Review – Spike #1 A Dark Place Part 1 of 5

Script: Victor Gischler
Pencils: Paul Lee
Inks: Andy Owens
Colors: Cris Peter
Cover:: Jenny Frison
Alternate Cover: Steve Morris
Letters: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse
After deciding that he can’t just sit around and wait for Buffy to call, Spike jumps in his roach mobile and takes off for the calm and serene vacation spot known as the dark side of the moon. In an attempt to gather his thoughts and clear his mind with various libations, Spike and his bug crew are on their way. Once arriving on the moon though Spike can’t seem to shake his super sad mood and the memories of Buffy seem to be everywhere. Spike’s bug friends refuse to sit back and watch him wallow in his misery so they devise a plan to get him back on track, which works, for a while anyway. Meanwhile, we learn that just like on Earth the moon has its own group of nasties with bad intentions. We quickly learn what those intentions are and all hell breaks loose. Will Spike and his bug army ever get off the moon or are they destined to become space junk?

It has been no secret that I am a huge Spike fan, so truth be told I was extremely excited about this series but also worried about how it would turn out. I first have to begin with Jenny Frison’s cover, it is spectacular in every way, everything she does is always amazing but she somehow out did herself with this one. Victor Gischler’s writing is superb. He captures the nuances of Spike perfectly. There is a bunch of funny, but there is also the torment and pain which really encapsulates what Spike is all about. The entire team working on this series is top-notch, from the cover, to the writing, to the art inside everything is really amazing. This was a great intro issue and Spike’s bugs really add a nice touch with their oddness and full personalities. If you are anything like me, fear not, this is a great issue and an excellent addition to the ever-growing Buffy cannon.

Release Date: August 22nd, 2012

Links: Pre-Order (Paper) | Preview

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★★★ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

Review – Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 #12 – Guarded Part 2

Script: Andrew Chambliss
Pencils: Georges Jeanty
Inks: Nathan Massengill
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Letters: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Cover: Phil Noto
Alternate Cover: Georges Jeanty with Dexter Vines and Michelle Madsen
Created By: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

Buffy is settling in quickly to her new role as bodyguard. Along with Kennedy, she is on duty protecting Theo Daniels, founder of TinCan. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill protect the rich and important computer nerd, Daniels has Wolfram and Hart after him and Buffy has her hands full. TinCan is a social networking site that Wolfram and Hart hired Daniels to create, and even with magic not existing on Earth anymore, the complicated code that he created allows other-worldly portals to remain open. The solution to the problem quickly becomes evident however, as always in Buffy’s world, it won’t be easy. Buffy calls on an ally for help, who as it turns out may not be as trustworthy and forthcoming as Buffy would have hoped!

This issue has a lot of action. The Wolfram and Hart storyline is exciting and it will be interesting to see what their next move will be. This issue has the feel of a stand alone issue even though it’s part of an arc. I’m not saying this is a bad thing but how it all comes together will also be interesting to see. Like I said in my review of the last issue, I’ve never been a big fan of Kennedy but her role in this issue is minimal and my annoyance level with her was low. Buffy seems to have calmed down a little bit in this issue, which in my opinion is a good thing. She previously felt frantic and lost and she seems more on track here. The betrayal at the end of the issue was a shock and I can’t wait for Buffy to lose her s#!t in the next issue!

Release Date: August 8th, 2012

Links: Preview | Pre-Order

Story:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★½☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★½☆ 

Dark Horse Comics SDCC 2012 Signing Schedule!

Dark Horse Comics has released their SDCC signing schedule and it’s pretty awesome with a lot of goodness lined up!

