy clearly states is not happening. Robin comes back and ushers the girls into the movie so they don't miss anything, but Willow is worried that Xander hasn't shown up yet. Rose and Robin assure her that he is fine and he can meet up with them inside.
Somewhere else, Xander is walking towards the meeting place when a text from Willow comes through reminding him about the movie, mentioning Buffy is already there as well waiting for him. Realizing it was possibly all a trick, Xander becomes upset and turns to see Drusilla standing behind him. He threatens to call Buffy, but Drusilla shows him that she has been in possession of her phone. Drusilla attempts to goad Xander into joining her by feeding into his loneliness, claiming to be just like him. Xander turns to leave but quickly runs into Spike, who knocks him down to the ground. Drusilla sits by him, promising to take everything wrong in his life and make it all better. She continue talking about his loneliness and he begins to cry. She encourages him to savor this moment and everything he is feeling, because soon he won't be feeling anything at all. She changes into her vampire face and moves in to bite him.
Around the corner, a mysterious figure watches from the shadows — Angel.
- This issue is established as taking place two weeks after the Scoobies' encounter with Spike and Dru.
- Cordelia is crowned the homecoming queen; in the original series, she and Buffy lose to a tie between the other two candidates ("Homecoming").
- Xander asks about Buffy's still missing phone, which was taken by Drusilla in their previous encounter in Welcome Back to the Hellmouth, Part Three.
- Differently from the original series, the Bronze is revealed not as a club, but a movie theater.
- Buffy and Robin have their first date, as he had expressed interest in her in Welcome Back to the Hellmouth, Part Two.
- Major original characters Angel and Jenny debut in the series.
- The last scene is seen from Angel's perspective in issue Prologue.
- Despite Drusilla's promise to sire Xander, it's revealed in issue #5 that Spike who sires him after Dru left the boy to die.
- Jennifer Calendar
- Cordelia Chase
- Rupert Giles
- Alexander Harris
- Harmony Kendall (Only mentioned)
- Willow Rosenberg
- Buffy Summers
- Joyce Summers
- Robin Wood
Weapons and objects
- Unidentified vampire, beheaded by Buffy Summers.
- Dozens of vampires, slayed by Buffy, Willow, and Xander (only mentioned).
Behind the scenes
- In order to surprise the debut of Angel in this issue, a bogus cover of Matthew Taylor's was released that replaced his face with Spike's.
- Feifei Ruan's "Chosen One" variant cover introduces an unidentified Slayer, active in China during the Tang dynasty.
- Paul Mann's variant cover homages Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Once More, with Feeling". The artwork was previously used as the cover for the homonyms LP record.
- The back of the issue features a quote by Rupert Giles in episode "Lie to Me".
- Welcome Back to the Hellmouth, Part Four was the 78th best selling comic issue in its publishing month, with 24,733 sales in April 2019 at comic specialty stores.
- ↑ "Xander Faces Danger on Buffy the Vampire Slayer #4 Cover". Boom! Studios, March 21, 2019.
- ↑ "Top 500 Comics--April 2019". ICv2, May 13, 2019.