| 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 Three is the third issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (2019) comic book series. Written by Jordie Bellaire and illustrated by Dan Mora, it was published on March 13, 2019 by Boom! Studios.
The reimagining of Joss Whedon's groundbreaking series reaches the penultimate 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. Meanwhile, Drusilla — aka the Mistress — sets her sights on Cordelia, as Cordy and Spike find accidental common ground.
Spike arrives at the occult shop while the giant bat creature destroys it with his wings. He vows to end all vampires and escapes into the night. Anya tells Spike and Drusilla that she acquired the vessel from the Watchers Council in 500 BC, but failed to take any interest in learning anything about it. Drusilla, now angry, attacks Anya for keeping something in her shop that betrays her alliance to the dark side; Anya reminds her she is a neutral party and doesn't side with good or evil. Anya offers them the immunity jewelry while they figure out how to contain the beast-before the beast kills them all.
Meanwhile, Buffy is patrolling the streets and talking to herself about her frustrations with Giles. Soon, she sees the creature flying in the sky and rushes to follow him. In downtown Sunnydale, Giles is playing guitar outside a café where Harmony and Cordelia are having some coffee. As Spike follows the sound of Giles' guitar, the demon bat swoops down at the crowd, swearing to destroy all vampires. Spike and the creature fight each other, and Cordelia helps him telling him about the strange events in Sunnydale.
Buffy comes upon the fray and is initially surprised to see Giles having a guitar. Her attention soon focuses on the bat creature and she begins to fight him. The creature is hurt and confused, and asks why the Slayer is hurting him when all he wants to do is protect her. This astounds Buffy — the creature reveals himself to be called Camazotz, and states it is his duty to assist and protect the Slayer in the fight against vampires.
Buffy and Spike come face to face. She attempts to urge Cordelia to safety, but Cordelia stands her ground and refuses to leave Spike. Camazotz reveals to Spike that Buffy is the Slayer, and Buffy takes advantage of his surprise and takes the necklace off him. As Buffy prepares to fight Spike, she is grabbed from behind by Drusilla. Cordelia express discomfort with Drusilla's mention of jealousy, and the vampire advances to bite Buffy. Xander and Willow suddenly show up and defend Buffy, who takes off the necklace from Drusilla too. Buffy says she's not used to having help in fighting evil, while Spike leaves with Drusilla, telling the Scoobies he's unimpressed with them: Slayers used to be respectable and independent.
Giles shows up and asks Willow for a charm she was sent to obtain. Camazotz declares his gratitude for Giles, who uses the charm to return the creature to his rest. Cordelia tells the group that they are too weird for her to be nice to anymore. Buffy begins to apologize for failing to find out the silver jewelry's origins, but Giles tells her he's been to hard on her, that she did well tonight, and he's proud of her.Buffy responds that she can't handle Giles being so sincere and sticks her tongue out in feigned disgust.
In a cemetery, Spike and Drusilla are holed up in their mausoleum. Drusilla is upset that she is no closer to finding "the power" and her task is now delayed with the revelation that the Slayer and the Watcher are in Sunnydale — the location of the Hellmouth. She holds Buffy's stolen phone and looks at a picture of Willow and Xander. She vows that the Slayer will lose someone as well.
- Anya mentions having acquired Camazotz from the Watchers Council in 500 BCE, making her older than her original counterpart, born in 860 CE ("Selfless"). Although, it's implied that she's also native of Sweden.
- Giles plays guitar in a cafe, as his original counterpart would only do while unemployed ("Where the Wild Things Are").
- Harmony tells Cordelia about "creepy dreams where everything is swallowed up in a big fire pit," a description that fits Buffy's nightmare in Welcome Back to the Hellmouth, Part Two.
- William comments on Cordelia helping him this time, as he had returned her balloons from the woods hours earlier (Welcome Back to the Hellmouth, Part Two).
- Buffy refers to Camazotz as Bat Boy; ironically, Xander joked about the existence of such creature in Welcome Back to the Hellmouth, Part One.
- According to Drusilla, Spike is William's nickname in the 90s; his original counterpart adopted the moniker in the same year he was sired, 1880 ("Fool for Love").
- Buffy apologizes Giles for not finding the sources of the mystical jewelry, as he had inquired her in Part Two. In turn, he apologizes for being too strict with her, compliments on her having saved lives, and assures to help in research, a result from her complaints in Part One and Two.
- William and Drusilla have taken as residence a crypt like the original Hawley mausoleum; in the TV series, the couple had first stayed in the abandoned Bric & Broc factory ("School Hard") then the Crawford Street mansion ("I Only Have Eyes for You"). Spike would only move to his crypt in "A New Man".
- Cordelia Chase
- Rupert Giles
- Alexander Harris
- Anya Jenkins
- Harmony Kendall
- Willow Rosenberg
- Buffy Summers
- Tamara (Only mentioned)
Organizations and titles
- Sunnydale, USA
- Sweden (Only mentioned)
- Switzerland (Only mentioned)
Weapons and objects
- Unidentified magic jewelry set
Behind the scenes
- Matt Smith's "Chosen One" variant cover introduces an unidentified Viking Slayer, active in Iceland in the year 900 CE.
- Scott Buoncristiano's variant cover homages Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Hush".
- While Cordelia and Harmony discuss Camazotz's invasion, a man in the background holds a comic book with the Boom! Studios logo.
- The Camazotz is a bat god from Maya mythology, associated with night, death, and sacrifice.
- Welcome Back to the Hellmouth, Part Three was the 76th best selling comic issue in its publishing month, with 25,489 sales in March 2019 at comic specialty stores.
Pop culture references
- William corrects Anya on Switzerland's historical neutrality, permanently recognized in 1815.
- Buffy refers to Camazotz as Bat Boy, the fictional creature from supermarket tabloids.
- Buffy compares Camazotz with the creature Pegasus from Greek mythology.