Spike: Shadow Puppetsby Brian Lynch
Angel once put a stop to an evil children's show, but not before being turned into a puppet during his fight. Now, fresh out of the Asylum, it's Spike's turn! Writer Brian Lynch and artist Franco Urru (Spike: Asylum) are reunited in this collection that sees Spike and Lorne heading off to Japan to stop the latest Japanese kids' show... Smile Time! Will they become "puppetized" themselves? And along the way, find themselves in a fight with hundreds of ninja-puppets, reuniting with fellow Asylum inmates, and be at extreme odds with one other?
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Well obviously this is only for fans of the Buffy and Angel shows. If you liked them, loved them... then you'll want to pick this up. And it goes without saying this is a must for any fans of Spike, our bleached blonde occasional hero vampire with a soul.
Taking off where the now classic Smile Time episode of Angel left off, we now have Spike travelling to Japan with Lorne to put a stop to the Japanese contingent of Smile Time. As one can expect there are plenty of gags when your plot surrounds killer puppets a la Sesame Street and the Muppets. But you might not expect how funny this comic is. Never will you laugh harder then when Spike, as a rather adorable puppet, comes face to face with a lot of puppet versions of his past.
There also is some seriousness... not much I'll grant you. Don't read this expecting a moral message to turn kids lives around. And don't expect major character changes either. Spike is brash and rude and doesn't give a damn, and that's how he stays, even if by the end he does come to a few important realizations.
Buy this comic, because you'll love it, and you'll certainly find yourself picking it up again and again when you need a laugh, or a Spike fix.
If you ever saw the Angel episode "Smile Time" this is a delightful rehash of that ridiculous concept with Spike instead. If you haven't seen that (and most of Angel TV), some of the references may be lost, but it still should be a fun/silly ride for any fan of Spike, the not-quite-badass from Buffy. Art is good and story/dialogue is entertaining.