Category Archives: Spike

SPIKE # 3 Review

There can be little doubt after this third issue of “Spike” that Morgan and Spike have a lot of potential chemistry. The sequence of panels that have the two sitting down for a chat is teased out long enough to leave even the most ardent Buffy true believer uncertain of what will happen between these two. And that is no spolier, I’m sure. That is what we’re expecting to find and it is done well.

Part 3 of “A Dark Place” begins with a marvelous flashback that will leave you disoriented at first. In fact, it would be a crime to spoil that for you. We quickly enough find ourselves back where we left off: Pearl and Nash have crashed the scene in search of shards left over from the big blowup of the Seed. There are none to be had but that doesn’t stop anyone from a nasy fight. It’s during this scuffle that Spike and Morgan make their escape. And all of this leads us to the fine predicament that Spike is now in: Morgan is aboard his ship and she is calling the shots. This does not sit well with the ship’s crew of bugs one bit.

Sebastian, the bug left to worry the most over Spike, is beside himself in trying to warn Spike about Morgan. Has he fully considered this and that? Well, Spike must admit, no, he hasn’t considered this or that or anything, really. Victor Gischler’s script has given us a Spike we can believe in and viable rival to Buffy. There’s quite a delicious shower scene that shows us how close to the edge Gischler is willing to go, along with the help of the art team of Paul Lee and Andy Owens. Spike had been prompted by Sebastian to check in on Morgan just as she is stepping out of the shower stall. She snaps, “Go ahead and look.” Spike is surprised. Then she adds, “Through my clothes, I mean.” Well, she had to say that, all of that. Our boy Spike is playing with fire and only Sebastian can try to talk some sense into him.

The one thing, of course, than can instantly kill a date is if it’s clear either party is not showing interest. While not really a date, Spike and Morgan are both attentive to each other during their long talk over drinks. It leaves Spike a bit bemused and off guard. If he was really listening to what Morgan was saying, he might not be leaving himself so open. But who catches all the flaws on the first date? Well, maybe it’s not exactly a first date but maybe as close as Spike can get to these days. It’s close enough that he simply can’t see his loyal guardsman, Sebastian, as he’s flailing his little arms in the air in futile agony to warn his master.

“Spike #3” is avialable October 24. Visit our friends at Dark Horse Comics.

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SPIKE #2 Review

Spike is such a good bloke. The loyal boyfriend. A guy who just wants to chill out and do the right thing. Spike is the James Dean of comics. But he’s got his blind spot, doesn’t he? Can we all say what it is together? Buffy! Yes, that’s right. Maybe if Spike hadn’t been such a mopey mope, the lost man on the dark side of the moon, he would have been more on his game when he and his loyal band of bugs were overtaken by a mob of fish-like demon thugs.

What is remarkable, two issues into “A Dark Place,” is how well Spike commands the comics page of an excellent unfolding story. The art here (Paul Lee, pencils; Andy Owens, inks), panel per panel, is vivid and memorable stuff. And the writing by Victor Gischler is true to the character of Spike and very energetic. The issue runs smooth with excellent timing due to the stellar art team and to Mr. Gischler, who has mad skills in crime fiction like his novel, “Gun Monkeys,” and comics skills, like his work on X-Men. This is prime comics. We’ve got Spike’s spot on swagger, the bug crew plotting his rescue, these wicked bad guys, and that’s just the build up. I’m so impressed with the attention to detail. You can really feel like you’re inside that blimp, navigating down all its narrow hallways. You can really feel for Spike as he’s restrained by a giant frog with its enormous tongue wrapped around him and, all the while, he doesn’t lose his cool.

Once Spike gets a whiff of what his captors have in mind, to take back as many shards as they can find of The Seed, well, it’s time for a game of matching wits. Spike, the one with all the wit, claims to be a valuable asset to his captors and will lead them back to Sunnydale where they are sure to find all the remains to The Seed that they can carry.

