To most Buffy fans, Xander Harris will always be the nerdy teenager who became the titular slayer’s most trusted friend and sidekick. Now, he’s a monster.
To the vast majority of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans, Xander Harris will always be the nerdy teenager who became the titular slayer’s most trusted friend and sidekick. Whether they know him solely from the television series or both that and the canon follow-on comics, Xander is the same loveable, loyal goof. However, in the reimagined Buffy comics that began in 2019, Xander is, let’s say, not quite the same.
The new modern-day Xander started off as a somewhat typical nerd – this time, utilizing today’s technology to vent his personal and social issues online as a blogger under the name @theXeppo – and he was still friends with Willow Rosenberg when the series began, but his life went down a very different path to the character we saw on TV.
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The fan-favorite pairing of Xander and Willow did go on to be friends with Buffy Summers, of course — their friendship began when the slayer saved them from a vampire following a late-night bite to eat at fast food restaurant Tunaverse — but their friendship took a dark turn fairly quickly when Xander’s life changed forever.
At the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer #4 by Jordie Bellaire and Dan Mora, Xander encountered Drusilla — the vampire who was so brilliantly played by Juliet Landau on the small screen — and in Buffy the Vampire Slayer #5 by Jordie Bellaire and David López, it was revealed that he was indeed bitten by her.
Drusilla’s intention was to leave him to die, but her bleach blonde beau Spike instead gave Xander some of his blood in an attempt to make him a vampire, believing the slayer’s friend would make a dangerous foe for the Scoobies – but neither of the morbid pair initially got their wish.
After the vampires dumped Xander’s body at Rupert Giles’ door, the Scoobie Gang got to work to save their nerdy pal. They acquired a magical artifact called the Anima Colligationem — a “soul stone” that would give Xander his soul back.
With aid of a demon named Siphon – as well as the sacrifice of half of Willow’s soul – Xander was re-ensouled and became a half-vampire. He was still the old Xander – so much so that he was able to return to school – but with the physical attributes of a creature of the night (minus the weakness to sunlight, which was convenient, to say the least!). He then used his new powers to fight alongside his friends on the side of good. However, that wasn’t the end of Xander’s journey.
During a battle that took place between the Scoobies and a group of men controlled by a being known as the Hellmother — a battle that occurred in Buffy the Vampire Slayer #12 by Jordie Bellaire and David López — it was revealed that only Willow’s magic powers would be able to stop them. Unfortunately, Willow was nearly consumed by her own power. The soul tie left her struggling between two worlds and only Xander could reverse the effects of it.
Xander then sacrificed his soul back to her and seemingly disappeared. But while his friends grieved for him, he had actually become a full-blown vampire, just like Spike wanted, and was underneath Sunnydale becoming the leader of a large group of demons and fellow vamps.
The reveal of Xander’s vampiric nature came in subsequent issues and he’s become a thorn in the Scoobies’ side ever since. He’s recently unleashed his evil on Sunnydale, with only Buffy, Willow and the Scoobies standing in his way – and that’s where the series is currently at — with Xander Harris as a major undead threat.
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