Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike & Dru

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike & Dru focuses on my two favorite characters from the show. This collection of four stories about the vampire couple was written by Christopher Golden with art by Ryan Sook, Eric Powell, and others.

The first story, “All’s Fair”, begins with a flashback to the couple killing a slayer during the Boxer Rebellion before giving them a night out at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. A scientist claims to have created a generator that draws energy from other dimensions. As is typical for Buffy, the machine turns out to be more than it seems as the scientist becomes increasingly detached from reality (which includes a smorgasbord of fair visitors for the vamps).

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike & Dru cover
Buffy the Vampire
Slayer: Spike & Dru
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“Queen of Hearts” is another story from before the two first entered Sunnydale, where they stop over in St. Louis for a trip on a casino riverboat and encounter a rival demon. “Paint the Town Red” is co-written by James Marsters, the actor who plays Spike. It’s set after the two had their encounters with Buffy and Angel, and things between Spike and Dru are no longer so loving and perfect. The last story, “Who Made Who?”, goes into more detail about the eventual breakup, especially Spike’s motivations.

Anyone familiar with the characters has surely wondered how such a long-lasting love could end. This comic fills in the gaps and expands on the character’s feelings. The voices are right, which makes or breaks adaptations for me, as are the likenesses. Dru’s unhinged speech pattern is tough to mimic without descending into parody. Golden does an excellent job of capturing the dialogue so that I could hear it in the actors’ voices. I enjoyed the costume choices for the period dress, too.

A few pages have fuzzy lettering, as though the ink bled on newsprint (although this book has slicker paper) or something happened to the computerized pixels. Given the amount of dialogue and the close attention I was paying to it, this was a bit annoying but still readable. Ryan Sook’s art isn’t conventionally attractive, but the angularity reminds me that I’m reading about monsters in an unusual world. I wouldn’t want to become too seduced by the vampires, after all.

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