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April 06 2005

Preview of the artwork for the Spike comic book. Peter David has posted the first few pages (including the cover) for the Spike one-shot. And very nice it looks too.

I'm not a comic book fan and therefore generally I don't know how to appreciate comic book art, but in my inexpert opinion, that artwork looks good! Much more realistic and true to the characters than the Spike/Dru comic. That looks just like Spike/William, Cecily, and the people at the party. Very cool!
The Fernando Goni artwork is EXCELLENT. Not particularly unique, but very true to the look of BUFFY and ANGEL, and he's got Spike's cheekbones down to the last tapered inch. I also like his interpretation of Halfrek/Cecily. (Kali Rocha would be very happy.)
Masterful artwork to be sure, but looks to me Peter David's going with the fan-based theory that Cecily and Halfrek are one and the same, merely because the same actress portrayed them. I thought Whedon somewhere once said they decidedly weren't one and the same, and the reference in season six that Halfrek recognized "William" was just an injoke for the fans. I mean sure this comic book looks cool, but it's already decidedly apocryphal.
Why is Hally hurting the women as well, though?
Didn't we recently discuss this all? Basically, one of the writers(forget which one) took pains to show that Cecily was probably Halfrek. And I think Joss probably has a 'yay' or 'nay' on issues like that. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that's the case.

And yes, this is amazing artwork! Very excellent likenesses!

Why is Hally hurting the women as well, though?

We'll just have to wait for the text, I guess! I assume it's because they all laughed at William. But then again, we don't know what her 'job' was at that party, so maybe it was totally unrelated to William.
If this is after William left the party, then who was killed with a railroad spike? I was always under the impression Spike did that to the guy who criticized his poetry and made the comment that he'd rather have a railroad spike pounded in his head than listen to any more of William's bloody awful poetry. I also agree with ZachsMind, but when this topic came up earlier it seemed I was in the minority opinion. Peter David even defended the story by saying it was approved by Whedon, but I'm not sure exactly what that means or how much sway Whedon would really have if he wasn't happy with the direction. I like the cover art though.
What exactly did William say when he ran out after everyone made fun of him? Could he have wished something under his breath? Vengeance demons don't just listen to women.
"Why is Hally hurting the women as well, though?"

I thought that getting back at men was just Anya's pecadillo. Although I seem to remember Halfreck having her own, dealing with parents I think.

[ edited by rkayn on 2005-04-05 22:58 ]
Masterful artwork to be sure, but looks to me Peter David's going with the fan-based theory that Cecily and Halfrek are one and the same, merely because the same actress portrayed them.


That's a statement that's a bit behind the times really. It's not just a 'fan-based' theory. Joss said it wasn't *originally* the plan to have them be the one and the same person. Then they threw it in as an in-joke. Then the idea kept floating around and several writers have said that in the writing meetings in later Halfrek eps, they actively worked Halfrek's history in such a way that it would fit with her being the same person as Cecily after all.

So in the end, things wered deliberatedly written as if she was indeed Halfrek and several writers have said that in their mind they definitely are the same person. Now Joss often leaves things so that fans can have different interpretations of certain elements (Buffy and Spike's basement scene in 'Chosen' is an example) but to dub the Halfrek/Cecily connection as merely 'fan-based' is, at this point, simply incorrect and misleading.

The art looks very good. Probably the best liknesses I've ever seen in a Buffy related comic. Some of the early Dark Horse stuff was truly horrendous. And they didn't even make the slightest attempts to make the sceneries look genuine, like Buffy's house or room, etc.. At least this guy is doing his best to make things really look like they did in the show. Which you'd think would be a given, but at DH it usually wasn't.

It looks to me like PAD is making it so that Cecily was already a vengeance demon at the time, which is interesting. I could be wrong of course, but I get that impression.
From the lovely and very useful buffyology:

TARA: I thought vengeance demons only punished men who wronged women.

HALFREK: Oh, that was Anyanka's little raison d'etre. Most of us try to be a little more well-rounded and actually, we prefer "justice demon", okay? FYI.

ANYA: Well-rounded, huh? Is that how you explain your thing for bad parents?

HALFREK: Oh, it's not a thing. The children need me.

Anya cloaks her response in a feigned cough.

ANYA: Hmm... (cough) Daddy issues.

I've never been a comic fan, but anyone could see this is incredible artwork and I've heard enough praise of "PAD" to know that he's a great writer who did wonders working with the Star Trek canon.

