Spike (IDW Publishing)

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"Spike (comic book)" redirects here. For other uses of Spike in comics, see Spike (comics).
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Publication information
Publisher IDW Publishing
Schedule Monthly
Format Limited series
Publication date October 2010 – May 2011
Number of issues 8
Main character(s) Spike
Betta George
Willow Rosenberg
Creative team
Writer(s) Brian Lynch
Penciller(s) Franco Urru
Creator(s) Brian Lynch
Based on characters by Joss Whedon

Spike is a comic book series published by IDW Publishing. Written by Brian Lynch, it focuses on the character of Spike, a main character in television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off, Angel. Uniquely, although this is a spin-off from IDW's larger Angel: After the Fall franchise, it also serves as a prequel to Dark Horse Comics' own Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight comic book series. As such, it is "canon" to the overall "Buffyverse" in which stories take place. Although originally intended as an ongoing series, the Angel rights transfer from IDW to Dark Horse caused the series end after eight issues.[1]

Lynch had previously written for Spike in the comic books Spike: Asylum when Buffy and Angel creator Joss Whedon approached him to write the canonical continuation to Angel, After the Fall, in 2007. For Spike, Lynch is reunited with frequent collaborator, penciller Franco Urru. Because of the circumstances behind Dark Horse's use of the Angel character, Whedon offered Lynch use of a main character in the Buffy franchise, and Lynch adapted the storyline to bridge IDW's After the Fall with Dark Horse's Season Eight.


Brian Lynch revealed some of the plot at San Diego Comic-Con International in 2010. The plot of the first arc features Spike travelling to Las Vegas for a mission refused by Angel. There, he acquires the crew and the ship introduced properly in the pages of Buffy Season Eight arc "Last Gleaming".[2]

Publication history[edit]

Originally intended as a truly ongoing series,[2] Lynch outlines his premise as "what would happen if Spike headlined his own TV show";[3] in this sense, the series aims to be a true Spike title and not merely an Angel spin-off. Lynch feels that the "kinda-sorta-very loose crossover" with Buffy Season Eight makes the comic book feel more like a "genuine Spike event" (rather than another of Spike's self-titled miniseries). Insofar as Lynch aims his series to be the Spike TV show that never was, Lynch cast its characters in the mould of Buffy and Angel '​ respective casts: a team of diverse characters like the Scooby Gang and Angel Investigations. Spike assembles his own team; Lynch describes these as the people Spike feels will listen to his commands.[3]

For his supporting cast, Lynch had originally wanted to have Lorne as in his earlier Spike: Shadow Puppets. However, following the death of actor Andy Hallett, who portrayed Lorne in the Angel series, IDW policy placed Lorne off-limits following John Byrne's send-off comic for the character, Music of the Spheres. Instead, Lynch elected to use the character of Groosalugg. This allows him to use the dragon and pegasus characters introduced in After the Fall and placed in Groo's care in that storyline. Additionally, Lynch uses his own inventions, the telepathic fish Betta George (introduced into the Buffy canon in After the Fall) and Beck, a pyrokinetic girl, first introduced in Spike: Aslyum.[2] Lynch expressed excitement at bringing George back into the comics, as he had proved popular with fans of After the Fall.[3]

When it was leaked earlier that Buffy Season Eight would include Angel in an important role, this came as a shock to IDW editorial and its writers.[2] Then-current Angel writer Bill Willingham in particular expressed considerable displeasure about their use of his main character.[4] Dark Horse editors and Whedon extended the use of Buffy character Willow Rosenberg to Lynch after Lynch joked that it would make it okay. Although Whedon stipulated he would have to oversee the character's interactions in Spike, Lynch was excited because writing with notes from Whedon was how they produced After the Fall together.[2] Lynch writes of being a huge fan of Willow and enjoying her interactions with Spike in episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.[3]

For Lynch, having Spike as a headlining character makes for a very different writing experience to writing Spike as a supporting character in Angel. Lynch reflects that unlike stories where Buffy Summers or Angel take the leading role, Spike is no longer there to stand at the sidelines and remark sardonically on the action. As leading man, the supporting characters of the series all work towards servicing him and his storyline. Spike's approach is also markedly different from Buffy's or Angel's; true to his character, he is more passionate and less tactical, making for tonally quite different stories to episodes of the aforementioned characters' shows. For Spike's personal development, Lynch expresses that as leader of the group, Spike has more responsibilities than ever before. For instance, he has to look out for the wellbeing of the team he has assembled. His new leadership role involves people management in addition to saving the world.[3]

Like Los Angeles in Angel and Sunnydale in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Spike has its own setting. Lynch chose Las Vegas as the locale for the Spike '​s book. In common with the aforementioned locations, Lynch writes of Las Vegas that it "has become more evil than usual, and supernatural occurrences are happening all over town."[3]


