The Buffyverse was created by Joss Whedon.
Warning: Mild deconstruction ahead. Proceed at your own risk.
X X X X X
In the future, apparently, Willow had become a powerful witch. So much so that she'd tried to end the world when a friend of hers -- "No one you've met yet," futurehim had said -- and his future self had wanted to stop that from happening.
Which struck Xander, overall, as a good thing.
So he'd sent Xander a big message, back through time, to try to derail that.
"First, you know," futurehim had said, "I gotta prove myself so you know I'm not someone just yanking your chain. And believe me, you'll run into people who get their jollies out of yanking your chain. You'll run into one around Halloween. One of his schemes is actually the main reason I'm sending this message. Still, there are some other bad guys you're going to run into along the way. The first ones are called Spike and Drusilla . . ."
And everything futurehim had warned them about, and warned them how to beat, had come true. First thing, Buffy was ready for Spike when he invaded the school, sprayed the invading vampires with holy water with Giles’, Xander’s and Willow’s help, and then staked them while they were screaming in agony.
Buffy caught up with Drusilla later that evening.
Then came an “Inca Mummy Girl” named Ampata; thanks to the warning, Xander didn’t fall for her (though boy oh boy was she hot) and Buffy took care of business, and then, in a pre-emptive strike, invaded a local frat house and killed the evil snake demon in the basement.
Then came Halloween.
“You’re going to go to a costume shop called Ethan’s after Snyder drafts all of you to take the kiddies around,” futurehim had said. “Don’t tell Giles about it until right before nightfall on Halloween night. Ethan's an old friend of his and you'll run into him more than once. Leave him a note. Leave him a dozen notes, if you have to. You want him to destroy a statue of Janus somewhere in the back of the shop, but you really don’t want him doing it until after Ethan manages to cast a spell. The spell’ll turn everyone into their costumes. First time around, you became a soldier, Buffy became a 19th century ditz, and Willow became a ghost, and then you got to keep some of your soldiery memories and they were a big help later. This time around, we’re aiming higher. Ethan had a lot of costumes in that shop. Most of them were little demons, pirates, and so on, but he had a section of superhero costumes towards the back, hidden like he didn’t want anyone to find them. Find them. Make sure Willow gets the Iron Man costume. That’ll kick her back towards science, enough that she won’t be as into magic and won’t go all Dark Phoenix-y and try to to end the world. I’m not exaggerating here. She killed someone. I’d kind of like to make sure that doesn’t happen, for her sake more than theirs. Oh. And make Cordy come with you.”
So, they found the costumes. Willow got the Iron Man suit, Xander got a Daredevil costume, Cordy dressed as Catwoman and Buffy dressed as Wonder Woman.
“If everything goes right,” his future self had said, “When Giles trashes that statue you should all have a cool set of extra powers. Use them well and good luck.”
X X X X X
In the back of his shop, Ethan Rayne said, “Showtime!”
Twenty minutes later, prompted by a flood of notes, Giles came into the back of the shop, beat Ethan to within an inch of his life, and broke the statue.
X X X X X
Xander Harris, Buffy Summers, Willow Rosenberg and Cordelia Chase were saying varying equivalents, right then, of “What the hell just happened?”
Later that evening, after Buffy did a bit of mopup – some vampires had just decided to come out and enjoy the chaos when the chaos came to an abrupt end – they were all sitting at the table in the Library, with Giles glaring at them sternly.
“What on earth were you thinking?” he demanded.
“I was following the instructions,” Xander said. “Futureme said he’d gotten some good out of his soldier costume and wanted to give us more of an edge on the second go-round. So, who better to try to get powers and skills from than a group of superheroes, right?”
No answer. “Right?” Xander said a bit nervously.
“I hate you all forever,” Cordelia said.
“I would point out that I had nothing to with this,” Giles said.
“Yeah, well, this wouldn’t have happened to me if I hadn’t started hanging out with you people.”
“You can fix this, right, Giles?” Buffy asked.
"Like you have anything that needs to be fixed," Willow said grumpily.
"Yeah, Buff. You lucked out," Xander said.
"Really? I have Lynda Carter's memories right now. Not that she led a particularly wacky life, but still."
"Yeah, but that's all you have. You still look the same."
"You can shave," Buffy proffered, realizing how lame it was the second she said it.
"Every day for the rest of my life?" Willow had not gotten an activated version of Iron Man's suit, or Tony Stark's genius. What she HAD gotten was Tony Stark's hair and mustache. "I already tried. Came right back."
"And that doesn't help me at all," Cordelia said. "I'm the wrong freaking Catwoman
, nimrod! At least you can deal with a mustache! It's going to take more plastic surgery than even my parents can afford to get rid of these damn ears!"
"Or the tail," Xander said.
"Yeah, thanks for reminding me of that," Cordelia said.
"Now, come one, Cordy," Buffy said. "At least people aren't going to faint and call for their priests whenever you walk into the room."
Xander -- well, let's just say Ethan had been playing around with the concept of "devil." Horns and a tail -- and dark red skin. This hadn't fazed Tony Harris, of course, who'd just looked down at his bottle, muttered that this was some good shit, and kept right on drinking.
"I do not blame you, Xander," Giles said tightly. "Not the current version of you, at any rate. But the future version of you, if indeed he was posting from four years in the future when he'd encountered Ethan more than once, should have known better. Ethan Rayne lives to create chaos. Having people become their costumes when those costumes are pirates and vampires and demons makes sense. But he is not going to be so bloody stupid as to let people become superheroes
! He wasn't going to let them have beneficial abilities of more than marginal use at all! Certainly nothing that would dramatically change the world."
"So -- can you fix it?" Willow asked.
"I'll do my best. But until then, it's best that most of you stay out of sight. Use the back exit when you leave."