Recap: Buffy The Vampire Slayer – Boom Studio Comics Chapter 5

In this chapter of Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics, we deal with the aftermath of Xander’s close encounter with Drusilla. What happened to him and how will Buffy and Willow deal with it?

Image from chapter 5 of Buffy The Vampire Slayer comic showing Buffy's hands staking a vampire and a text that reads "do you ever consider the pain you're causing"

We open with Buffy out on a mission, clearly upset and angry. We have never seen her like this. She has been shown before as apathetic, resigned to her duty. It is what she is destined to do, but nothing else. There never seems to be personal feelings involved beyond the fact she wishes she could have a normal life. Until now. She is angry, upset.

We still don’t know what happened to Xander, but is obvious Buffy does and she is not happy. Willow and Xander gave her the one thing she wanted, a sense of normalcy. She must feel so much pain and responsibility over Xander getting hurt.

So he is still alive. We know that now. This image is so powerful. The anger, pain and desperation together in one image.

The narrative choice of starting the comic with Buffy in pain and then going back to before she found out something had happened to Xander is masterful. It really shows the contrast and how this is an inflection point for all of them. I think is the moment everything becomes more real.

But here is just Willow and Buffy walking to Giles, wondering why he needed to see them. Talking about their movie night the day before, the boy Buffy Likes, how Xander stood them up. Is the last moment of innocence before they find out.

Despite the situation, is hilarious to see Giles trying to navigate the moment. How do you give news like the one he is about to? How do you really prepare someone? Can’t blame him for being awkward.

And here is the big twist of this chapter. Xander has been half turned into a vampire but is still possible to save him. He will be the Vampire with a soul. This opens so many questions. We already saw Angel around, so he exists and we assume he also has a soul. But this and Buffy having a different, apparently serious, love interesting in Robin makes me wonder what they have planned for Angel/Buffy.

With the current set-up I don’t see them redoing Angelus arc. But is hard to imagine a Buffy where Angel is not her big love. Interesting.

Having to fight for Xander’s soul, to stop him from turning into a vampire. It opens so many doors for the evolution of Xander and the Scooby Gang. I’m excited to see what happens. I assume he will be souled, but how and what are the consequences is the really interesting part.

A quick look into Spike. Could this be a little crumb to show he will eventually turn good in this universe too? Showing he had enough empathy as much as a vampire can have anyway to save Xander.

Even if only because, as Drusilla says, he was weak and saw his own weakness, his past self reflected on Xander.

We go back to Xander. Who wakes up and briefly sounds just like normal, regular, goofy Xander, gives us and his friends a sense of security. The hope that he is still himself, even under all the blood, and the protection spells Giles and Jenny deem necessary.

It doesn’t last. Soon enough, the vampire takes over. As vicious and hurtful as can be. But here is that thing, and what makes the concept of a Vampire with a soul so interesting to me. Often the vampire version of someone is treated as a different person. It gives peace of mind to the people who love them maybe, to think the vampire inside of them is disconnected from the person they knew.

But as Xander says here, and I agree, the vampire part is only bringing to the surface all the things we repress, the things our morals, ethics, social conventions stop from taking over, but that were still part of us. Yes, the “monster” takes it to a different level, one we wouldn’t reach as humans because we have goodness inside of us that trumps those feelings. But is still part of us, part of Xander. And It think eventually all of them will have to come to terms with that.

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