Title Issue # Release date
Spike #1: Alone Together Now 1 October 13, 2010
Writer: Brian Lynch Penciller: Franco Urru
No Bad too big in this all-new monthly series! The fan-favorite Angel team of Brian Lynch and artist Franco Urru are back! And this time, it's all about Spike. He's out on his own, away from Angel's watchful eye, and in charge of his own destiny. Lover, fighter, vampire with a soul, he's kick-starting his biggest adventure yet. Damsels, prepare to be saved and wooed! Forces of evil, get ready to be destroyed and mocked! Featuring guest-appearances by Angel, Illyria, and a face from the past seeking to destroy his future!
Spike #2: What Happens in Vegas, Slays in Vegas 2 November 10, 2010
Writer: Brian Lynch Penciller: Franco Urru and Nicola Zanni
Spike takes in all Las Vegas has to offer—the gambling, the women, and a hit new show called Cirque de No Slay. Yes, somebody's made a show about Spike's life, but they're rewriting history. Who's responsible? The answer to that isn't half as shocking as how Spike handles it. Get ready for the ultimate battle of Spike vs. Evil!
Spike #3: Everybody Loves Spike 3 December 8, 2010
Writer: Brian Lynch Penciller: Nicola Zanni
A flame from the past is haunting Spike's present, and wreaking havoc in Las Vegas, which is already pretty overrun with demons and vampires and your garden variety sins and sinners. But nothing is never that simple when Drusilla is involved, and a new player is about to make things very... difficult for Spike and company.
Spike #4: You Haven't Changed a Bit 4 January 5, 2011
Writer: Brian Lynch Penciller: Nicola Zanni
Spike's reunion with Drusilla is nothing short of explosive, especially considering her new lover thinks Spike has something he needs. Meanwhile, Las Vegas continues to deal with even more weirdness as Wolfram & Hart tries to get around Team Spike. Bring on the pyrokinetic and the psychic fish to save the day!
Spike #5: Bedknobs and Boomsticks 5 February 23, 2011
Writer: Brian Lynch Penciller: Stephen Mooney
When the going gets tough, the tough call in a witch.
Spike #6: Something Borrowed 6 March 16, 2011
Writer: Brian Lynch Penciller: Stephen Mooney
Why is Willow out of the Buffyverse and in Las Vegas with Spike? What does she need to help Spike with? How are they going to deal with John and Wolfram & Hart and Drusilla? Plus, spaceships and bugs are coming!
Spike #7: Give and Take 7 April 13, 2011
Writer: Brian Lynch Penciller: Stephen Mooney
That evil dude John is really ramping things up, but Spike has a few tricks up his own sleeve. Well, one, but still. And it all depends on whether he can trust Drusilla. No, really. Still to come...space bugs!
Spike #8: Stranger Things 8 May 4, 2011
Writer: Brian Lynch Penciller: Franco Urru
IDW's last Spike issue! Tears! Terror! Will Spike be able to put his demons to rest (figuratively and literally), or will this final challenge be 'the end' of our favorite vampire, poet, lover, and friend? Hint: It won't.

Collected editions[edit]

The series has been collected into two hardcover volume editions being released by IDW Publishing:

Title Issues # Release date ISBN
Spike: Alone Together Now - Volume 1 1-4 May 10, 2011 ISBN 1-60010-908-X (Hardcover)
Spike: Stranger Things - Volume 2 5-8 September 13, 2011 ISBN 1-61377-006-5 (Hardcover)
Spike: The Complete Series 1-8 July 31, 2012 ISBN 1-61377-285-8 (Paperback)


In the final scene of the "Twilight" story arc of Buffy Season Eight, Spike arrives in a mysterious yellow ship claiming to have a solution. Lynch and Dark Horse editor Scott Allie have both said that the Spike series will introduce the origins of Spike's ship and its crew. In a Q&A on the SlayAlive fan forums, Lynch said himself that the story was set a few months after Willingham's "Immortality for Dummies" arc in Angel, and at Comic-Con he said that although he wanted the comic to be timeless, it was also set "a few months" after the Fall of Los Angeles in After the Fall.[2]


  1. ^ "Exclusive Interview: Chris Ryall and Mariah Huehner Discuss Angel Leaving IDW". Buffyfest. 2010-08-20. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "(SPOILER) Brian Lynch talks about his upcoming Spike series.". Whedonesque.com. 2010-07-31. Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Lynch Takes "Spike" to Sin City". Comic Book Resources. 2010-09-14. Retrieved 2010-09-19. 
  4. ^ Phegley, Kiel (2010-01-11). "The Buffy/Angel Continuity Conundrum". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2010-08-21.