- Title: Spike: A Dark Place (Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9)
- Author: Victor Gischler
- Artists: Paul Lee
- Series: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9: Spike
- Genre: Graphic Novel, UF, Fantasy, Horror
- Format: eBook
- Source: NetGalley
- Reviewed by: Valerie
- Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Description: Fresh from his latest attempt to get Buffy to act on her feelings for him, Spike has fled to the dark side of the moon. His trip leads him to a group of dangerous demons and a rude awakening from his reverie, which in turn leads him on an unexpected adventure to . . . Sunnydale! Collecting Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike—A Dark Place #1–#5.
Review: I just jumped right into the on-going Spike graphic novels series with this one. Spike has always been one of my favorite characters in the Buffyverse. I have to say, jumping in mid-stream may not have worked in my favor on this one. I was kind of confused at the whole space ship and the bug-like creatures that seemed to worship Spike. I decided to just roll with it and take it for what it was.
The story arc itself was typical Buffyverse and worked well with Spike’s particular charms. All he wants is a quiet place to mourn his unrequited love of Buffy, when some big bads come along and try to force him to help them find a shard of the seed. This launches him on quite an adventure based on trying to use a shard to rekindle some lost magic. The fight scenes are excellent. The scene where he douses a cigarette on the toad-like creatures tongue and then batters him with a broken wine-bottle captures Spike’s bar room brawl fighting style.
Speaking of Spike’s charm, they did a bloody good job of capturing it. Throughout the story, he was all condescension and sarcasm, seeming to talk down to his bug-like minions. He is surly and truculent, yet, he still has that soft & vulnerable center that makes him so loveable. You can see this in the scene where he won’t allow himself to bask in the artificial sun and how he tries to let the succubus down. Sigh, I do so love me some Spike.
As with any Joss Whedon project, the snark is ripe & juicy in this one. Some of my favorite lines include:
- I hear only the cacophonous clamor of my own failure.” ~ Sebastian
- “So you like it rough, eh Kermit?” ~ Spike
- “Well, if it isn’t Flowers in the Attic.” ~ Spike
- “Have to give back the decoder ring, I s’pose.” ~ Spike
The artwork is good, if not as spectacular as the imagery of the primary Buffy series. As typically, the cover and splash pages are the most notable images. The best of these is the splash page of Spike all battered and bloody about to nurse his black eye with a bottle of whiskey. It is such a great depiction of Spike’s tough & resilient character.
Some of my favorite panels include:
- The cold determination in Spike’s expression as he puts his cigarette out on the toad creature’s tongue
- The panel that depicts sudden pause and Spike’s dawning realization that Sebastian may just be right about the existence of a shard of the seed remaining.
- The panel that sees Spike go all vampy and launch himself at the succubus after learning that she does intend to open the hell mouth is a great action image
- The visual of Spike and succubus dodging the blows of the animated Easter Island statues chasing them down with their glowy eyes is my favorite, but I really like most of the Easter Island images.
This was a jolly fun read. I now appears I have some catching up to do.
*DISCLAIMER: This book was provided to me at no cost by the publisher as an advanced review copy through Net Galley.*