The Supernatural kick off episode was awesome and I also watched and liked the first two episodes of True Blood.
And now thanks to killerweasel I could read the third part of Spike-ATF and give you my five cents on it:
My first impression is that they maybe overdid a teensy little bit with the fanservice in this issue. I mean, I'm a total sucker for half naked chained up Spike but for fans who are not, there might have been a bit much of it. Anyway I'm not going to complain about what lead to a bunch of gorgeous panels.
The comic starts of to Spike shopping with (I think) Fred in a blissful dreamsequence where Angel is a salesman wearing a tag reading "My name is the reason we ended up here". Hee.
Unfortunately it's just an escapist dream, since Spike has been enslaved by Non and her minions for a month now. Non seems to have a liking for toturing Spike,but he's not too impressed with it. After all he's really seen worse, so he compares her to Xander and makes fun of the fact, that she's dolled herself up for someone. And as it usually is with Spike and things that require soap opera intuition, he's perfectly right and Non heads off a little embarrassed, leaving Spike to Spider, who has far more reasonable plans with chained up Spike than torturing him.
I still don't particularly like or dislike her much (pretty much like Spike). She clearly likes him but is too much of a wimp to actually break him out on her own and Spike is mainly interested in getting free, so that he can go to save Fredlyria.
Non meanwhile has gone to visit Gunn. Ok, the idea that vampire Gunn is a bit of an attraction for evil demon ladies is kind of nice. He feeds her a slayer from his personal stock as an entree (I'll come to that later) and they talk a bit of evil overlord business.Non spills the beans about Spike and Illyria, but Gunn doesn't care as much as she would have liked, since he absolutely trusts in his visions and they say that Fredlyria has a bright future ahead anyway, while Non hasn't, so Gunn sends her off after showing a bit of muscle.
In related interesting news Spike doesn't make an appearance in Gunn's visions either and I very much hope that this is going to be good for a surprise in ATF.
Then Gunn goes to take on three slayers for aggression therapy. Ok, here is the one real massive problem I had with this issue and the whole slayer storyline. What the fuck is this with Gunn keeping the slayers like that?!? Slayers in the Buffy verse are not cannon fodder. Just no. They are not henchwomen, that get killed just for emphasis. They should be at all points a force to be reckoned with. And most important of all, they are not just empty Karate-dolls. They are the chosen ones, remember? While I'm perfectly ok with them getting defeated, mind controlled, killed or whatever , I find it horrible to use them just as totally faceless background cannonfodder without any personality. Each one of them is supposed to be a hero goddammit, so if they're killed off, they deserve to go with a story, not like that.
First time I really missed Joss in the book, because otherwise I like Brian's writing a lot.
Ok, on with the story. Spike's pretty broken about what happened to his flock but he hasn't time to argue with fate, because after Gunn's disappointing reaction to her news, Non decides to kill Spike and Illyria (and Spider for good measure). He gets dragged out to a chopping place (in again a very fanserving way *g*) by the future Spikettes.
Illyria finally has had it with Non, when she makes her kneel and turns to wipe the floor with her. Which is a good thing to Spike, unless she reverts to Fred at the most inappropriate moment. Here the scene gets a bit confusing for me. Spike worries, that Illyria will revert, when she sees a familiar face, but then he tries to free himself and calls out to her as Fred, like he wants her to change. Huh?
Illyria doesn't seem to care but is obviously a bit irked about the Spike/Spider thing, so she reclaims her pet in what is a seriously pretty comic book kiss. Squee.
Then Jerry is still alive. Again squee.
And on the final panel Connor shows up to save the day even more. Which means more future Connor/Spike dialog and thus a third squee.
I wonder about Illyria's thing for Spike: Maybe she didn't revert, because it's actually Illyria herself, who cares about Spike and not so much Fred. I wonder where this is going to lead in Angel- ATF.
So what did you think about the issue?