Seems to me that after William left, Cecily took vengeance out on some of the guest. Don't know if William made a wish, or she was there for another reason. Definitely has me intrigued.
Okay I stand corrected. Still feels a bit forced though. Of course, so's my "Amy is The First" theory which is VERY apocryphal, so touche and all that.

The concept of vengeance or "justice" demon is a fascinating one to me, and I wish they could have expanded that even moreso than they did. Seems to me the idea was for D'Hoffryn to find women who had been maligned victims of evil acts and offer them a chance for payback that they'd think would mean using demonic 'evil' powers for good - the classic "ends justify the means" paradox that is so fun to debate. A vigilante operates outside conventional law, and the 'justice demons' would think they're doing good when actually they were serving evil. I wonder where Anya's soul ended up? She'd done all that evil as a vengeance demon but before she died she had turned her back on all that and tried to live a relatively unveangeancy kinda life. Of course, Whedon's an aetheist and doesn't believe in either a heaven or a hell, so maybe Anya just ended up in oblivion. Who knows?

Buffy's own level of justice is a variant on the 'justice demon' concept. There were times when she specifically chose not to get involved in something because it dealt with human beings and her Slayer "job" was specifically regarding vampires and demons. But then at times she'd choose to protect a vamp or demon if it looked like the entity was trying to do the right thing. So Buffy was like a cop, policing situations that were mystical and demonic in nature, therefore "outside the jurisdiction" of conventional police. Still, she was taking the law into her own hands without formal permission from conventional authorities, which is questionable from a philosophical standpoint. There's a lot of stuff about this over at All Things Philosophical. Great site by the way.
Okay I stand corrected. Still feels a bit forced though. Of course, so's my "Amy is The First" theory which is VERY apocryphal, so touche and all that.


Heh, well the 'Amy is the First' thing would be kinda purely fan-based wouldn't it?;-)

I personally don't feel the Halfrek/Cecily thing is all that forced, but I do wish that since they sort of went for it anyway, that they had at least one scene of actual interaction between her and Spike somewhere in Season 6. Oh well, that's what comics are for these days now.

Seems to me the idea was for D'Hoffryn to find women who had been maligned victims of evil acts and offer them a chance for payback that they'd think would mean using demonic 'evil' powers for good - the classic "ends justify the means" paradox that is so fun to debate. A vigilante operates outside conventional law, and the 'justice demons' would think they're doing good when actually they were serving evil.


I agree it's very intriguing and rife with possibilities. I always wondered though, why there were only female vengeance demons under a male lord. I assume there only were females ones since D'Hoffryn said 'I have many girls working for me' or something to that effect. And we only ever see female vengeance demons. The only male reference D'Hoffryn ever makes is when he mentions the 'Lloyd' fellow that had the skinning of Warren as a sketch on his wall. Maybe he's just a demon butler or something.....;-)
That looks gorgeous, very true to the actual faces, yet without the awkwardness that kind of realism often brings with it in comic book depiction.
The only male reference D'Hoffryn ever makes is when he mentions the 'Lloyd' fellow that had the skinning of Warren as a sketch on his wall. Maybe he's just a demon butler or something.....;-)

That Lloyd was actually a reference to the cave demon who ensouled Spike in "Grave," I believe. In the cave demon's first appearance there is a picture on his wall of Willow flaying Warren, which happens later in the episode.
i wish the dark horse buffy comics were done that nicely.......
EdDantes: "..would be kinda purely fan-based wouldn't it?"

The "Amy is The First" theory is completely substantiated by the television series. It's entirely plausible without negating anything already canonical. However, I imagine even if I could get Joss Whedon completely plastered in a bar and explained the whole thing to him, he'd neither confirm nor deny the validity of the idea. He'd just leave me hanging, the bastard.
The Artwork is wonderful and we know that PAD is an excellent writer ! I can't wait for this comic to be published ! Poor William, his first love turns out to be a Vengence Demon. Hopefully, this will segue in a believable way into the story told in 'Fool for Love.' Interesting.
Love the likenesses! I always thought that it was possible that Spike's name came from his desire to reinvent himself. He gave himself a new tough guy image; lower class accent, and, based upon the insulting remark, a new name and a story to go with it. At least when he was first turned, he didn't seem the type to drive a railroad spike through anyone's head. And biting has to be much more gratifying if you are a vampire.
You know I always assumed D'Hoffryn was male but were we ever really told he was a him?

Did Anya or Halfreck ever refer to D'Hoffryn as "he" or did they always call the character by name? Because I am assuming they would know D'Hoffryn's sex so if they only refered to him by name "he" could be a "she".

