Spike #5 Reviews,Reactions,Spoilers.

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Postby Enisy » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:30 pm

I'm just gonna ignore the mythology-breaking soul-exchange plotline, since Joss isn't involved in it and it isn't likely to figure into the 'verse in any way after this mini-series is over.

Thanks for summarizing the issue and transcribing some of its dialogue, Buffyversefantic! I might actually buy this one. The Spike/Willow interaction seems adorable, and Mooney's art doesn't make me want to compose sonnets on the relative beauty of the speech-bubbles, like the previous guy's.

I have a question, though: why did Betta George "feel" the murders when delving into Drusilla's mind, but not when he delved into Spike's, Angel's or any other shady character's? Shouldn't his telepathy have a uniform effect?
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Postby Buffyversefantic » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:47 pm

Moscow Watcher wrote:Thank you for the recap!

The other thing that pops into my mind is that there is implications that W&H were involved in Spike's soul quest and the demon who restored his soul in "Grave?"


Yes, exactly. If John says the truth, then the whole mythology is changed. Spike was re-ensouled once. Angel was re-ensouled twice. Does it mean that three innocent people were robbed of their souls?


Which makes me question again,how reliable is W&H's info to John?

For all we know,they've given John a load of bunk and he actually still has his soul.It's just like John said.He went from killing humans to supernatural beings because killing humans wasn't giving him a high anymore, maybe he doesn't feel anything now because he's bored and needs bigger game to kill?

But like I was saying,this issue really raises interesting questions about soul vs. soulless and how the nature of evil can play with both.What makes souled evil different from soulless?Even if W&H is lying or off,it does raise interesting ideas no matter how this ends up all playing out.

I have a question, though: why did Betta George "feel" the murders when delving into Drusilla's mind, but not when he delved into Spike's, Angel's or any other shady character's? Shouldn't his telepathy have a uniform effect?


Maybe Dru's mind is more a open book given her mental state and it flooded all in fast?

Here's the exact dialog.George is thinking about going back to Mosaic

Beck:I know Spike did some evil stuff back in the day.But that's not who he is now.

George:Yes,I know he's cured.He's healed.He's souled up.I could fill your head with the the stuff he and Drusilla did and you'd understand.But I want to spare you the nightmares and therapy.

Beck:Screw it.I'm going back to help Spike.If he ties me to railroad tracks,I'll let you know.


So maybe not 'feel' is the right word but it seems he got a eyeful of Spike and Dru's past together and it freaked him.
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Postby Deborahmm » Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:26 pm

Buffyversefantic wrote:The other thing that pops into my mind is that there is implications that W&H were involved in Spike's soul quest and the demon who restored his soul in "Grave?".


Hmm, that's not what I got from that bit of dialogue from John. Read to me more like him saying W&H for some reason need to maintain a balance of souls in the world so when Spike got his soul back they had to take one from someone else to keep that balance, so took John's since he happened to be handy. Doesn't mean they had anything to do with Spike getting a soul in the first place.
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Postby Moscow Watcher » Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:39 pm

Buffyversefantic
Which makes me question again,how reliable is W&H's info to John?

For all we know,they've given John a load of bunk and he actually still has his soul.It's just like John said.He went from killing humans to supernatural beings because killing humans wasn't giving him a high anymore, maybe he doesn't feel anything now because he's bored and needs bigger game to kill?

But like I was saying,this issue really raises interesting questions about soul vs. soulless and how the nature of evil can play with both.What makes souled evil different from soulless?Even if W&H is lying or off,it does raise interesting ideas no matter how this ends up all playing out.


Agree. I like that the stakes are raised, and the story becomes really unpredictable. Willow's arrival re-energized the story. The first time in ages I'm really curious what happens next.

If only all the issues were like this one!
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Postby Veiriti » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:29 pm

Thanks for the transcript, Buffyversefantic! :)
I'm really excited of the storyline! I can't wait to get my copy! :)
Loved Willow/Spike dialogue! It's funny that Willow has turned Dru into a kitten! :D
And John wants his soul back to feel a pleasure of his murders again? Very interesting indeed...
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Postby Enisy » Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:14 pm

Someone ought to write Frog!Angel/Kitten!Drusilla fanfiction (see Buffy: Season 8 #36). :P

Enisy wrote:What makes souled evil different from soulless?


