Buffyversity: “Spike: A Dark Place” #2

By | September 20th, 2012
Posted in Columns | % Comments

Spike is back in his Season Nine mini appropriately titled “Spike!” Let’s check it out, shall we?

Written By Victor Gischler
Illustrated By Paul Lee

Spike, traveling with a crew of cockroach-like aliens and stranded demons, is headed back from the dark side of the moon to . . . Sunnydale. If you’re a vampire on a walkabout who wants to gain some perspective and get over a girl (psst . . . it’s Buffy), it might not be the best idea to return to the nostalgia-filled hometown you helped her destroy. But if you don’t have a choice, maybe the best hope is to find another way to put out the old flame . . .

  • Spike heads back to Sunnydale!

First off, while the first issue wasn’t terrible, it didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the season as a whole. While Spike is awesome and things in space are even more awesome, Spike in space doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Thankfully, issue #2 does its best to match the tone of this book with the current season (and the previous season as well!).

First of all, the alien guys are demons who broke free from Hell during the battle where the Seed was destroyed and Giles was killed. They hitched a ride with a spacefaring demon and ended up on the moon, you might even say they were marooned on the moon. Now, they want to go back to whatever Hell they came from, and that means trying to get as much magic from the shards of The Seed as possible.

This is one of the best displays of Spike’s character as well, who, while being a good guy, can manipulate with the best of them. Not only does he save his own skin, but he also saves his underlings in the process.

Now that we have a clearer idea of what “A Dark Place” will be about, it almost seems like a logical choice. The arc is becoming very Indiana Jones in nature, with swashbuckling adventure for an ancient artifact that may just be more important than the Holy Grail or the Ark of the Covenant (or whatever the thing was in Temple of Doom. There’s even an added Femme Fatale who initially seemed like it was going to be everyone’s favorite Electric Badass Gwen Raiden, but instead turned out to be a totally new character (and demon!) also looking for the shards to the Seed.

The demons introduced in the previous issue aren’t really characters however; they’re simply plot devices to get Spike to the place where Sunnydale used to stand. While they seemed imposing, they were easily taken out but Spike and his ilk; which is where we run into the real villains/antagonists for this arc, The Whistler’s buddies the Blunder Twins from “Angel & Faith.”

The end of this issue was the exact moment where the book really started to come together. Pearl and Nash, the pair I “affectionately” refer to as “the Blunder Twins” showed up, seemingly also wanting what remains of the “Source Of All Magic” for themselves (and presumably Whistler). For all intents and purposes, they’ll serve as the Nazis to Spike’s Indy, which will tie directly into what’s going on in “Angel & Faith.”

Since this ties into “Angel & Faith” almost directly, it seems plausible that Spike’s going to end up with his best buddy Angel, and the Shard will be exactly what he needs to bring Giles back. Whistler’s involvement in the Shard also brings up many possibilities, from his trying to bring balance to our dimension.

This book kicked it into high gear by the end of the second issue, but with only 3 issues left, how much can happen? One thing is for sure, if that’s all we have, the book will move at a breakneck pace until the end.

Finally, some thoughts on where it’s going:

  • Spike will probably end up in London with Angel and Faith.
  • The Seed will figure in to Giles’ resurrection. He died very close to the Seed, and it likely absorbed at least some of his essence when he died.
  • Continued below

  • Pearl and Nash aren’t thrilled about their boss and will try to turn on him as soon as they can. It won’t work out for them, however.
  • I hope Spike pulls out someone’s flaming heart (this is less a prediction and more of a wish)

Any thoughts on this week’s issue? Is there anything you’d like to add? Let us know in the comments below!

//TAGS | Whedonversity

Gilbert Short

Gilbert Short. The Man. The Myth. The Legend. When he's not reading comic books so you don't have to, he's likely listening to mediocre music or watching excellent television. Passionate about Giants baseball and 49ers football. When he was a kid he wanted to be The Ultimate Warrior. He still kind of does. His favorite character is Superman and he will argue with you about it if you try to convince him otherwise. He also happens to be the head of Social Media Relations, which means you should totally give him a follow onTwitter.


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