Warning: This article contains major spoilers for Buffy the Vampire Slayer #9, by Jordie Bellaire, David López, Raúl Angulo and Ed Dukeshire, on sale now.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been quietly revamping the continuity of the original television show, introducing new takes on the classic characters. Some of them have been introduced in new forms, while others have had their ages and backstories changed. It makes the arrivals of major players in the narrative more exciting, as the comic could take them in entirely new directions.
Two more may have just quietly appeared in Sunnydale, setting up a number of potential re-creations of moments from the original show.
WHERE WE ARE
Things in Sunnydale took a serious turn in the most recent issues of the Hellmouth crossover. With the Hellmouth opening up due to the actions of Drusilla, aka the Mistress, demonic influence seemed to be leaking into the world. Buffy and Angel jumped into the Hellmouth to combat the forces there. In the week since the incident, veneer of normalcy has returned. People try to move on with their lives. But the citizens of Sunnydale are being pushed to their limits.
Willow is preoccupied by her descent into magic and ends up splitting up with her girlfriend over her apparent lack of interest. Joyce is brokenhearted about her daughter Buffy's disappearance. Xander is the only one fighting vampires, wrestling with the very real monster that's brewing inside of him. Giles and Jenny Calander's relationship is on the rocks following Giles' decision to almost let Joyce die to protect the dagger that unlocked the Hellmouth. None of the established heroes are in a good place at the moment, which leaves room for the apparent arrival of two major characters.
IS THAT WARREN?
The cracks in the Earth from the Hellmouth still run through the streets of Sunnydale. They seem to be connected to the evil from the core of the world in some form, especially with one figure. The cracks extend from the streets into one of the homes in a neighborhood. It moves across the ground and into the walls, almost as if it's infecting the people inside it. Heading upstairs, the crack nears a young man sitting in front of a computer. He's obsessing over social media and glaring at the various people he believes have wronged him in some way.
The original Buffy the Vampire Slayer introduced multiple minor villains who this could be alluding to. However, it's most likely Warren Mears. An outcast among the students of Sunnydale, Warren was initially introduced after he built a robot girlfriend. He even ended up building the Buffy-Bot, a robot replica of the Slayer -- which may explain why he appears so fascinated with Buffy's picture in the new comic. However, his misogynistic views on women grew as he, Jonathan and Andrew all tried to work as a team to take over Sunnydale.
Despite being one of the least physically imposing Buffy villains of all time, Warren still proved deadly in his own right: he's one of the few villains who thought to just bring a gun to the slayer fight, wounding Buffy and killing Willow's lover, Tara. This moment is what pushed Willow into becoming Dark Willow. If Warren is appearing in the series (and he would be the perfect villain to make the jump considering how his misogynistic views could be informed by the modern internet), then he could be the perfect threat to push Willow further into darkness.
THAT'S GOTTA BE KENDRA
Towards the end of the issue, Robin Wood (who has been recast as a young Watcher and classmate/love interest for Buffy in this continuity) is at his home trying to come to terms with everything that's happened when he's caught by surprise. A mysterious person arrived in Sunnydale and quickly made their way to Robin. She's able to easily sneak into his home and confront him in his room. Given her build and knowledge of his status as a Watcher (along with the long trip she endured to reach him), it's likely that this is someone with an implicit connection to the Slayers.
In fact, it could easily turn out to be Kendra, the TV series' second Slayer who was inadvertently called into battle when Buffy was briefly killed by the Master (before being brought back thanks to Xander and some well-timed CPR). Kendra served a minor role in the second season of the series before being murdered by Drusilla. With Drusilla serving as the Big Bad of this series so far, that doesn't bode well if this girl is indeed Kendra. Her presence also means that things may have taken a turn for the worse for Buffy and Angel, as it would require Buffy's death (no matter how long it lasts) to summon the next in line to become the Slayer.