DARK HORSE SIGNINGS – BOOTH #2615

 

Wednesday, July 11 

5:30 p.m.—Dragon Age Signing with David Gaider

6:30 p.m.—Orchid Q&A and Signing with Tom Morello and Scott Hepburn *Ticketed by drawing

8:00 p.m.—Mass Effect Signing with John Jackson Miller

 

 

Thursday, July 12 

11:00 a.m.—Mass Effect Signing with Sylvia Feketekuty, Chris Helper, and John Jackson Miller

1:00 p.m. —Angel & Faith Signing with Christos Gage

2:00 p.m.—Fatima Signing with Gilbert Hernandez

3:00 p.m.—Creator-Owned Signing with Eric Powell (The Goon), Francesco Francavilla (The Black Beetle), Matt Kindt (MIND MGMT), Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander (Concrete Park), and Sanford Greene (Rotten Apple)

 4:00 p.m.—Tarzan 100th Anniversary Event with Thomas Yeates, Ron Ely, Joe Jusko, and Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. President and Archivist

5:00-7:00 p.m.—Whedonverse Meet-up and Costume Contest with Shawna Trpcic, main costume designer on Joss Whedon’s FireflyAngelDoctor Horrible’s Sing-Along BlogDollhouse, and Cabin in the Woods.

 

Friday, July 13 

10:00 a.m.—Usagi Yojimbo Signing with Stan Sakai

See a preview of the upcoming Usagi Yojimbo: Way of the Ronin game for smartphones, tablets, and desktops.

11:00 a.m.—Star Wars Signing with Mike Richardson (Crimson Empire), Dave Dorman (Crimson Empire, Darth Maul), Randy Stradley and Doug Wheatley (Dark Times), Dave Wilkins (Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison), Dan Parsons (Dawn of the Jedi), John Jackson Miller (Knight Errant), Michael Atiyeh (colorist), Michael Heisler (letterer) and Tom Taylor (Darth Maul)

12:00 pm.—Valve Signing with Bill Fletcher  (“Cave Johnson”), Laura Dubuk (“Caroline”), Andrew Wilson, Wade Schin, and Arsenio Navarro

12:00 p.m.—Axe Cop Signing with Ethan Nicolle

1:00 p.m.—HellboyB.P.R.D., and Baltimore Signing with Mike Mignola, Cameron Stewart, and Tyler Crook

1:00 p.m.—Age of Reptiles Signing with Ricardo Delgado  

2:00 p.m.—Berserk Signing with Eiko Tanaka (Studio 4C CEO)

2:30 p.m. – Green River Killer Signing with Jeff Jensen

3:00 p.m.– Domo Signing with Domo creator Tsuneo Goda *Ticketed by drawing

3:00 p.m. – Dragon Age Signing with David Gaider

4:00 p.m. – Empowered Signing with Adam Warren

4:00 p.m. – De:Tales Signing with Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon

5:00 p.m.—Creepy and Eerie Signing with Dan Braun, Angelo Torres, and Christopher A. Taylor

5:00 p.m.—Dark Horse Horror Signing with Steve Niles (Criminal Macabre), Eric Powell (The Goon), and Paul Tobin (Colder)

6:00 p.m. – TNT’s Falling Skies Signing with series stars Noah Wyle, Moon Bloodgood, Will Patton, Drew Roy, Connor Jessup, Colin Cunningham, Sarah Carter, executive producer Remi Aubuchon and more! *Ticketed by drawing

 

 

Saturday, July 14 

10:00 a.m.—Darksiders Signing with David Slagle and Roger Robinson

10:00 a.m.—Aliens Colonial Marines Signing with Josh Williams

11:00 a.m.—Domo Signing with Domo creator Tsuneo Goda *Ticketed by drawing

12:00 p.m.—Joss Whedon Signing *Ticketed by drawing

1:00 p.m.—Whedonverse Signing with Andrew Chambliss, Georges Jeanty, Christos Gage, Jane Espenson, and Drew Greenberg

2:00 p.m – Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra Signing with Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, Joaquim Dos Santos, Ki Hyun Ryu, and Gurihiru Studios artists Chifuyu Sasaki and Naoko Kawano *Ticketed by drawing

3:00 p.m. – Valve Signing with Bill Fletcher  (“Cave Johnson”), Laura Dubuk (“Caroline”), Andrew Wilson, and Wade Schin

3:00 p.m.—Concrete Park Signing with Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander

4:00 p.m.—Dark Matter Signing with Joseph Mallozzi

4:00 p.m.—Exile to Babylon Signing with Domagoj Mazuran, Matt Savelloni, and Helen Darras

5:00 p.m. – Mass Effect Signing with Sylvia Feketekuty, Chris Helper, and John Jackson Miller

6:00 p.m.—The Goon Signing with creator Eric Powell

 

Sunday, July 15 

10:00 a.m.—Beanworld Signing with Larry Marder

11:00 a.m.—Mass Effect Signing with Sylvia Feketekuty, Chris Helper, and John Jackson Miller

12:00 p.m.—The Guild Signing with Felicia Day *Ticketed by drawing

1:00 p.m.—The Strain Signing with Guillermo del Toro *Ticketed by drawing

2:00 p.m.—Emily the Strange Signing with Rob Reger and Jessica Gruner

3:00 p.m.—Doug Sneyd Signing

 

*Events are subject to change.  Some restrictions apply. 