I never paid that much attention to this before so now I am wondering.

Added - love the artwork on this comic!!!

[ edited by Passion on 2005-04-05 23:59 ]

[ edited by Passion on 2005-04-05 23:59 ]
Ooo, pretty art. I might just pick this up. I like the idea, too, and I don't see it as conflicting with anything cannonal.
D'Hoffryn was portrayed by Andy Umberger, a male actor, and although at times D'Hoffryn may have seemed a little effeminate, that was just for humor's sake, I imagine. D'Hoffryn is decidedly very male. By the way, Andy Umberger is officially the first "Hat Trick," having played D'Hoffryn in Buffy, Dr. Ronald Metzer in an episode of Angel, and he makes an all too brief appearance in the teaser of the two hour pilot episode on Firefly as a captain for the Alliance.
Okay, i go a few months without checking out developments in the Whedonverse and i return to find a potential Spike telemovie, Angel and Spike comics happening and that Joss is doing a Wonder Woman movie? All i gotta say is ... COOL!

Seriously, i should take a break from the net more often. With the exception of Serenity i had seen no sign of anything remotely like good Whedon news since we lost Angel last year and i come back to a Joss overload.

Regarding the Spike graphic novel, it looks good to me. I'm not especially into comics but i'm into anything related to Spike, or any of the cast of characters from Buffy and Angel to be honest, so i'll no doubt get hold of this somehow. I'm not certain if there is a comic shop anywhere nearby where i live so does anyone know any good, reliable online services? Better yet, will this be available from Amazon?

As for the connection between Halfrek and Cecily, unless anything happens in a future live action episode that disproves they are the same person i think i'll assume that they are one and the same. I certainly can't think of any evidence to disprove it so far.
Oooh, nice cover.

God, I miss the Spike hair.. *sigh*
"the fan-based theory that Cecily and Halfrek are one and the same, merely because the same actress portrayed them."

No, not merely because the same actress portrayed them...deductive reasoning...Hallie's mention about the Crimean War, which clearly predated the Cecily/William confrontation...and the recognition by Hallie of "William" and the studied "we don't really know each other" posture when she first appears...it just makes perfect sense...I mean, nobody thinks that Zachary Cralic is actually Rack, right?
The "Amy is The First" theory is completely substantiated by the television series.

Except that Willow/Warren slaps Amy in The Killer in Me. The First is supposed to be incorporeal.
Whedonesque posters may be interested in this comment made by Peter David in a previous Spike post at his site.

BTW, PAD I'm surprised that we never saw an episode of Angel or Buffy written by you. Did you ever discuss the possibility of writing for those series with the *ahem* Powers that Be or never wander down that particular road?"

Actually, I had a meeting with a couple of Whedon's people at Mutant Enemy. I *thought* the meeting went well. They certainly seemed enthused and kept saying I clearly "got" the series. But they never contacted me for an actual job, so...

At least when he was first turned, he didn't seem the type to drive a railroad spike through anyone's head. And biting has to be much more gratifying if you are a vampire.

Maybe, maybe not. That is how Giles said in season 2 he got his name though - driving a railroad spike through someone's head. The reference in season 5 seemed to suggest that the person who made the statement may have been the one that got spiked.
Then the idea kept floating around and several writers have said that in the writing meetings in later Halfrek eps, they actively worked Halfrek's history in such a way that it would fit with her being the same person as Cecily after all.

I'm asking only out of curiousity. Where exactly did the writers say they deliberately wrote Halfrek so that she could be Cecily? Was it an interview? DVD commentary? I'd just like to look it up and see what was said because I'm always interested in the writers thoughts.
That's the best looking actor-to-comic likeness I've seen a very long time. Wow! Great, my money will be pouring down the drain, I just know it!
Looks, very, very good.
Can someone remind me when this comes out again? Between this, the other Angel comics, Joss' X-Men run and all the Firefly books(essays, novels, and comics) I'm having a hard time keeping up with everything.

Maybe I should just add everything to my amazon cart and pick them up one by one.
It comes out in August, I think.
Huzzah! At last some artwork where the characters at least look like their TV counterparts! I'm really looking forward to getting this now.
Killinj, I think they talk about it on the "Selfless" commentary. I remember them saying something about the war they were going to use in the flashback while Anyanka and Hallfrek were talking at the table and the guy on fire ran throught the room. They were going to use an earlier war, but changed it to a war that would have been after Spike was sired so that it could coenside with Cicely being Halfrek.

