Buffy the Vampire Slayer # 44
(Dark Horse, Volume 1, 1998-2003)
Creators: Tom Fassbender & Jim Pascoe (story), Cliff Richards (pencils), Joe Pimentel & Will Conrad (inks)
Setting: After Season Five
T.V. Character Appearances: Xander, Spike, Dawn, Giles, Willow, Tara, Anya, Buffybot, Clem
Major Original Characters: Trio of Demon Brothers
Summary: Having obtained the scroll they were seeking, the mysterious trio of demons dither before deciding to read it. Whatever is written inside is bad, and the demons decide they need to find a witch to help them. Meanwhile, Xander attacks Spike and nearly dusts him before he's stopped by Willow, Tara, and Anya. They tell Xander that they need Spike to help patrol now that Buffy is dead. Anya suggests fixing the Buffybot to help convince the world that Buffy is still alive, and Spike reluctantly shows where he's hidden its pieces. They manage to get it working, though it still has several problems. Weeks pass while the demons look for a witch and the Buffybot helps patrol Sunnydale. Dawn takes a moonlight walk alone in a cemetery, upset over the activation of the Buffybot as a replacement for her sister. When she's attacked by vampires, Spike saves her. Later that night, in Willy's Bar, Spike is entranced by the demons and forced to reveal that he knows a powerful witch (Willow). Afterwards, Spike finds Willow first and tells her what he was forced to tell the demons. She decides not to wait, and instead seeks them out. When she finds them, she says she's willing to listen to what they want, but first she has some questions about resurrection spells!
The issue starts in an intriguing way, and I'm genuinely curious what's on this mysterious scroll. And even though the human-looking demons haven't been given names yet, watching them bicker is pretty funny. This story-arc is a really nice continuity implant to fill in the details of what happened during the summer between Season Five and Season Six; we see who came up with the Buffybot idea, and I assume we're about to see how Willow gets the info on how to bring Buffy back. Very entertaining and interesting overall, and definitely much better than
normal for the series.
* There's a lot of talk about why they have to keep Buffy's death a secret or demons will overrun Sunnydale because it has a Hellmouth; but the Hellmouth has been around for a long, long time, and the Slayer's presence in Sunnydale is only a few years old. Who protected the city then? Perhaps the Mayor?
* The trio of demons apparently once had a fourth brother: the very creepy Doc.
* In good foreshadowing (if it wasn't retroactively written!), we see Giles call and inquire about how much a plane ticket back to England would cost.