What They Say:
Having fought to regain his soul after falling in love with the Slayer Buffy, the once-terrifying vampire villain Spike has been a bit less fearsome (to humans, at least). On his own adventure, Spike is forced to examine the man he once was, the man he is now, and the man he still hopes to become.
As master of a steampunk ship filled with loyal, oversized alien cockroaches, Spike embarks on a journey to the dark side of the moon, setting into motion an adventure filled with demons, witches, and others who brew new evil in the world without magic!
Victor Gischler and Paul Lee capture Spike’s voice and character from the start with a Pink Floyd quote and a washed out image of Spike lighting his cigarette. Even if I hadn’t known this comic was hitting the shelves, the cover by Jenny Frison would have grabbed me. His eyes are piercing. Throughout the entire issue Spike’s actions and dialogue paint a vivid picture in my mind. I can hear his voice saying “bloody hell” and “sod off” like the television series never ended. Yet this is a story the on screen show could never have pulled off.
The alien cockroaches are also a delight. I can’t believe how much I’ve grown to enjoy them whenever they appear. The bugs were entertaining when they appeared with Spike in the Buffy comics, but they take a central role in this first issue. Can they hold their own in the spotlight? Absolutely. They are downright hysterical, right from the start. I started to chuckle when Sebastian’s response to Spike’s “get bent” was a simple, “Thank you sire”.
Spike’s moping at the start is, as he would say, “spot on”. Thankfully, it isn’t allowed to go on too long before the bugs take action. More humor ensues as one scuttles past with construction paper sunshine. Classic. Honestly, they steal the show. One bug even shows up in a grass skirt. Seriously, does it get any better than that? Can we have a comic just about the bugs?
No Buffyverse episodes end up being just about the funny, though. There are lessons to be learned about allowing oneself to fall for false comforts. Spike has to find a way to move on and shake off his sadness. Yet his introspection doesn’t last too long, and the pace picks up again. The arrival of some bizarre creatures on the ship sets the scene for the overall story arc, and there are some great action sequences. Spike just can’t catch a break, which is exactly why I love him.
Spike has such a unique voice – a combination of flippant snark and deep seated pain. He’s a favorite, and I held out great hope that the character I love would show well in this mini. The first issue was a perfect mix of pathos and wry humor. The bugs are great, from start to finish. We have a fun setup for the remainder of the series with the introduction of a mysterious group of creatures that make Spike’s life miserable. I’m sold on the concept and ready to enjoy this storyline.