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Review: ‘Spike: A Dark Place’ #4

With only one more issue ready for release next month, Victor Gischler delivers a fast-paced fourth installment that finally tells the readers where Spike: A Dark Place is headed; not only in terms of plot development leading towards the finale, but also regarding Spike’s character growth and place in the grand narrative of “Season 9”. It’s just a shame that it took 4 issues of a 5-issue miniseries to see this kind of progression.

WRITTEN BY: Victor Gischler
ART BY: Paul Lee
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASE: November 21st

Following the events of “A Dark Place” #3, Spike leaves the ruins of Sunnydale with Morgan, the Courtesan (sex) demon, who wants nothing more than to return to her home dimension. Unfortunately, due to the destruction of The Seed, leading to the loss of magic on earth, her efforts are hindered. Spike, playing the hero, offers to help look for the pieces of the destroyed Seed, or any remnants of leftover magic, in order to connect Morgan to her world. But as the issue progresses, it becomes abundantly clear that this enigmatic “damsel in distress” might not be as helpless as she appears.

Jenny Frison’s cover effectively, though somewhat ambiguously, portrays Spike’s uncertainty regarding which direction he wants to take with Morgan (romantic or otherwise), who continues to use her demon “influence” over him for her own selfish reasons. But while her intensions may or may not be honorable, she does play a significant role in helping Spike come to terms with his heartache over our favourite Slayer.

Because this mini is supposed to plug into the grand narrative of “Season 9”, I’m hoping that Gischler’s efforts to show Spike’s inner journey through an abundance of monologues, self-reflection, and now character development, finally leads our boy back where he belongs. Spike is an incredibly strong character and an obvious fan favourite, but after the progression of this series, it seems that he is best suited for driving the other BuffyVerse characters’ stories forward, rather than take the lead amongst an ensemble of unfamiliar faces.

Overall, issue #4 is a vast improvement on the previous 2 installments, especially with Lee on board to draw Spike and Morgan. Their facial expressions are expressive to a hilarious intent in certain panels, and it definitely helps Gischler’s script come to life. With Spike’s loyal bug minion, Frisky gearing up to take action against Morgan, here’s hoping the conclusion to the series will lead to something significant to the “Season 9” arc, and not something anticlimactic.

3/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – ShadowJayd



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