Spike #1 Review: Brian Lynch is the new Joss!

 
As previously mentioned, this issue is near perfect. Lynch’s script is funny, engaging, and full of surprises! Always a great writer, Lynch manages to touch on both the current Dark Horse and IDW series, as well as referencing his own Spike: Asylum series, past Buffy history, and the current Twilight craze. Urru’s art, originally resisted by many at the start of Angel: After The Fall, is in superb form! His depiction of “Spike” is more than adequate, and he draws quite a few visually-interesting pages, including an “evolution of vamps” piece.
 
 
Here’s a quick summary:
 
Wolfram & Hart are back to causing trouble, this time in Las Vegas. “Spike,” prompted by “Angel,” heads to Sin City, but not before assembling a team composed of the psychic fish, “Betta George,” and the hottie with pyrokinesis, “Beck.” 
 
Upon reaching the Vegas strip, they are promptly attacked by a massive demon composed of unwilling humans. As our heroes defeat their adversary, it is revealed to the readers that “Drusilla” is also in town and partly responsible for the demon that attacked them! While this is a shock, there’s more to come when “Drusilla’s” male companion states that “Spike” is in possession of his soul!
 
 
The Good:
 
– “Spike!!!” It seems like “Spike” has had a permanent spot in the “good” column for a while.  It’s like heaven and puppies to have the character back in the hands of an IDW writer who can write him like the character we know from James Marster’s portrayal. 
 
 
– Lynch brings Twilight (the Stephanie Meyer novel, not the super-powered “Angel”) to the Buffy-verse! Having first treated us to the wonderful idea of a screenwriter penning the events in Angel: After The Fall into a Michael Bay-esque super film called The Last Angel In Hell, Lynch now has “Spider,” a former fling of “Captain Peroxide,” writing Twinkle, a hit book series with the “Edward” role having been derived from her fantasy version of her blonde vampire ex.
 
“Drusilla” is back! Lynch directed her character excellently with the two issues he co-wrote with “Drusilla” herself, Juliet Landau, so I’m sure that more good things can be expected. “Drusilla” is a character that cuts right to “Spike’s” core, so it’s a good sign that we’re heading to strong places, story wise. Also, did I mention she’s naked?
 
 
– “Groo” shows up in the next issue to join the team. Joy!!!
 
 
 
The Bad:
 
 – I don’t have too much bad to say here. The biggest and loudest complaint that I’ve heard and can agree with is the fact that this was once an unlimited series and now we’ve got a short six issues left. I can only hope that Dark Horse has half a brain and begs Lynch to write for their own “Spike” series. Maybe I should phone my lawyer buddy over at Wolfram & Hart to see if he can help make that happen…
 
– It could be said that, even with its entertaining twist, Twinkle doesn’t really fit in the Buffy-verse. This is due to “Buffy’s” acknowledgment of the Stephanie Meyer novel when she first confronts the villain by the same name in Season Eight. Personally, I’m willing to let this one slide for the sheer fun of it.
 
 
The Ugly:
 
Fan reaction has been mostly positive to this issue, which was to be expected
with Lynch returning. Buffyfest and Buffyverse Comic Reviews were both happy with the issue and gave it good reviews. 
 
– Brian Lynch is actually very accessible over the web and is known for commenting in forums discussing his comic book issues. He got a lot of praise this issue, appearing to be widely accepted by the fan community. He mentioned that the Twinkle joke originally played a bigger role involving “Spider” being killed at a book signing as a message from our villain to ol’ blondie!
 
– Kudos to Lynch!!! He also posted in one forum that three comic shops in Los Angeles sold out of this issue on the first day! Get yours quick!
 
– One negative forum post that I read did stand out. The poster wrote, “’Spike’s’ characterization is still swimming in the shallow end of the pool, and he remains stuck in juvenile teenager mode even when he’s not around ‘Angel’–this isn’t the same guy who said ‘there’s a hole in the world,’ ‘every night I save you’ or ‘death is your art.’”  I have to agree with this, a bit. While I do feel that Lynch has nailed a good amount of what makes “Spike” fun, it’s been quite a while since we’ve seen the more serious side of our vampire poet. Let’s hope Lynch stretches his wings in the upcoming issue.
 
 
’Till the end of the world,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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