Here’s a quick summary of Issue #4:
This issue opens with a glimpse of Severin in the past, searching for the vampire who sired his girlfriend, looking for revenge. After killing a vampire with his suckage of doom, Severin is approached by a figure cloaked in shadows. The figure tells Severin that he needs to stop blaming what happened to his girl on a vampire and start looking for a Slayer.
Meanwhile, in the present, a super-charged Severin attacks Buffy with all that he’s got! He tells Buffy that he’s not the bad guy, she is. Because of her destruction of the Seed, Severin tells Buffy she doesn’t deserve her power, so he’s going to take it. Then, he starts charging up.
As that is happening, Spike and Eldre Koh rush to help Buffy in their trusty motorboat. Koh ends up talking to Spike about the vamp’s love for Buffy and can sense that the relationship doesn’t satisfy Spike. Spike replies that he simply wants Buffy to have a normal life, and that he’s anything but normal.
To make matters worse, Detectives Dowling and Cheung receive an anonymous tip on where to find Buffy. They quickly arrive outside Severin and Buffy’s location with a SWAT team not far behind. Detective Dowling makes a leap of faith and heads inside to see if he can talk to Buffy.
As Buffy and Severin continue to fight, the Slayer sees an opportunity and buries a stake in Severin’s side. Severin uses his power to heal the wound, causing Buffy to deduce that she merely needs to hack away at Severin until he uses up all his power. Then, she discovers Severin’s extra battery: a pit of vampires!
The battle continues with Buffy starting to lose the upper hand, as Severin’s powers grow. Detective Dowling runs into Spike and Koh. The vampire tells him to stay out of the way, and he and the demon charge Severin. He bats them away like flies, grabbing both the Slayer and the blonde vampire, preparing to drain them. Then, shots ring out. Severin drops, four bullets in his chest, courtesy of Detective Dowling.
As things wrap up, we see Severin injured, but alive, in a hospital bed. The rogue slayer, Simone, stands over him as he apologizes for failing. He asks for a little bit of her power. He needs a recharge. But, Simone tells him no. Since he didn’t succeed, she needs all her power to kill Buffy.
Severin scares the @#$% out of me! We all know that Issue #3 ended with a fully-powered Severin turning on Buffy, presumably to steal her power and potentially kill her. Well, they certainly duked it out in this issue, and I was unprepared for how upset I would become at the thought of someone taking away Buffy’s slayerhood. We’ve seen a number of Big Bads serve as metaphors for misogyny and the fear of female power, but Severin’s powers have a little extra edge to them that cuts deep. There’s a moment where Severin says, “You don’t deserve the power you have. So, I’m going to take it,” that’s absolutely chilling! Severin also certainly makes it clear that he’s willing and able to go toe-to-toe with the Slayer. We also got confirmation, via his glasses and outfit in he flashback, that Severin is the character that appeared in a single panel at the final issue of Buffy: Season Eight. Still, there’s a lot mystery to his character. The reveal at the end of the issue that Severin is working for Simone only adds to this. Has he been misled by her? Trained by her? Do they have an over-arcing plan? Does Simone have other “soldiers” out-and-about? One thing we can be sure of is that this is not the last we’ve seen of The Siphon.
Spike is here. And, he’s wearing the coat! There’s a decent bit of Spike in this issue, and it definitely was appreciated by my raging William the Bloody addiction. He spends quite a bit of time with Eldre Koh, the demon who was freed by the destruction of the Seed. To be honest, ever since we’ve met Severin, I’ve just been waiting for him to touch Spike and leave us with a shocked Siphon and a human Spike. Does that happen in this issue? DOES IT HAPPEN?!?! Nope. It doesn’t. Honestly, this really surprised me, because everything seems to be building towards this. Spike’s conversations with Koh seem to beg for it to happen, as he and the demon discuss how Spike wants to be the man for Buffy, but doesn’t consider himself “normal” enough for the job. I have a feeling we still may see what happens when Severin gets his hands on an ensouled vampire before the season is over. Oh, and Spike does have the coat, so that’s always a plus.
It’s over? Both Chambliss and Georges Jeanty deliver in this issue! They’ve been so good lately that I’m starting to just expect them to slam dunk every time. Still, the one complaint I had for this issue was that it seemed somewhat anti-climactic. A lot has been built up, but the final run gets a silver from me, instead of the gold. The one stipulation I’ll make on this is that Chambliss leaves a number of story threads to be picked up in the next arc. This is clearly written to be a continuing story, so, perhaps, when the entire season is complete, I will see how this first arc fits in with the rest and will recant my nitpicking.
In the end, I’d say anyone who considers themselves a Buffy fan should pick up this book! It easily scores a 4 out of 5 on my personal comic book scale of goodness! Dig in, Scoobies!
’Till the end of the world,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer