Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Joss Loves This Guy

What Is It?: Spike: Asylum (Trade Paperback), collecting the entire Spike: Asylum mini-series. Written by Brian Lynch (author of the coming-soon-I-can't-freakin'-wait Angel: Season Six), pencils by Franco Urru. Put out by IDW Publishing, the company currently doing all ANGEL and SPIKE comics.

Timing: It's kinda fuzzy, but it either takes place during Angel: Season Five or after Angel: Season Five. We'll likely find out when Angel: Season Six is released where this fits in, but all you really have to know is that Spike is living in LA, he's corporeal, and he has a soul.
REVIEW: Spike: Asylum is... astounding. With dark yet colorful artwork that can only be described as quirky (and astounding), dialogue that sounds like Whedon wrote it on a good day (which is astounding), and Spike moments that range from poignant, to revealing, to funny (done astoundingly), there is really no reason that Brian Lynch's "Spike: Asylum" isn't on the tippy top of your "To Read" list. If you hadn't caught on, it's astounding.
If you've liked IDW's Angel and/or Spike comics, you'll like this. Matter of fact, you'll love this. It's better than all the Angel mini-series (which were entertaining themselves), better than the intriguing "Spike vs. Dracula" and better than the awesome Spike one-shots. Not to rag on those, because they--for the most part--are highly entertaining. "Spike: Asylum" is just on a different level. It, unlike the others, transcends comics; you don't have to be a comic lover, a comic reader, or even familiar with the medium to enjoy this series.

With a different writer writing or artist drawing the same story, the story might have seemed a bit too fast paced, but the creative team of Brian Lynch and Franco Urru handle the job in a manner that can be described as nothing but perfectly. This actually reads as if it was the pilot of a Spike series; there's a cast of memorable characters (a few of which we'll see again, judging from the covers of the upcoming Lynch/Urru project "Spike: Shadow Puppets), and it just makes me want to read more. This is not a series that it's okay to miss. Lynch pays extra attention to detail, so much that there is actually a "commentary track" in the back of the book, in which the author schnazzily points out every little inside joke that we may have missed. I've never seen something like this in comics before, and I have to bow down to Lynch and thank him, because the commentary makes me enjoy the story even more. He really wants us to get as much out of the story as we can.

But why are you reading this review? Go buy the freakin' book! After reading Lynch's take on Spike, Joss Whedon himself contacted Lynch and told him he wants him to write "Angel: Season Six" in comic book form. That in itself is pretty much all I had to say to convince any Whedon fan to pick this up, but I'm a long winded kinda guy.

Art: As I said up top, the art manages to be dark and colorful at the same time, which--if you think about it--is what Spike is. Urru has a true talent for making the characters seem like they are in motion, so it's needless to say how on-point the action scenes are. Every panel is taken advantage of, making this a volume that you can pour over every day and still manage to find new things each time. Suffice it to say I am ecstatic that Brian Lynch and Franco Urru are going to continue to collaborate for "Spike: Shadow Puppets" which will be released this summer.

Characters We Know: Spike and Lorne

Rating: 10/10 Classic.

5 comments:

Buffysmglover said...

Could you mention my website in your next post? Or at least a specific section? I have a Season Eight Database on the Specials page at my site http://www.btvs-angel-authors.net.tc . It has short story length summaries of each issue and more!

PatShand said...

I sure can. Only thing is, you'd need to take your site off private first. When I click your link, this is what I get:

"Profile Not Available: The Blogger Profile you requested cannot be displayed. Many Blogger users have not yet elected to publicly share their Profile."

Tell me when you go public, and I'll be glad to post your link! As long as you do the same for me ;)

Buffysmglover said...

Sorry, I meant this link: http://www.btvs-angel-authors.net.tc i think you might have to copy and paste. The Season Eight Database is there.

Matt said...

I really enjoyed Asylum. I think it's been the best IDW series to date.

Personally, I like to place it after Not Fade Away. It just seems to fit better there to me. Although, if Shadow Puppets takes place after this and then maybe is set during Season 5...who knows?

-M

PatShand said...

I originally placed this after NFA as well, until I read the second issue of Shadow Puppets.