That is why I thought Cicely wouldn't have been Halfrek until later, but I guess it could work that she was already a Vengence Demon.
Very nice art work, I can't wait to pick this up.
I was always happy with the idea of Halfrek and Cecily being one and the same so I have no problem with the subject matter.
Killinj, I think they talk about it on the "Selfless" commentary. I remember them saying something about the war they were going to use in the flashback while Anyanka and Hallfrek were talking at the table and the guy on fire ran throught the room. They were going to use an earlier war, but changed it to a war that would have been after Spike was sired so that it could coenside with Cicely being Halfrek.

Ok, I'll have to check the commentary. Thanks! One note, the war cited in that episode is the Crimean War which occured a few decades BEFORE Spike was sired. ;)
That Lloyd was actually a reference to the cave demon who ensouled Spike in "Grave," I believe. In the cave demon's first appearance there is a picture on his wall of Willow flaying Warren, which happens later in the episode."

Wha? You're joking, right, Jackal? How come I've never heard this before? *runs off to look for screencaps*
Yeah there was alot of speculation back during that summer about the paintings on the cavewalls in Africa. I specced that the Spike scenes must not be occuring at the same time as the Sunnydale action which would fix that whole "Spike going to Africa on his motorcycle in one day" thing.
killinj - I think the guy on fire running through is during the 1905 Russian Revolution but there is a conversation in "Lessons" where Halfrek mentions something during the Crimean war that she and Anyanka were involved in.

The Crimean War mention means that Cecily must have already been a vengeance demon before Spike's "effulgent" night (unless time travel - nah, don't even want to venture into that territory!). Maybe Spike's mother had made a wish about him being more independent and stronger - he certainly became that and you know the way those Vengeance (sorry, Justice) demons can twist a well-intentioned wish around!
Sorry back again but just read all the post on PAD's site, having just about fallen over in amazement at the art work - so good!

When this was described as a one-shot, I assumed one shot comic but its a f@#king one shot graphic novel! Not just 22 pages but a WHOLE heap of sweet Spikey to sink my teeth into (metaphorically speaking, he added lamely as his feet touched back down to earth!)

WOO - F@#KING - HOO! Made my day - no, my whole month!
i always wondered who lloyd was that d'hoffryn mentioned to willow........i cant believe it was the demon in the cave. wow, i love learning about things i missed. now i have to go watch the episode to see the drawings.
Again, I find myself agreeing with you Catalyst! I lke that idea about Spikes Mummy Queerest. And man the art is flamin incredible! I wanty - NOW!
Knowing very little of comics, and thus having virtually nothing to compare this to, on its own this artwork is fantastic. I do believe I'll be purchasing this.
"WOO - F@#KING - HOO! Made my day - no, my whole month!"

Um, with you there, catalyst2. KILLER artwork. Can't wait.
I know I'm going against the flow here, but I have a hard time getting excited about a comic book written by the same guy who wrote the films "Trancers 4" and "Trancers 5". Those were utterly wretched.
I haven't seen either of those movies, Serapion, but i was still reading Marvel Comics back when he was writing the Hulk and i can assure you his comic book work is excellent.

Anyway, you shouldn't unfairly judge a writer by his past movies. If Joss was always judged on the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer do you think any of us would be here now?
I don't judge any writers on their film work since studio heads are always destroy their scripts. Half the time the script gets chopped up by other writers in a committee like fashion to churn out mundane fare for the lowest common demoniator of a audience.

And those are straight to video movies, I don't think theres been ANY good stv movie. The production values and acting is just too horrid to utiilize a script well.

[ edited by eddy on 2005-04-06 12:31 ]
I think this artwork is fantastic... it looks a lot better than the Angel comics from what I've seen. I want it too, even though I had hoped it would be a story post NFA, but hey...it's Spike and I will buy all the Spike stuff I can. Hopefully that will get the message across that we want MORE Spike in all forms. Does anyone think this will be offered for sale on tis guys website, or will IDW promote and sell it. I have never bought comics before...but if this is a graphic novel type issue...maybe Amazon will have it. Any ideas? I don't want to miss out on this?
Zachmind -I know D'Hoffryn was portrayed by Andy Umberger who is a male, all I was saying was just because a male plays the character in this verse that doesn't mean the character is really a male.

I have since watched "Gone" and when Anya is arranging the wedding seating she refers to D'Hoffryn as "he" so my question is answered.

I just always assumed the character was male and I wondered if perhaps it wasn't.

