Expected Publication: June 5th, 2013
Spike: A Dark Place (Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9: Spike)
By: Victor Gischler, Paul Lee (Artist), Joss Whedon (Executive Producer)
Fresh from his latest attempt to get Buffy to act on her feelings for him, Spike has fled to the dark side of the moon. His trip leads him to a group of dangerous demons and a rude awakening from his reverie, which in turn leads him on an unexpected adventure to . . . Sunnydale! Collecting Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike—A Dark Place #1–#5.
So, I did not realize that this comic was set during Season 9 of Buffy or that there even was a Season 9! I haven't quite caught up on 8 yet and this threw me into the deep end of things without any real clue what was happening. All I know is that Spike is somehow Captaining a spaceship to the dark side of the moon (literally) and in charge of his own army of buggy, alien minions. The artificial sun-room on the ship was awesome and Spike trying to drown himself in alcohol was definitely in character. He has some wonderful sarcastic and smarmy remarks, but the bugs are pretty funny too especially head bug, Sebastian. I especially love when he's willing to commandeer the ship and get Spike away from a very suspicious (but hot) succubus who is trying to play him like a fiddle. The later part of this story arc is about Spike trying to prevent her and from opening up the Hellmouth with a shard of some alien seed. And some other characters from his past are also after the shard, for the power and magic that it will bring them the use of. My least favorite thing about this other than the slow burn of the plot is the weird, and overblown infiltration of straight sci-fi into the Buffyverse, which is strictly fantasy in my mind. There is a fine line between the two, and I definitely prefer demons/magic to aliens/spaceships. As much as I love Spike, this whole plot just felt like unnecessary filler and I reveled in his wonderful Spike-ness which I've missed. But overall it was a disappointment and if that's the direction Season 9 is going I'm not even going to bother catching up. It does get major points for kick-ass art and great action sequences, plus some truly funny remarks. Not highly recommended to fans of non-comic Buffy though unless you're diehard and have to read/see everything Buffy ever created. Otherwise I say you should just skip it.
VERDICT: 2/5 Stars
*I received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication is June 5th, 2013.*