Dark Horse’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9, Spike #2 is quite a roller coaster read.
“After parting ways with the love of his life, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Spike has taken himself far away from San Francisco. He can’t just be Buffy’s only-in-desperate-circumstances fallback guy. His way of coping with the endless heartbreak? Head to the dark side of the moon in a spaceship filled with human-sized bugs, drown his sorrows in a bottle of booze, and avoid any trouble…Although that can only work for so long…”
In issue one, we saw Spike finally realize he needed to be away from Buffy for his own peace of mind, and we saw him go away with giant bug people/aliens. But now, Spike and his bug friends have been overtaken by other aliens- giant frog/fish aliens who hold Spike captive. The frog/fish aliens need remnants that may still contain some shreds of magic from The Seed that was left in Sunnydale. Who better to help them out than former Sunnydale resident baddie Spike. Spike wheels and deals with the frog/fish, but the story’s surprise may be on everyone.
In a nutshell, there are some ugly space creatures and handsome Spike. The frog/fish aliens are so fun to see snipe at Spike. Spike (or really, James Marsters) is drawn expertly. His facial expressions are so lifelike it’s cool but also kind of creepy. Spike’s snark just oozes off the page. Also, it’s a lot of fun to see giant bugs be noble and have names like “Frisky”.
However, the issue is not just gross aliens and fun. It’s a rollercoaster of nonsense and reverence. Sure he’s with giant bugs on a trippy space ride, but Spike is having a dark night of the soul. Spike’s moral compass never pointed to good, always more what was best for Spike, so even with a soul he is not the make amends sort that Angel is. Spike doesn’t make apologies for the vamp he is. But we see Spike is learning to deal with a broken heart in a mature, responsible way. He’s coming to grips with his past in Sunnydale, which ties into his past with Buffy. Spike also gets to be a bit noble. It helps that he is involved with beings who do not know his past and who have put their faith in this wayward vamp. Going back to the Hellmouth and reading Spike’s observations, this story is kind of a goodbye to Sunnydale for us fans too. Some of us never really thought sinking the town gave us any closure.
Spike #2 is good for Spike’s soul, and apparently the reader’s too.Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9, Spike#2 A Dark Place September 19, 2012 Script: Victor Gischler Pencils: Paul Lee Inks: Andy Owes Cover: Jenny Frison / alternate cover: Steve Morris Letters: Richard Starkings Executive Producer: Joss Whedon Diamond code : JUL120048 Retail Price: $2.99