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Journey to the darkside of the Moon – A review of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike #5

Issue #5 of the Spike – A Dark Place mini series is ready for the picking. This is the final part of the story about our bleach blonde vampire and his bug friends. This review will contain spoilers for the whole series.

WRITTEN BY: Victor Gischler
PENCILS: Paul Lee
INKS: Andy Owens
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASE: January 23rd

So, I have to confess I have been looking forward to reviewing this one; I am a huge Spike fan. If there were Team William and Team Liam t-shirts I’d be parading around proudly with William the Bloody on my chest. One of the things I loved about the start of Season 9 was the interaction between Buffy and Spike. The part about them running of together did have me swooning a little. Yes, yes – old romantic, me. Anyway, so Spike buggered off (literally), told Buffy to stop treating him like her dark-go-to-place, and got on his bug spaceship and flew to the moon (as you do). Where we left him, he and Morgan ended up having a bit of a spat as he didn’t really fancy getting jiggy with her, plus she wanted to go to Easter Island and open the Hellmouth to get back to her dimension.

Episode 5 of a Dark Place starts off with just that: they land on Easter Island and all hell breaks loose. Morgan stars off chanting and tries to open the Hellmouth. It doesn’t really work, but it does set off the Easter Island Statues. They come to life, and after some fighting, they get together to form a giant mega Easter Island statue monster. Just as Spike thinks he is going to get it, his faithful bug friend Sebastian becomes a kamikaze pilot and crashes the spaceship into the giant pissed-off statue. Morgan takes off but not without one last attempt at some Spike-lovin’, he tells her to “sod off”. The bugs decide to stay on the island and Spike is on his own. He reflects over this, realising he will miss the bugs. He hasn’t got a plan and he didn’t get the girl. However, as he is musing about this his phone rings (who would have thunk it, there is cell phone reception on Easter Island). It’s that Angel fella. He wants Spike’s help. Spike seems to think his dark side journey is now over and he is ready to get back.

Overall, I have really enjoyed this mini series. Ok, that may not come as a shock as I do love a bit of Spike action, but I think it has been an enjoyable ride. The graphics are good; they do his rather exquisite angles justice. The writing is good too, but as I am actually living in the land of wankers and gits (the good old UK to you) I do find that it all goes a bit over the top in a “cor blimey guv’nor” Dick Van Dyke kind of way. It didn’t use to in the TV Series, maybe because of Anthony Stewart Head being on the set to tell them to lay off the gits and wankers. I do think, for example, that a fine creature such as Spike would not use the phrase “get my head out of my bum”. No, sir – the word an English man of his stature would use, would be “arse”. But this language barrier aside, the storyline is enjoyable. Maybe the first part of it was a bit slow, with Spike moping around and the bugs working on how to cheer him up. They are nice, those bugs, aren’t they? I have a sneaky feeling that whoever came up with the bugs in the first place must have been a fan of the anime El Hazard, where a rather naughty boy, Katsuhiko Jinnai, makes friends with a bunch of humanoid bug creatures called the bugrom. He then amusingly names the bugs after the Marx brothers. Seems a bit familiar, no? I guess the bugs are gone now, and as silly an idea as it was to have Spike in a space ship, it actually worked and was rather funny.

Anyway I have liked this mini series, and Spike’s dark side journey away from Buffy was interesting, but call me an old fool – I still hope he will return to her soon, before Captain Forehead does anyway!

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