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From Fractalmatter.com - By Webmaster - 2006-08-2

Spike - "Asylum" Comic Book - Fractalmatter.com Review

Buffy

Writer: Brian Lynch - Artist: Franco Urru - Publisher: IDW - Price: $3.99 - Release Date: September 2006

IDW’s range of Angel tie-ins continues with this miniseries featuring everyone’s favourite mockney loudmouth vampire-with-a-soul. A quick glance at their website shows several current and recent titles featuring Angel and his supporting cast - indeed, this series debuts not long after the final issue of the previous Spike miniseries, Spike vs. Dracula.

Spike: Asylum #1

This kind of heavy schedule seems more suited to a TV series that is still ongoing, but Buffy and Angel fandom doesn’t seem to be going anywhere (nor should it), so while there is still a market for them, these titles will continue to be produced.

The issue starts with Spike doing what he does best - getting into a fight after leaving a bar. Things take an interesting turn, and we are led into the story proper. A rich couple hires Spike to rescue their daughter from the Mosaic centre - which essentially amounts to demon rehab, where monsters can be cured of their monster-osity. To rescue her, Spike needs to get himself admitted - unfortunately, he’s annoyed a fair few monsters over the years, many of whom are already in the Mosaic Centre... and they’re expecting him.

Urru’s artwork captures James Marsters well - it isn’t an exact photorealistic likeness, but it also doesn’t look like the part has been recast, which is a common flaw with comics based on licensed properties. His storytelling is good, and doesn’t seem to suffer in talking heads scenes. He also has a nice line in monster design.

Lynch is best known for his online comic Angry Naked Pat, and for selling several movie spec scripts, although according to his website “You will never see any of these. Ever. Never ever ever.” On the strength of this issue, those scripts would probably be a very interesting read. He manages to capture Spike’s personality on the page without overdoing the Anglicism’s - although two “Bloody hells” in the space of two panels is a little much - and even manages to give Spike the opportunity to rant for a little while about one of his biggest irritants.

The issue itself is mostly a lead in to what appears to be the real meat of the story, which is Spike locked in with the monsters. (An appearance by some variation on the old classic “I’m not locked in here with you. You’re locked in with me.” in the next few issue would not be a surprise). As opening issues go, it fulfils its purpose and sets up the next few issues nicely, managing to get in some action and humour and even a couple of sly winks to the fans. From the end of this issue it looks like Spike has an unpleasant ordeal ahead of him - and that’s just what we want. Give ‘em bloody hell, you loudmouthed mockney bugger!




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