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August 22 2012

(SPOILER) Discuss Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike #1. Spike gets his own Season 9 mini-series and boldly goes where no vampire has gone before.

The Spike mini is off to a fantastic start. This is the best portrait of Spike we've had since the comics started. (#36 of season 8 was right up there as well). Gischler goes to the head of the line when it comes to non-ME writers having a stab at Spike. The dialogue/monologue is spot-on. More importantly, he sees Spike in the round as it were -- as the mass of contradictions that he really is.

A link to some lengthier reflections

[ edited by Maggie on 2012-08-22 19:48 ]
Is there anything that ever happen to Spike that does not mimic something previously shown happening to Angel from either BtVS or the Angel series ? Seriously ?

Angel having a dream of chilling out in swimwear and sunglasses in a beach chair - while Darla slithers around him in a swimsuit happened in AtS S2... So much for going places where no vampire boldly went before.

True, in Angel's dream they happen to be 'moonbathing', Spike is doing that same thing under the artificial fake 'sun' concocted by his bugs. Still the same thing - down to Darla serving tropical fruit cocktail in Angel's dream - vs one of the bugs doing the same in Spike's fake paradise.

And that vision thing - with drawing of chubby Buffy in a family-style ugly swimwear was a joke , right ? Because all artist had to do was to look up Cliff Richard's little sexy piece from 'Anywhere but Here' with Buffy fantasizing about meeting Daniel Craig.

[ edited by dorotea on 2012-08-22 16:46 ]
Damn, punk-rock is dead. How could you Spike? Traitor! And to Pink Floyd which avoided Woodstock due to their pretentiousness? What exactly are you smoking?

The frogapocalypse bit was funny. (hide your kids, hide your wife, but we got your t-shirt, frogboy)
I thought it was a slow start to the mini. With only 5 issues, I was hoping to really get into the story quickly rather than see pages of Spike sulking. Not to say it still wasn't enjoyable, I just expected it to get right to the punch.
I thought that it was a good beginning and that Victor Gischler did very well with Spike's characterization.I particularly liked Spike's inner-monologues. I found the 'frogapocaylpse' a bit too daft, though ! Sorry, anca !
I did a bit of chattering here, liked the issue, looking forward to more. Ribbit.
So far as I'm concerned, nobody's done Spike as good as Brian Lynch did. I'll stick with my IDW tradepaperbacks, thank you very much.
I should point out that this thread is for discussion of the actual issue.
I have my copy of Spike:A Dark Place # 1 of 5.

I really liked Paul Lee's art first of all.Nice clean and clear look.

I enjoyed the issue and do see the start of Spike making some changes about things.I do think some growth is coming.Given my feelings on spuffy,yes I do hope this miniseries is the beginning of him moving on.But putting the Buffy issue aside,I though Spike had a lot of growth in the latter part of season 5 of Angel,After the Fall and some of the IDW books.Growth he seems to have lost IMO since returning to Buffy.On the Angel side of the verse,I felt like he had actual friends and was more than being defined by his feelings for a woman(loves bitch). Since returning to Buffy,he's been all about her and nothing else.And I don't get a sense of him having any actual friends(other than the bugs).I think something like that could develope with Dowling but he's really cut off from people other than Buffy and I think that one of the points of this miniseries is going to deal with.Again,putting aside shipper prefrences and whether he will really be moving on from Buffy or not when he returns to her book later in the season,I think we will see a more healthy Spike coming out of this mini who won't just defined as loves bitch or a dark place.I think he'll be getting a life of his own coming out of season 9 whether Buffy is a part of it romantically or in some other way or not at all.No matter what happens on the shipper front,I think Spike will be in a stronger place going forward whether there is more spuffy or there isn't.

Right now he's in the depressed stage but I really like how the bugs try to cheer him up.I've always liked the bugs so I'm actually glad they're still around(early on Scott Allie said they would be gone in early season 9 if I remember.Glad that didn't happen).

Also thought it was a cool callback to season 5 of Angel with the use of Necrotempered glass.

Okay,while I like the bugs I do find that big frog monster freaky.

