Here's the general "it rocks" reaction I posted on BF:
I've gotten my hands on an advanced copy of #1, and I think it really, really rocks. I thought I knew where things were going immediately after the preview pages, but what happens next still managed to surprise and delight -- a great blend of light and dark.
Victor has managed to pick up some of the key themes surrounding Spike's story, and is setting up to move them forward. There are some good resonances here. We get to see some of Spike's strengths and more of his weaknesses, but it's all very him. I find the opening page, which hasn't been previewed to be an especially nice portrait of my guy.
I'm not the world's best judge of art -- but I think it's all quite good. I usually find it jarring when we switch artists, but I didn't even notice -- which means that the likenesses never get in the way. And there are a lot of endearing details strewn throughout.
Pretty much over the moon about it. There can be no doubt that Gischler is a fan both of the show and of the character. I had wondered how they were going to manage to tell a story from where they were starting -- Spike off with his bugs. But it really works, as a story on its own and as a story that is rooted in the mythos and backstory of the 'verse. Can't wait to see the rest of the series or to talk about this issue in more detail when it is released on August 22!
Here's a link for the preview pages:
1. It is exactly right that Spike starts his mission to get over Buffy in a drunken cranky stupor.
2. The bit about not knowing whether the golden hair in the brush is Buffy's or the bot's raises the whole question of what's real and what's fake, which is a theme that gets repeated in various ways throughout the rest of the issue. Of course, it had to be the bot's hair, didn't it? Interesting that Spike asks that question when he has to know perfectly well what the answer is. I have always loved the way the Buffy Bot plot harkens back to Intervention*. That bot wasn't real, but what about this bot? The call back raises the big question of what Spike will do now. In Intervention, he consoled himself with the fake bot, but got roused to reality by being kidnapped and tortured by Glory. What's going to snap him back this time? * (Not that I loved the Buffy Bot plot per se, but I have liked this one angle.)
3. The bugs are adorable in their apparent effort to set up a fake solarium for Spike. (Notice that word fake again!). But there's a dark undercurrent. local_max raised this issue for me. In the last issue a bunch of the bugs got slaughtered. Would Spike be showing any concern for them here? Based on these pages the answer would seem to be "no". He's their master, he wants them to clear out and let him brood on. He's treating them like minions, but he's ruing being a prisoner of the dark. I don't know if they'll explore this theme going forward -- but it's worth exploring.
4. Alongside the fake/real dichotomy we have the dark/light dichotomy. It'll be interesting to see if Gischler will explore the way the two things are intertwined. I think the mutual confusion Buffy and Spike have about real/not real and light/dark is a good bit of their problem. I think it's pretty fantastic that the mini steers right into that territory.
I just think it's a big gift to have a whole series where Spike is thrown back on himself to take stock of things. When the comic comes out I'll post about all the reasons why this Spike feels like my Spike. He has strengths, he has weaknesses. He's a hero. He's a blithering idiot. He's a poet. He's a bit thick. He's blinded by his romantic imaginings. He tries to be honest with himself. He cares a lot about somethings, and not at all about others. He's a complicated guy. He's just so... Spike!