Saturday, October 23, 2010

VINTAGE - Lost & Found, Spike

TIPTON, Scott. Spike: Lost & Found. IDW, Jan. 2006. illus. by Fernando Goni, Impacto Studios. ISBN: 1933239972

I remember not really liking this graphic novel very much the first time I read it. After re-reading Spike: Lost & Found, I have to say... maybe I was a little to harsh. It does have a few continuity errors in it, but it's kind of a cute story overall. Angel is in the story as much as Spike is. I think it really should have been titled "Spike and Angel: Lost & Found" because that would have been a little more accurate. Anyway, like the last vintage post on a Spike comic, this was pretty early in IDW's publishing run of Angel-themed comics. They ended up being pretty expensive for fewer pages, and the stories weren't that compelling. Like the last IDW Spike comic, you can see from the panels I've scanned that they've used that too rich, painting-esque art that I'm not really a fan of. I actually think the work might be digital, using Photoshop to digitally alter real shots of James Marsters. Reading all of those Scott Allie editorials in the back of Dark Horse Buffy comics has totally paid off.

The plot of this story revolves around a second Gem of Amarra. This, in of itself, is a continuity error because Angel confirms that there was only one ring in the third season premier of his own show. The opening scene of this comic is of Spike explaining to Harmony "what happened in L.A." (a recap of the events of Angel's 'In the Dark' episode). This is also sort of a blatant continuity error since Harmony and Spike, at that point, weren't together. He tried to stake her, but because she had the Gem of Amarra on her finger, she didn't die. They don't see each other again until "Pangs" after he comes back from The Initiative. I guess the scene between them could work, it's just unlikely. And also not very clever. They do cut to Harmony, bored four years later in Angel's office, saying the same thing. Harmony was like that. There's actually a lot of her in this one, even moreso than the cameos we get from Fred, Wesley, and Gunn. Who doesn't love Harmony in comics?.

Angel sees news reports about "throat-ripping" murders that are happening in broad daylight. He immediately thinks that there's another Gem of Amarra (again, wouldn't the events of 'Heartthrob' be more likely? That a vampire got that surgery?). He goes to Spike to ask about how he found out about the ring. Spike doesn't really answer the question despite being asked multiple times by Angel and later Wesley. That's sad, because that's a question you could answer in this comic, writer Scott Tipton. So you disappointed me. I just want to let you know. Spike is actually written pretty well here. His interactions with Angel are also pretty spot on with post-'Destiny' and 'You're Welcome' scenes. They don't really like together, but realize they work extremely well together, so there's a begrudging respect. They eventually catch up to the vampire and a wacky chase ensues. The Gem of Amarra on his finger looks similar, but the gem is red. I think I like that because it shows that they are different, but wouldn't they be the same color? Coloring error?

Anyway, it's not very many pages... but it was nice to go back and read. A kind of pleasant surprise since it wasn't quite as bad as I remember.

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