Concerning this Spike comic - I'm with KathyLovesSpike, I want this comic and I want to be sure to get it. does anyone know yet where it will be available?
It'll be out sometime in August, I would imagine you can order it from the comic book publisher's online store when it becomes available. Probably be about 7 dollars judging by the prices for their other one shots.
Yes, that certainly does look like Warren on the cave demon's wall:

here

and especially this close-up.
Nice art. Quite "Cross Gen" would those of you who read comics regularly not agree??
No one has mentioned the part in Entropy where Hally reminds Anya that sometimes men need a little justice too, leading to the table top empathy.
Jackal, thanks for pointing out cave demon sketch. I've always wondered if D'Hoffryn was referring to the cave demon as Lloyd. Good catch! BtVS has been off the air for two years, yet I'm still learning things about it.
D'Hoffryn was portrayed by Andy Umberger, a male actor, and although at times D'Hoffryn may have seemed a little effeminate, that was just for humor's sake, I imagine. D'Hoffryn is decidedly very male.

That doesn't say a thing, look at Lorne's mom. :P
Amy was always corporeal. The First was her puppet. I can't explain the whole thing here cuz it's way off topic, but someday maybe at my online journal I'll break it down for ya. Trust me. Amy as The First works.
Yeah isn't Lorne's mom played by a male? Some other female demons have been played by a male for humor.
I always figured that they were doing a little message about cultural norms with the whole Lorns's mom being played by a guy thing. Women,or women that bore children, being hairier and having what we would consider masculine traits inmplied to me that what we see in Lorne as somewhat effeminate traits were normal for men in that world. Of course if the other guys in his world were more effeminate, that theory would make more sense. Oh well, can't win them all. ;-)

ZM, didn't you do a version of the Amy as first theory on a thread a while back? As I recall, you had all your ducks in a row. If I could figure out how to do a search here, I would look for it. I've got to get with the program.

D'Hoffryn: Men as an ancient authority figure controlling a group of women who they use to do thier dirty work was used more than once in the verse...Watchers, anyone?
Well, there are female Watchers as well.
Amy was always corporeal. The First was her puppet. I can't explain the whole thing here cuz it's way off topic, but someday maybe at my online journal I'll break it down for ya. Trust me. Amy as The First works.

I'm assuming with whatever logic you're applying here, many people could be The First...

And not that it matters, but how could Amy BE The First and have The First as her puppet?? Nevermind, I don't wanna know...
Somebody really needs to ask Joss about those cave drawings at a convention. Seriously. My friend doesn't believe they are of Warren.
The situation with the Trancers movies was not really analogous to the original Buffy movie. Joss has spoken publicly about how his script was ruined, while Peter David has written in his Comics Buyer's Guide column about his work writing for Trancers being a positive experience. He was present when they were filmed made a cameo in the second of the two films.

I don't think it's unfair to judge a writer on their past work. That's all we really have to go by. That said, I'm not trying to ruin the excitement for anyone else who doesn't feel that way.
Serapion, i just read back the comment i made to you earlier and saw how you misunderstood what i meant, mainly due to me rushing and not actually making the point i was intending to. That will teach me to post and run.

What i meant to say was that you can't judge a writer's ability to write comic books based upon the movies they may have written. Regardless of whether Peter had continuous input in the Trancers movies or not there are still many factors, beyond the initial writing, that can go into making a sucky movie. The actors, producer, director, even crappy lighting can all contribute to a disaster on film.

With comic books, artwork aside, the story pretty much lives or dies by the writing, and so the fairest way to judge what you think of Peter's current work on this Spike GN, without actually having read it yet, is to pick up a few of his previous comic series. I'd recommend either Hulk or Captain Marvel, either one should show you what the guy is capable of in that particular field.
Chris inVirgina, who is Zachary Cralic? Sorry if I should know this.

Ravage, welcome back. My local comic book store special orders my Buffy comics for me since they don't keep them in stock anymore. I bet a local comic book store will order the Spike comic for you. I like supporting local comic book stores rather than giving amazon.com all my money.

The art work is very beautiful. They have a beautiful subject though. James is by far the sexiest man alive.....I'll be in my bunk.
Harmalicious - Zacharay Krallik is the demented vamp in Helpless (played by same actor as Rack).
Another fantastic work of art here :) Much better likeness to JM (those eyes, those cheekbones) than other verse comics I have seen in passing. I am not a comic book gal but may be tempted by that cover alone.

And thanks to whoever it was that first mentioned the cave paintings - learn something new about these shows every day.

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