 

Review – Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 #11 Guarded Part 1

Script: Andrew Chambliss
Pencils: Georges Jeanty
Inks: Nathan Massengill
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Cover: Phil Noto
Alternate Cover: Georges Jeanty and Michelle Madsen
Created By: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

Now that Buffy’s mind and body are back together in human form, it’s time for her to get back to reality and figure out what she’s going to do with the rest of her life. Enter Kennedy, she’s got a job for Buffy, which Buffy accepts immediately in her never-ending quest to be a “grown-up.” As quickly as Buffy begins her new job, her inability to be led rears its ugly head. Buffy is used to being in charge but now she’s supposed to follow, which, surprise surprise she is not too keen on! Buffy soon learns that maybe she should listen to others, even if it means no longer listening to her Slayer instincts. Since she is the Chosen One we can expect that this new lesson she learned won’t change her mind for too long and her new career may be short-lived. A demon approaches her for help and off she goes. Unfortunately, Buffy finds that her one true calling, the thing that really sets her apart from everyone else, slaying, is not as needed by society as she thought. After a little bit of soul-searching and career consideration, she decides to get her job back with Kennedy which may soon have her facing a past SUPER big bad!

This issue was solid. The ending alludes to an exciting big bad that could really potentially cause some big trouble. As per usual the art and writing were great. I’m not a huge Kennedy fan so seeing her wasn’t anything great for me but I’m sure some people will be happy with this. The only complaint I have in this issue (and Season 9 in general) is that Buffy sometimes comes off as kind of a twit. Buffy is a strong woman who has survived countless apocalypses, pure evil, she’s died…a lot and yet sometimes it seems as if she is written like she’s 15 and new to this whole situation. In these instances, she lacks confidence, maturity and experience. I love Buffy and I love these characters and I think the stories that are being written are for the most part excellent but I do wish Buffy’s mentality and overall essence was portrayed in more of a linear fashion (as linear as a Slayer in her 20’s can!). My tangent is over and I feel fully confident in saying that while there have been issues in this series it is still a must read and it’s definitely worthwhile to pick up.

Release Date: July 11th, 2012

Links: Pre-Order (Jeanty) | Pre-Order (Noto) | Preview

Story:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★½☆ 
Dialog:★★★☆☆ 
Overall:★★★½☆ 

Review – Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 #10 Apart (of me) Part 3

Script: Andrew Chambliss ands Scott Allie
Pencils: Cliff Richards
Ink: Andy Owens
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Cover: Phil Noto
Alternate Cover: Georges Jeanty with Dexter Vines and Michelle Madsen
Created By: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

The real Buffy has been brainwashed (at least with the jumbled brain she has left) by the scheming Simone and RoboBuffy is doing her best to fix the big ol’ mess created by Andrew. The two Buffy’s are at odds as the real Buffy believes she’s got it all figured out. Simone has an evil plan, and now that she thinks she’s figured out what’s going on, Buffy has become an integral part of it. Real Buffy, in her confused but confident state, thinks it’s a good idea to go along with this unfortunate plan. Meanwhile, Spike and Andrew make a discovery of their own and realize RoboBuffy has been gone longer than expected. They set off to find her and with some luck they find her (them?) and Simone. Simone, in her perpetual aggro state refuses to let Spike, Andrew and the bugs ruin her plan, Spike on the other hand has his own plan. While all of this is going on, Detective Dowling is dealing with his own demons after feeling the fallout of having to kill his zompire partner. He is assessing his life and trying to make some tough decisions. Will Simone carry out her evil plan and will Buffy finally understand what’s really going on? What’s in store for Detective Dowling’s future? Does all of this seem really confusing? The answer to the last one is yes, but it becomes much clearer once you read the whole issue!

