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July 29 2010

(SPOILER) Mariah Huehner talks to Buffyfest about the Spike reveal in Angel #35. Major spoilers about Spike, for those who haven't read #35. This is part 2 of the interview that Buffyfest conducted with Huehner at SDCC 2010; the first part was regarding the new Illyria mini-series.

So what the comic has been showing is Spike acting "slightly off"? Substitute completely out of character and essentially being unrecognisable as the original character then I'd get her point. The comics really are the gift that keeps on giving, just when you think they can't destroy a character any further they find a way.
Good interview
Totally don't recognize that Spike, from any season. So I presume he had a personality transplant along with a soul extraction.
Wow, there's like no redeemable character left is there? i mean, loads hate Buffy now, of course Angel is bad and now it's Spike! Well, this is a shocking turn of events!!
The funniest thing about the comic adaptations of BTVS and Angel are that they manage to keep fans in a dither over proper characterization almost a decade after the shows went off the air. I hope people are still talking about what they hate about Buffy, Spike and Angel & Co. 10 years from today.
Saturn Girl: YES.
But it's a big deal because there's obviously been a lot of stuff that Spike's been doing that's not quite what people are used to and it was meant to be (and I think sort of successfully) Spike in a a sort of a different way.

I think they succeeded in making him different, most definitely. Nigh unrecognizable. There was more continuity between soulless Spike and souled Spike on the BtVS and AtS Season 5. I'm a bit baffled at how what's been done differently is supposed to add up to soulless. The first point to me would bloodlust and a return of Spike's cavalier attitude to strangers. While soulless, he might treat people decently who he cares about. But someone he's never met? Yeah, no compassion or empathy without a soul. Instead, soulless Spike is running a petty pity party to write up faux prophecies so he can be the Hero and Angel will be the Villain. Oh yeah, talk about soulless. Since when does soulless mean shallow?

This plot development was a risky venture that could've been brilliant. But because of inadequate characterization, it's crashing and burning. It's a shame. Oh well, this run is almost finished.

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-07-30 05:22 ]
I haven't read the comic but just looking at the dialogue in that preview page irked the hell out of me. Awful dialogue that does not sound like something Spike would say at all. I can't wait to read Joss' dialogue for Spike again. Its been a long time!
Can someone please explain the details of what happened?
I must be one of the few vocal fans who didn't hate it. I was shocked for sure but this IS the most interesting thing that has happened over there for a while.

IMO, Spike says so many different things at different times, it's hard to nail down what he might say, although some of his actions in this run of the comic have been eyebrow raising, I will give you that. Seems to better suit Spike that he was without his soul during some of these actions. Especially if these comics are to ever become canon.
It seems like a cheap way to even the soul thing between Angel and Spike, between being cursed and choosing to have one.

Surprise, surprise! The most interesting thing in the Angel main series is about Spike. Is Angel so difficult to write?
anca, I don't think IDW has much interest in Angel these days. He's been a background character in his own title for months now. Granted, S8's handled him poorly so far as well but at least he's a big player in that story and Last Gleaming *could* turn it around. Everybody always says how Joss doesn’t give a fig about the character but so far he seems like the only one who’s interested at all.

The problem with this reveal (and Illyria’s “heat” storyline) is that they fail to fix one of the biggest and most obvious flaws of the book, which is the dialogue and basic characterisation of the characters. I mean, can you ever imagine Spike calling some guy a “slanderous bint?” It reads as a gigantic parody of the character accept it’s not meant to be. And Illyria sounds like some awkward Anya wannabe. The impression I’m getting from the people behind the series is that this was supposed to be the marvellous plot twist that makes the audience go “Aha! Now it all makes sense!” except it fails to fix most of the flaws in the story. I feel a little bad for them because I’m sure they’ll be disappointed with all the reactions to this twist but I just don’t think they understand what the problems really are with the book.

The lack of soul also doesn’t explain Spike’s personality transplant. Sure, it might explain why he’s amoral enough to sleep with a woman he plans on torturing afterwards. However, since when did soulless Spike care about sleeping with celebrities in the first place? And others have already picked apart why the prophecy storyline doesn’t make a lot of sense either. I think this kind of storyline had enormous potential but not if Spike doesn’t even resemble himself. To be honest, a storyline like this could work on Ats but I admit I’d be most curious to see how Buffy reacted to the news. Nevertheless, it could still have been great if the writer had a handle on the characters.

Angel’s a one dimensional bore who has no significant role in his book, Spike and Illyria don’t sound or act like themselves, Gunn’s storyline in AtF hasn’t been capitalised on at all and so far Kate’s been greatly underused. The change of writer couldn’t come soon enough, especially since Barbary Coast has an Angel who sounds like himself and who’s written as the complex character he really is. Lets just hope he has as good of a grasp on all the other characters as well.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2010-07-30 08:38 ]
Oh Vampomogs, is there ever a time i don't agree with you! Soul or no soul sleeping with celebrities is wrong! That's just not Spike! Also, your breakdown of the use of characters is on the nose! Angel taking a back seat in his own comic is ridiculous. It's like some episodes of season 5 where you started to wonder who's show is this? Yes it's an ensemble piece, but named after one life changing guy! Sure we can follow those whose lives he changes and see how they turn out, but please don't forget that he's still out there fighting the good fight, and newly buffed for the comic!
I couldn't agree more with Angel playing a background character to his own series. That just depresses me.

Regarding the dialogue shown in the interview... it looks like they're trying to tie the Angel series to the Buffy S8 series. I mean, painting Angel as the villain? Giving him some sort of name like "Dusk" (or Twilight)? Perhaps it seems so awkward because they're trying to tie the two together again.

Anyone else get that?
ya I got that..and I thought it was hilarious not awkward. But then again I dont hate the comic or I would like it:)
The funniest thing about the comic adaptations of BTVS and Angel are that they manage to keep fans in a dither over proper characterization almost a decade after the shows went off the air.

Remember that fans complained left and right about the depiction of Buffy in S7 of the TV show - but at least there was a straight line from S4 through S7. Same with Angel, between the lovelorn puppy of BtVS S3 and the dark motherfucker of AtS S2.

As long as the characterization doesn't undergo discontinuous change for out-of-story reasons, the complaints tail off. My sense from the AtS comic (which I stopped reading a couple of years ago) was that it was drifting further toward 'Let's do something to this universe' mode, which is standard derivative-work posture and (in this case) not terribly interesting, even if decent writers like Willingham are producing the material. It lets the writers 'get away with' character discontinuity, and that sucks.

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