Four sisters, bound by love and magic, have had their lives turned upside down many times in the years since they first inherited their powers. Now, they must put aside their differences and work together to take back their world. The Charmed Ones will need to unleash the full strength of the magic that has been growing through their family line for centuries in an epic battle that will bring season nine to its earth-shattering conclusion.
SPOILERS WITHIN. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.
The big battle begins outside the magic dome with Darryl, Leo, Prue and, well, everyone leading the charge. After some difficulty orbing in, Paige gets herself, Phoebe and Piper inside the dome. The dome amplifies their magic, which is helpful since they immediately get ambushed by a mass of magical beings. They dispatch of them and Phoebe flies them off to the sword and the grimoire, which she spotted during the fight. Phoebe goes for it, but Rennek has it magically protected.
Outside the dome, the battle continues, with Leo taking on some sort of giant. He calls for help, and Glynnis takes it out with a charmed cannon. As the giant falls, Leo and Prue head inside while Darryl manages things outside. They get in the dome where a full forest has grown. Prue tries to track the source of Rennek's magic. Rennek, meanwhile, has captured the Charmed Ones. After some banter, he covers their mouths, and sends another wave at Darryl and crew outside.
However, thanks to the power inside the dome, the Charmed Ones have developed telepathic powers, and use them to cast a mental Power of Three spell. They get freed and try to cast a spell on Rennek, but he turns it back on them. Leo arrives and tries to ambush Rennek, but can't get through. But while Rennek is monologuing, Prue gets through and grabs the sword. She uses the combined magic of the sword and grimoire to stop Rennek and return the world to normal.
Back in the manor, every meets to wrap things up. Prue now has grimoire-powered shifting tattoos on her arm, a mark of the spell she cast. The world doesn't remember the last six months, but can't forget it either (like a dream, just out of reach, she described it). Darryl goes home, orbed "halfway round the world" by Paige. Leo's wings are gone. Then someone knocks on the door: it's Cole! He's now a messenger sent from the heavens. He informs Prue of her new role as the caretaker to the connection between the realms. She can never leave "this place". So Cole is her messenger, and can travel to the heavens, underworld, etc. She decides being stuck there isn't so bad, and TKs the door shut. The last page shows the manor now sitting at The Nexus of The All. The End.
This was a great conclusion to not only this arc, but the season as a whole, and was probably the first time in this run that I'd wished this story was taking place in a format other than a comic. That's not to say I disliked it as a comic, I just really wish I could've seen all this play out on screen. It wasn't like the story felt rushed, it's just that there was a lot going on, and taking it to a larger medium would've given some things more room to breathe. Plus, let's be honest, it just would've been awesome on TV.
That said, Paul Ruditis crafted a finale that answered all the questions raised not only in this arc, but in issues preceding it. Even things like why the Charmed Ones could no longer recognize Prue's soul and what the hell Cole's purpose was in the series in general were answered, things that probably concerned hardcore fans much more than casual readers. I'm sure if I combed through all 23 previous issues, there might be a thread or two left dangling, but I can't think of a major one off the top of my head, which is impressive. Additionally, the ending of this season doesn't conflict with anything major that happened in the future scenes at the end of Season 8, which I'd been concerned about from the very beginning.
Interestingly, this is the first issue that came out on time in awhile, and I thought the art suffered for it. That's not to say it was bad, but it seemed like Rubine was so focused on nailing the likenesses that some of the action movements suffered. There were panels that seemed less like continuous action and more like a frozen snapshot of a moment. It wasn't pervasive throughout the issue, which actually made it more noticeable when it popped up. Still, there was more good than bad in the artwork, and I think most fans would accept a couple of "off" panels rather than sit through another two-week (or three-week, or month-long) delay.
So where do we go from here?
The ending of Issue #24 serves as the end of Season 9. Zenescope has said there will be a Season 10 "early next year", but details have been scarce beyond that. A preview cover of Issue #25 has been revealed, but it's not like the existence of one cover guarantees a series.
The reality is the sales of "Charmed" have dropped since the series began. If you're a fan of the series and you're buying it every month -- like I am -- you may feel like that shouldn't matter, but it does. If the book isn't selling, Zenescope may not see a reason to continue it.
There's so much we don't know behind the scenes, particularly in terms of exact sales figures, cost to produce each issue and even for how long Zenescope holds the "Charmed" license. What I do feel confident in saying is that there are more stories to tell. "There's nowhere to go with these characters" wouldn't be a good reason for canceling Season 10, which is something I couldn't say before reading Season 9.
However, if for some reason there is no Season 10, then this issue served as a reasonable conclusion to the series. I just hope it doesn't have to.