This issue is really mood setting and the meat and potatoes probably won't be until issue 2-3 but a good start.

I also think Victor Gischler has Spike's voice and characterzation down pretty good.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2012-08-22 19:50 ]
I could never really get accustomed to the bug, I have to admit.
I enjoyed the issue, overall. Gischler is a fan, and it shows on every page. Bugs' lines are funny, especially "Tell my wife and larvae..."
Spike whacked up by Thor's hammer - is it an insider joke? A reference to Joss' interview: "Spike - now we call him Loki..."?
I enjoyed it, but the pacing was a bit odd. We have 10 pages of Spike moping (while complaining about people who mope), then the bad guys randomly appear out of nowhere touching off the amphibapocalypse. There's enough there to give me confidence that it will all make sense eventually, but from just this one issue I'm not overly excited.
I mostly felt like this entire issue was essentially unnecessary preliminaries. Nothing of consequence happened, and Spike basically was inactive. Structurally, it seems like they should have started with Spike where the story is going to put him, and just filled in this whole thing about how he got there in small, even just one-panel flashbacks.

It mostly struck me as a really weirdly pointless way to start, or at least, as I said, structurally backward and impotent.

I'll have to trust that once Spike gets into the series' actual story, things will not be quite so... this.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2012-08-23 00:53 ]
I really loved this issue!!!

Yes, Spike complains about people who mope, and then he mopes... That's classic Spike right there! Spike doesn't realize certain things he himself does, and that's so in-character!

I feel like this was a good first issue, because you have to get his inner feelings for Buffy out there; that's where this miniseries stems from, so I loved that, and I'm not even a huge Spike/Buffy shipper!

Can't WAIT for the next issue!
Well this is where I miss Brian Lynch. The art looks good but the story is slow and Spike's voice is unfunny, self-pitying, and more like a parody of Spike's style of talking. I'll be reading the whole mini, but right now I'm wishing we'd been able to have Brian Lynch writing it (he always had the higher levels of humor and energy that is Spike IMO).
I guess there's no pleasing everyone. I thought Lynch's Spike was just a cartoon version of the complex character we all know and love. Gischler caught so much of what I'd been missing in Lynch's characterization. Just for me a great joy to finally get to spend time with my favorite character realized so well by a writer who actually gets what makes him tick.
I think Brutus and b!X hit it on the nose, so just reread their posts to get my opinion. I am also on the Lynch side of Spike's characterization, this was closer than Scott Allie got though. I just feel that as the series goes on Spike loses much of his British voice that is essential to his character.

I'll keep reading on because I like Spike and I hope it picks up and pays off.
"Gischler caught so much of what I'd been missing in Lynch's characterization."

I've got to ask like what? To me the whole thing came across as quite childish in humor, but then I have no idea at what age group these comics are aimed at.

And yes, Lynch definitely had his faults, but so far I'm preferring his approach to this.

But only time will tell I suppose and maybe things will get better.
Different authors bring different emphases to the mix. Maybe it's a bit early to make comparisons. I liked Victor Gischler's characterization of Spike in this first issue. I also very much enjoyed Brian Lynch's characterization of Spike and imho, 'Asylum,' is the best writing for Spike I've seen in the comics. I'd never think of it as showing a 'cartoon version' of the character.
Yes, I very much enjoyed 'Asylum' too.

But I agree It's early days for this mini series, and I'm hoping things will improve. :)
Wasn't sure what most of this issue was getting at. I mean... does Spike realize he's been fooling himself about Buffy? Cause he wanted to? Or just that he shouldn't try to be a beer ad. I didn't get that part.

But the whole issue was worth it for me for this line:

"Dunno. Moon frog?"
I get my comics late, but I thought I'd speak up for those of us who are always happy with a new issue and prefer Dark Horse to IDW, and anyone in DH to Brian Lynch. Spike is one of my favorite characters, and this issue wasn't slow for me at all, perhaps because I'm not in a hurry to get to any particular place in the Whedonverse. Plus, I want the cover minus the bug.
My review is now up on my BLOG. Feel free to comment/critique.

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