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May 11 2011

'Tying up Loose Ends' - a review/recap of the last three issues of 'Spike'. If you haven't been reading them, you've been missing out. LiveJournal's shadowkat67 looks at the major happenings.

I really wanted to read this, because I'm never going to read the IDW stuff, but about a quarter through the Season 8 snarking got to be way too much. Why do people gotta be so negative ya'll?
The dude has a valid point as to why Spike wasn't present earlier in S8 (chasing bad guys in other dimensions)
I wasn't happy with most of the comic series IDW stuck Angel into (written by people who didn't ever watch the TV show, I'm guessing), but I always loved it when Brian Lynch wrote about Spike! I felt that Shadowkat did a great job of recapping those last issues of Lynch's SPIKE!, and really captured some of the subtleties:
It's no accident that Lynch chose Willow to be the one to help Spike in this - Willow =Will, William=Will. Two characters who against all odds, assert their own will, own agency, own power."

Brian Lynch is an awesome writer who really 'gets' Spike, and it is a pity that his series was cut short.
The Spike mini-series had stuff in it that fans would have been jumping up and down for joy had it happened in Season 8. Either Joss/Allie said it was ok for Brian & IDW to use or Brian & IDW just went ahead and did it anyway. Whatever happened, the series went out on a very high note. I would hope shadowkat67's review has got some people interested in the story.
Oh by the way, Brian Lynch read Shadowkat67's review and tweeted:
"The review I linked really nailed a lot of the stuff I was trying to do in SPIKE. Gonna miss the character. But onwards! #ripbettageorge".
Thanks for posting this review, I found it very insightful, not only about Spike but also about Angel and how he is still haunted by his relationship with his father.

Faith and Angel had a lot in common they can bond over and surely one of the most important things they share is they both had rotten childhoods.
I'm really going to miss Brian Lynch's books. He wrote so many moments into this short Spike series that were absolutely perfect. Honestly, I'm not sure if he or Joss is my favorite Buffyverse writer - and that's saying a lot.
While I feel that the digs at Season 8 were a bit much, I will agree that Brian Lynch is awesome. Everything he wrote for the Angelverse was brilliant. Unfortunately, when other people got their hands on it, results... varied. In particular, this final Angel arc left a lot to be desired for me. I kind of feel like the sub-par post-ATF stuff was what made people jump ship from IDW's books, which is a shame because those people missed out on the excellent Spike series. I am glad to hear that I wasn't the only one enjoying it.

I hope Joss takes this series into account when writing Spike in season 9. Some very interesting and compelling character growth here.
I hope so,too, Giles_314 !

Thanks for linking to Shadowkat67's review. I've been enjoying the Spike series throughout, but issue's 6-8 were the ones where it really hit it's stride. Issue 8, especially, was rather awesome, imo.I think that this review, together with a Spike overview that I read recently have crystallized why I have been enjoying this series so much. I really hope that Spike's character growth from all Brian's series follow him into Season 9. This series was maybe the last chance to see Spike as a lead character in his own right, or at least the last chance for a long while, so I've been thoroughly enjoying it on that count, but also because it has been very enjoyable as well. I wish Brian well with all his future projects.
I truly enjoyed this review and the Spike series as a whole.
Even though it was a bit uneven at times I think Brian Lynch did a great job and left Spike in 'a good place' at the end of the series. Hopefully all the character development Spike has undergone over the years will not be lost on S9 and Darkhorse.
Spike is so much more than just 'the OTHER vampire with a soul' or one of Buffy's vampire boyfriends.
The affection around here for 'After the Fall' confuses and irritates me, but that's not terribly important. Certainly not now, years later. Just wanted to respond briefly to stuff like this:

[Again, let's take a moment to thank Mr. Lynch for taking the time to actually explain Whedon's dangling plot and character threads that make no sense.]

This kind of commentary is childish and ridiculous. Things like the space-bugs are only 'dangling plot threads' if you care one way or the other how your deus ex machina arrives on the S8 scene. Note, too, that Lynch's resolution is basically 'something stupid/weird happens to justify this stupid/weird thing Joss wrote,' to which everyone halfway trained in Joss's methods should be saying Piss off with your plot noise, just show me how it all feels.

The very end of Buffy S8 was a storytelling catastrophe but that's got nothing to do with 'resolving' open questions. When you're writing a short-run series specifically designed to bridge between two long-form series, you keep things tight, you answer plot questions, you focus on details to keep things smooth. When you're telling a giant S8-style story over several years you hit the high points, get the emotions right, make sure the story's more or less coherent (ahem), and don't sweat the small stuff.

Lynch seems like a very detail-oriented writer and he does have a decent handle on Spike (though he didn't quite nail Spike's voice until 'Shadow Puppets,' if you ask me). But his one great-big-canvas Jossverse story had its share of great-big-problems - they're more closely linked to the form than this LiveJournal review accounts for.
In other words: Lynch is a Joss fan, and he answers questions that fans wanted answered. But those questions are not always important to Joss himself - especially when he's juggling Season Eight balls.

The fanservice in Lynch's writing has always been cute-but-cloying. You can't blame him (what a fun job!!) but it's hard to take things like 'Official Can(n)on' seriously.

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