This issue was good, but I did have to read it twice to follow along. Once I got it, I enjoyed it. I loved the cover, I thought it did a really great job of capturing the uncertainty of Buffy’s mindset right now. The dialog was good, and the interaction between the Buffy’s was particularly interesting. There is some Spuffy action, but nothing that we wouldn’t have seen coming. Simone has potential but this time around I found her more annoying than anything else and I hope we either get a better villain or that she becomes more interesting along the way. I can’t say this was my favorite issue but I have faith that it’s going to get better!

Release Date: June 13th, 2012

Link: Pre-Order | Preview

Story:★★★☆☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★☆☆ 
Overall:★★★½☆ 

Missed Free Comic Book Day? Dark Horse has some digital goodies for you!

Free Comic Book Day was this weekend, not everyone is lucky to have a local shop or a day off for the event though. For those that didn’t make it into the celebration we have some goodies from Dark Horse for everyone to share in. Buffy/Guild and Star Wars/Serenity are free for a limited time to catch and enjoy in your collection. Keep in mind after May passes the downloads will no longer be available to your account. If you’re on the fence about these freebies we did give short reviews on the issues. Buffy/The Guild | Star Wars/Serenity

 

Click a comic above to be taken to the Dark Horse Digital site for a free read of either comic

Review – Buffy The Vampire Slayer / The Guild Free Comic Book Day Edition

In honor of Free Comic Book Day (Saturday, May 5th, 2012) Dark Horse is offering a bunch of free goodies. One of which is a Buffy The Vampire Slayer/The Guild comic. Each mini-story is a stand alone and with a price tag of free there is no excuse not to pick one up! As an extra added bonus the end of the comic also features a sneak-peek of Caitlìn R. Kiernan’s Alabaster: Part 2.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer: In Space No One Can Hear You Slay

Script: Andrew Chambliss
Pencils: Georges Jeanty
Inks: Dexter Vines
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Cover: Georges Jeanty and Michelle Madsen
Created By: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

Buffy, in desperate need of a vacation is convinced by Spike to join him and his bug crew for a “spacecation”. While for most a vacation involving a peroxided vampire and his extra-large insects may not seem ideal, for Buffy, it’s just par for the course. All is not good during her space travels though, when it comes to light that bugs may not be immune to zompire attacks. An Alienesque bug anytime would be no fun but trapped on a spaceship with one may be even worse!

The Guild: Beach’d

Story: Felicia Day
Art: Johnathan Case
Cover: Adam Rex
Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Published By: Dark Horse

The second half of the comic is The Guild: Beach’d. The Guildies regular hangout, Cheesy Beards, has closed, turning their world upside down and creating a lot of strife between The Guild. They all make suggestions (most of them anyway, Tink thinks they should just stop meeting altogether) but they can’t agree on anything. As a solution, war amongst them breaks out and the last man standing gets to pick the new location. After some intense battle it’s decided that the next meeting will be held at the beach! This of course doesn’t make everyone happy (Codex is covered head to toe) and they all make a mess of things in a way that only The Guild crew could. In the end though they find a solution that appeases everyone and it’s a guarantee that nobody has ever seen anything like it at the beach!

Review – Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 #9 Apart (of me) Part Two

Script: Andrew Chambliss and Scott Allie
Pencils: Cliff Richards
Inks: Andy Owens
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Cover: Phil Noto
Alternate Cover: Georges Jeanty with Dexter Vines and Michelle Madsen
Created By: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

Phil Noto Cover

This issue begins with RoboBuffy, Spike and Andrew arriving at the real Buffy’s house. They find signs of a struggle and Buffy is nowhere to be found. RoboBuffy is having trouble dealing with all of the things she has just learned about herself and that everything she believed to be true, isn’t. As Andrew bumbles along, it becomes clear that he actually did think this through and has put some safeties in place for situations such as these. They get a lead on Buffy’s whereabouts and off they go to rescue her. Meanwhile, Simone is beating and berating Buffy and is having trouble figuring out that Buffy has no idea what is happening. Buffy has no memory of Simone let alone that she is the Slayer. Spike, RoboBuffy and Andrew arrive in the vicinity of where they believe Buffy to be and they separate in an effort to find her. One of them however runs into a surprise along the way that none of them expected. While all of this search and rescue business is going down, Xander, Dawn and Detective Dowling are on their own mission. They are searching for Dowling’s on a rampage, recently zompire turned (ex) partner. Dowling is taking the loss hard and soon appears to be in over his head!