Once they get there, all shards have been spoken for. As any self-respecting fan is already aware of, what they do find is something that Spike will find the most interesting. If this feels like a spoiler for some of you, then stop reading now. All that I will say is that there’s a bodacious rival for Spike’s affections that appears to emerge in this issue. Her name is Morgan. She only has the first name, like Cher. She makes a pretty hot entrance. She has instant appeal, like a revamped Betty Page. However, as Victor Gischler explains on his blog: “Just remember, it’s a 5-issue story arc. Lots can happen!” The art below comes from his blog:

Here’s the thing: Why not have Morgan be the game changer? Let her take over Buffy’s place for an indefinite amount of time. Maybe even have her turn directly against Buffy. In time, they might even become allies. Lots of possibilities. But we’re getting way ahead of ourselves, aren’t we? No Spike and Buffy fan wants to see that Spike has moved on, is at least testing things out, or do they? That sort of thinking could lead to some pretty awesome comics! Why build something interesting up, take it to the very edge, and then abruptly retreat? Oh, but it’s just comics, right? Well, no, we’re dealing here with comics that are a cut above just comics. So, we shall see.

Oh, and something big does happen on the last page. Isn’t that always the way? So, who knows if Spike and Morgan will even have much time to really get acquainted, at least in this story.

“Spike #2” is out September 19. Visit Dark Horse Comics.


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SPIKE #1 Review

Dark Horse Comics continues to deliver Buffy goodness with Spike’s own comic! There is something joyful in that, don’t you think? The guy has charisma, a perfect story to tell, and he’s got that blimp with an army of  human-sized bugs that all think they’re C-3PO.

First off, Spike can definitley carry his own title. He’s full of swagger no doubt and, in this ish, it’s brooding swagger. As the title of this five-part story suggests, Spike has gone to, “A Dark Place.” It’s quite a familiar place. If you’ve ever had your heart torn apart from a failed romance, there’s literally nothing that will pull you out of that funk until you’re good and ready. At the time, it seems you may never pull it together. Friends begin to worry. But Spike has no friends. If he did, it would make it a little easier for him. What he does have is his faithful army of bugs and they can think for themselves, up to a point, and they know their master is lost at sea. That’s not good for him or his crew.

Spike gave orders to land his blimp/rockeship on the dark side of the moon. The bugs carried out his orders. Then they pondered over what they had done. They observed that their supreme leader was obsessively brooding, excessively drinkly, and repressively insulting his loyal minions. Sebastian, Elizabeth, and the rest of the bug crew, conclude that this can not stand! Enough! What happens next is a hilarious remedy cooked up by the bugs. It actually helps for a little while until Spike has to go all macho negative on it. The remedy is a play on dark and light and, in the end, it puts Spike off because it comes across as too easy to enjoy. The guy just thinks too much!

Now, think back to the last time we saw Spike with Buffy. Quite a heartbreaker. What did he say? Oh, yeah: “I don’t want to be the dark place you run to when things aren’t working.” Writer Victor Gischler, along with editors Scott Allie and Sierra Hahn, work with that idea wonderfully in this story. Is it possible to bring some light into Spike’s world? Yes, Buffy is proof of that. Do opposites attract? Yes! So, now what? Only his bugs, as best as they’re able, can try to talk some sense into him. They’re not saying Buffy is or isn’t the answer. They just want him to lighten up!

This issue to a pleasure. The art is tops. Paul Lee on inks. Andy Owens on pencils. Cris Peters on colors. Cover art by Jenny Frison. Alternative cover art by Steve Norris. It all adds up quite well. The color scheme is very inviting, playing off the interiors of the blimp and its crew with earth tones and greens. We are easily swept up by the narrative with bold and smooth artwork. It looks very effortless, very in tune with the story. I don’t think I would ever tire of views from inside that blimp! And those bugs are amazing.

But, there is a big “meanwhile” story going on. You didn’t think that Spike would be left to have some quiet time for feeling sorry for himself did you? Oh no, if it’s not one thing, then it’s another. Didn’t you know there’s life on the moon?

“Spike” comes out August 22. Visit Dark Horse Comics.

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DARK HORSE COMICS Announces New “SPIKE” Series and New “WILLOW” Series

Dark Horse Comics adds two new spinoffs to its “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” universe: a new “Spike” series and a new “Willow” series! “Spike” #1 comes out August 22, 2012. “Willow” #1 comes out November 21, 2012.

Details follow:

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Filed under Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Spike, Willow