Spike — A Dark Place: Comfort Food for the Buffy-phile

Mini-review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike — A Dark Place by Victor Gischler, Paul Lee, Jo Chen et. al.
(Release date: June 18, 2013)

The world has been a darker, lonelier, and far less quippy place since the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer went off the air almost ten years ago, in May of 2003. (Bow your heads for a moment of silence, please. Thank you). But the devoted fans of the Buffy-verse had not heard the last of the Slayer and the Scoobies. In 2007, Dark Horse Comics began publication of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 — in comic book format! Legions of fans cheered! Currently up to season 9 and going strong, the comics are written under the imprimatur of Buffy creator and geek god Joss Whedon, and are considered “canon”, for those who care about such distinctions. The comic follows Buffy and the gang forward from the end of the TV series, and it’s a wonder to behold.

Coming in June 2013, Spike – A Dark Place is somewhat of a sidebar to the main storyline of season 9, picking up right after the events of On Your Own (season 9, volume 2), and focusing on everyone’s favorite bad-boy-vampire-with-a-soul (and amazing cheekbones), our dearly beloved Spike. Spike’s going through some stuff and has fallen into a deep depression, and even his trusty team of adoring spaceship-flying bugs (it’s a long story) can’t quite get him to snap out of it. Of course, bad guys pop in, as bad guys do, and Spike is caught up in the action once again.

I realize that none of the above (bugs! who fly spaceships!) will make sense to anyone who hasn’t kept up with seasons 8 and 9. Which raises the question: What are you waiting for? If you watched the TV show, then good gods — get thee to a comic book store at once! Of course, if you never watched Buffy at all… well, first of all, I’m not sure that we have anything left to say to one another (kidding!), and second of all — drop whatever else you’re doing and get yourself some Buffy DVDs! And don’t stop until you’ve watched all seven seasons of Buffy, five seasons of Angel, and you’re ready to read some amazing comics!

Okay, so this supposedly-a-book-review has devolved into a fan rant. Sorry ’bout that.

But check out the comics. The new Spike book features terrific artwork, especially Jo Chen’s magnificent covers, which represent Spike actor James Marsters in all his Buffy-era glory. The storyline is funny, action-packed, and quite faithful to the Spike character that we know and love. Once I picked up Spike – A Dark Place, I couldn’t put it down, and I’m eager for more, more, more — more Spike, more Buffy, more of the entire wonderful Buffy-verse! Please, Dark Horse, don’t ever stop! I’d happily continue reading the Buffy comics and spin-offs for years — decades — to come.

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