I liked this issue, I really liked the way the interactions between Spike and RoboBuffy have subtlety changed. Andrew’s explanations of why he did what he did seem genuine and it really appears that he thought he was doing the right, good thing. I really enjoyed the dialog in this issue a lot, it felt very real and believable. The art was great and both of the Buffy’s emotions were captured well. All in all it was a solid read and truthfully I was initially unhappy with the direction the story line was going. I decided to suspend snap judgments and gave it a chance and I’m happy I did. It will be very interesting to see how everything progresses from here.

Georges Jeanty Cover

Release Date: May 9th, 2012

Links: Pre-Order | Preview

Rating:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Review – Angel & Faith #9 – Daddy Issues Part 4

Script: Christos Gage
Art: Rebekah Isaacs
Colors: Dan Jackson
Cover: Steve Morris
Alternate Cover: Rebekah Isaacs with Dan Jackson
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

This issue begins with Faith meeting with Dru and the Lorophage demon. After a fallout with her dad she no longer wants to feel the pain so she hopes to undergo some serious trauma sucking at the very sharp, pointy hands of the demon. Drusilla is more than happy to oblige. Angel has figured out where Faith has run off to and arrives to stop Dru before Faith makes what Angel sees as a huge mistake. Very soon after his arrival though, all hell breaks loose! Angel and Dru are at odds (surprise, surprise) and come to blows and while all of this is going on, Angel is pleading with Faith to change her mind. Angel quickly finds himself in a tight spot and needs help, but is Faith too far gone to jump into action?

I love this issue, it has a lot of heart and really solidifies the special bond that Angel and Faith share. The dialog is awesome and really shows what a great team they are and just how far they have come. There is one panel in particular that I thought was really great, it does a wonderful job showing how they really have each other’s backs in every situation. The art in general is great, I love Rebekah Isaac’s style and she does an amazing job capturing emotion. These last two issues really have a richness and depth that have me super excited each month and have me anxiously waiting for the next issue. I have no idea where Angel & Faith are going but I do know that I can’t wait to go there with them!

Release Date: April 25th, 2012

Links: Pre-Order | Preview

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

Review – Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 #8 – Apart Of Me Part 1

Script: Andrew Chambliss and Scott Allie
Pencils: Cliff Richards
Inks: Andy Owens
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Cover: Phil Noto
Alternate Cover: Georges Jeanty with Dexter Vines and Michelle Madsen
Created By: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

It’s finally here, after what seemed like an eternity, we finally get answers! Buffy, after losing her arm and finding out she’s not human (?) is not having the best day. She’s pissed and she wants to know what the hell is going on. She and Spike go to Andrew and demand an explanation, there’s some pregnancy talk amongst other things but Andrew in a, “what’s the big deal” kind of way, is not giving Buffy what she needs. After a little prodding, he spills the beans and explains the entire thing! Buffy and Spike are confused, hurt and mostly just mad. There is a little bit of Spuffy action followed by a very angry Spike. We also check in with Xander and Dawn, who it seems like we really haven’t seen for an eternity and all does not seem well there. Finally, a nasty makes their return but as of now their intentions are unknown.

This issue wasn’t bad but it did feel like a couple really complex storylines were wrapped up quite easily. The pregnancy, the Buffy Bot, all taken care of, just like that! There was some mention of the Siphon and not wanting to get too spoilery, the nasty who returns (again) could be interesting especially because they didn’t do what would have been expected of them. Having Andrew in this issue provided some laughs, his goofiness and obliviousness are always great. The art was good and so was the dialog but ultimately it just felt like it was missing something. Obviously, it’s a must read for those of us who were dying at the end of the last issue but don’t expect too much, hopefully this new arc will get everything back on track!

Release Date: April 11th, 2012

Links: Pre-Order | Preview

Story:★★★☆☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★½☆