Review, “Spike – Dark Place #5” (Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9)

23 01 2013

CREATORS

Writer: Victor Gischler
Penciller: Paul Lee
Inker: Andy Owens
Colorist: Cris Peter
Cover Artist: Jenny Frison
Genre: Horror, Action/Adventure

Spike and his new demon companion are getting along really well . . . On Easter Island, the duo work to activate a remnant of magic to help get Nadia home. Spike has stars in his eyes, but the bugs are wary of Spike’s newest friend and their master’s overly relaxed attitude. Something seems off. He’s come out of his self-inflicted dark place a bit too swiftly . . .

And we’ve reached the end of Spike’s mini-series. I haven’t reviewed the first 4 issues, but since it’s the end of the story I will try to talk about it all.

I have to admit that when I first heard that Spike was going solo I didn’t like it. After almost a whole season without him, I wanted him in the main book with Buffy and the scoobies. Not necessarily in a romantic relationship with Buffy. But I wanted Spike to find his purpose and to build his life in the main book. And that would have been great. Because unfortunately, I don’t like the way that Buffy’s story has been written so far. Unknown and disliked characters taking the places of the characters we’ve loved for years. Buffy in a constant need of saving and of making stupid decisions, trusting strangers, getting humiliated (and that is a too nice word I’m using), etc. If Spike had remained in the main book, I think, or at least I want to believe that things would have been different. And the story would have been at least a little bit better than what it is now.

But, DH decided to split Spike from Buffy and give him his own mini-series. And I believe that at the end, that was a good thing. At least for me. Because I saw some wonderful panels of Spike. Thanks to the artist of the issue, Paul Lee. God, I’ve read again a couple of days ago the first issues of S9. And I am too scared to think of how Spike will look again in the final arc of S9, when he’ll return to the main title and will be drawn again by Jeanty. Lets hope that all those negative comments he’s been getting about his work from most of the fans and reviewers will make him improve. I hope. Because it will be hard for him to keep up with Paul Lee’s art. And personally, I want to thank Dark Horse for giving us, for giving me, the opportunity to get familiar with Lee’s work. I love him, really.

And of course, the writer, Victor Gischler. I had never heard of him before. And thank you again, for giving me the opportunity to get to know him. And his work. Although I don’t have the time right now to read anything else he’s written, since I have decided to go back to college for the second time in my life and that consumes most of my time. But I will, probably in the summer. He had Spike, and his thoughts, and his voice, and his feelings, memories, from the very first issue until the end. I was reading the lines and I could hear Spike talking. And not only Spike. He also had the bugs. Which were introduced as comic relief characters, back in S8. Some fans hated them, others were neutral about them. I belonged to the second category. But this mini, and Victor, made me love those bugs. I got attached to them. And that is the reason why I feel so sad right now. No, why did it have to end like this? Forget what I’ve said, I hate you Victor!!! I hate you so much, that I want to kiss you because you actually managed to make me almost share a tear when I read the end. I know, not all stories have a happy ending. And this one had a bitter-sweet taste. But more about it, in the interview that is coming up with Victor. Yes, he has agreed to talk to me about the mini, and I will post the interview later, once the issue is out and read by most of you.

And I am glad that my letter was published in a Spike’s comic! Thank you, Scott! In an e-mail you’ve told me that I will like the end of the mini. Did I really like it? Well, it’s not important if I liked it or not. What’s important is that you have managed to make me feel a little bit sad. To make me feel.

It’s been a long journey for Spike. Not in time. But in character growth. He is not the same man he was when he left Buffy. He is still trying to find his purpose, of course. But he will get there, I know that know. I have faith in him. And in Dark Horse, and writers like Victor. And artists like Paul Lee. Please, I want both of them back in S10. Not for minis, but as regulars for the main title, Buffy’s title.

So, where does the end of the mini leave Spike? We know that he’s heading to London. I can’t wait to read how Christos Gage will write him. And especially see Spike drawn by Rebekah!

As for Morgan? Do you really want me to say what I think of her? Well, since we’ve been through a lot those past 6 months, she deserves a proper answer, doesn’t see?
Well, Sod off, Morgan!

Georgia

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14 responses

23 01 2013
cil_domney

Sounds like I am not going to like how my beloved alien insects close out the mini Spike. I am one who liked them from the start with the IDW introduction – almost time to get my digital copy. Great review.

23 01 2013
leykimayri

Thanks, Cil.

I didn’t like it. I mean, I liked it because I wasn’t expecting it and it took me by surprise, and it made me say “Noooooo!”, but that was not what I was hoping for. Once you read it, you’ll understand what I mean.
Astronauts and cavemen all over again, it made me sad.
And especially, I don’t want to spoil it yet, it was heart breaking….nothing left…

23 01 2013
Stoney

I agree that the mini has been a nice Spike focus but I do think the main title has suffered for his absence. Totally, totally agree about PL’s art, it has been fab and VG does Spike’s voice so well it may be a bit jarring when he appears in A&F if Gage doesn’t nail it. As Angel is the worst/only bad thing really in the A&F art I’m expecting Rebekah’s Spike to be a bit square jawed perhaps. We’ll see. But it will be good to see where Spike goes after A&F in terms of what he starts to aim for as his new, non-bugship life.

