Victor Gischler & Paul Lee
I like that season nine of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics is expanding the universe through various series and mini-series. I thought that season eight relied way too heavily on appearances from characters, one after another, and this expansion kind of gives the individual books room to breathe, and lets fan-favorite characters, like Spike, shine on their own. I really liked that this first issue of Spike has no characters from the television series or other Buffy books at all. It's all Spike and a supporting crew of space cockroaches, in outer space. Gischler does a fine job of getting Spike's voice across here, and we get to see all sides of Spike that we love to see: the funny sarcastic guy, the bad boy, and the heart throb being all pensive over Buffy. It's all here in this first issue. I think that the space cockroaches are a great addition to the Buffy universe, and they work well with Spike, playing off of him for comedic effect. They sort of remind me of Glory's minions from season five of the television series, where they worshipped her and begged to be punished by her for their missteps and failures. Anyways, there's a lot of set-up in this first issue, but there's a bit of action, and the creators definitely play with readers in some parts as the story unfolds. Spike is not as good as the main Buffy title, or Angel & Faith, but it is a nice addition to the season nine family of titles.