23 01 2013
leykimayri

I don’t know, the more I think about it the more I believe that it was good that Spike left. I have really lost my hopes on the main title, both writing and art. So maybe it would have been a disaster, I don’t know. I am just glad that we got 5 issues of wonderful Spike panels, and I am glad I got to know Victor.

Your letter got published, that was you, wasn’t it?

PS, read your e-mail, you have about an hour, haha!

23 01 2013
Stoney

Ah, I didn’t read the letters. That is only the second time I have ever written in and, as there is always such a delay, I tend to have a sinking feeling as to whether I will feel like a prize idiot once a bit of distance has occurred between publishing and whatever it was that set me off writing in the first place. That one wasn’t too painful! :s

Re: the email, I don’t have anything other than what we have said before, what I really really want to know about S10 he won’t answer I’m sure. 😀

In the letters… “the soul didn’t do anything except act as a punishment”, what? It baffles me when people are able to watch something and see none of the character depth. Oh well.

23 01 2013
leykimayri

Oh, I only read the first one, which was praising Billy, haha, and I wanted to stop reading them. But I saw my name, and then saw yours and wondered if that was you and read it. The rest of the letters, I haven’t read them yet, haha!

23 01 2013
Veiriti

Hey, girls! Your letters were excellent! 🙂 And that one which was praising Billy was just… well, I still wonder how someone would like such a stupid character like Billy. The only one thing that I would love to see of this character is to go somewhere in the background and to pass away quietly! 😉

23 01 2013
leykimayri

No, that is too easy for them. That would mean that I have wasted more than 6 dollars to read 2 issues about Billy for nothing. I demand of them to make me like Billy. The way Victor has made me love those bugs. Is that so hard that 3 different writers can’t seem able to make it happen?

23 01 2013
Veiriti

Great review as usual. I’ve just read the issue, but I have to say I’ve expected more of the storyline, some plot twist, even big changes – as I’ve said many times Victor is a good writer he voiced Spike so well, but I missed the point of the story, except it was to make Spike to rig off the space ship. I’m going to miss the ship and Sebastian… Poor Sebastian…
Well, anyway, I LOVED the art. When I’m reading Spike comics I have a feeling I’m watching the real tv show, not a cartoon-freak show of bobbed heads! 🙂 I would love to see Paul Lee doing Buffy’s main tittle in Season 10…
Now I’m looking forward Spike’s appearance in A&F. I’m curious why the wank… ups I mean Angel is looking for him! LOL

23 01 2013
Veiriti

No button “reply”. 😉 Gigi, I have the same thought – Victor made me to love these bugs and even Jane Espenson made me to like them at the begining, but she wasn’t able to make me to love or even to like Billy. I still feel his character pointless, ridiculous and detached with Buffy and the others. I’m not against the guy gays, I’m not against the idea about a male slayer (you know I would love Spike to turns into a male Vampire Slayer someday), but that Billy is bloody stupid and I feel him as an intruder in the story. The same is for his buddy the un-cute Devon. 🙂

23 01 2013
leykimayri

Yes, I don’t know about that. After 2 replies, the reply button disappears, haha! I don’t have a problem since I use the ipad application, but it disappears in the browser, I have noticed that.
🙂

24 01 2013
anca

That wasn’t the call I was expecting for 😦

Which brings me back to Allie revealing that Spike will have his own mini before Buffy #10, and now, first revealing A&F #20 covers featuring Spike and afterwards the final issue with the damn call.

So instead of having Xander calling Spike, we have Angel. Pure marketing purpose. Lat minute switch for more money.

For everything else Sod off, Morgan and farewell bugs.

24 01 2013
_Buffy_

Great review, Leyki !
I will miss the bugs. Poor Sebastian. I know that Spike love them, but I was sad when he allows them to leave . IMO he should to take care of them somehow. To find them a proper place for home, for example. Their space ship was Spike’s home for so long. May be he owed to them more. And I liked this ” Sod off” in the end. And also ..” Hello Wanker ! …” I like Spike monologue, the way he thinks of Buffy. Still. He really has intention to go to her, AGAIN. O, I hope so! Georgia, I read your letter after the comic text. Thanks you so much that you told Allie to bring Spike and Buffy together, or to let them to move on. I prefer the first option, of course. But Scot didn’t say anything specific. Sigh. In conclusion – I like the issue. But I am so blind of love for Spike, so may be I am biased. LOL.

6 06 2013
Eric

Great review, I like the art. And not only with the Spike ones. cheers

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