To my understanding, souled beings have a complex moral structure, and can generally make an informed choice between good and evil; soulless beings just do what feels good to them. I haven't read the issue yet, but what I've heard about John's plotline doesn't make sense to me. He gets no joy or pleasure from killing people, now that he's lost his soul? How's that work? Spike, Angel and Darla all got plenty of jollies from their iniquities while soulless. If anything, he should feel more now that he doesn't have anything in the way of inhibitions.
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Postby fender_love » Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:16 pm

Veiriti wrote:And John wants his soul back to feel a pleasure of his murders again?

Seems like a good many characters on this show got plenty of pleasure out of killing without souls, so... why would John be any different? Maybe he was just in a serial-killing rut. Maybe he just need to buy a poodle, dig a big pit in his basement, and invest in a whole lot of Jergen's. :roll:
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Postby kamw30 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:10 pm

Enisy wrote:Someone ought to write Frog!Angel/Kitten!Drusilla fanfiction (see Buffy: Season 8 #36). :P

Enisy wrote:What makes souled evil different from soulless?


To my understanding, souled beings have a complex moral structure, and can generally make an informed choice between good and evil; soulless beings just do what feels good to them. I haven't read the issue yet, but what I've heard about John's plotline doesn't make sense to me. He gets no joy or pleasure from killing people, now that he's lost his soul? How's that work? Spike, Angel and Darla all got plenty of jollies from their iniquities while soulless. If anything, he should feel more now that he doesn't have anything in the way of inhibitions.


Doesn't your first sentence kind of explain it? Obviously John's evil kink lies in his ability make that 'informed choice'. His internalised morality is completely corrupted. Being soulless makes it less thrilling to such an evil being because he is no longer challenging a system he cares about.

It's an interesting idea.
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Postby Veiriti » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:11 am

I haven't read the issue yet, but what I've heard about John's plotline doesn't make sense to me. He gets no joy or pleasure from killing people, now that he's lost his soul?


Ensy, I haven’t read the issue yet (God, I’m dying to read it!), but reading the transcript, John killed a wrong person then he was captured and his soul was removed. And it makes sense for me. John wants a soul back (or wants to steal Spike’s soul) to feel a pleasure of his murders again. With a soul or without it he is a psychopath. The serial killers take a pleasure of their murders. The murder without a pleasure is a kind of pointless for him. And it’s typical of the serial killers to throw the guilt of their displeasure at other persons – that why John hates Spike and want to take his soul and to kill him after that.
And I think that the moralty is not exacliy connected with the soul. I’ve read the book about the serial killers – all of them have souls and some of them even were good Christians, but it didn’t make these psychopaths less monsters.
Speaking about the Buffyverse the soulless Spike was a mass-murder (that’s why Betta George is scared of his deeds) but despite of his vampire nature, which pushed him to do these killings, his morality wasn’t entirely corrupted or gone – he was faithful to Dru, loyal to his allies, took care of Dawn, Buffy, her mother, etc.
But there is something else about John that I can’t get – he has no soul, he is having a pleasure of killing people and supernatural beings, but why then he has feeling to Drusilla and obliviously does care for her?!

Someone ought to write Frog!Angel/Kitten!Drusilla fanfiction (see Buffy: Season 8 #36).

I would love to read it, Ensy! I’ve thought the same when I’ve read that Willow turned Dru into a cat. Willow loves to turn Buffy’s and Spike’s exs into animals! :D There are a lot of references with Buffy Season 8. And that about the second chance makes a good parallel with Twilight story either.
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Postby Shade of Pale » Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:28 am

I've got my copy now. I loved this ! The Willow/Spike dialogue was really special and easily surpassed my hopeful expectations. Next to Spike and Willow, I thought it was also a great issue for George. with his new awareness of how Spike and Dru felt when they destroyed so many lives. It was a crisis moment with a strong emotional punch. I could understand how he felt as he did and why it rendered him unconcious initially. I wonder what effect it will have on his friendship with Spike long-term. I also just loved Beck's loyalty and Spike's determination to restore Jeremy.

All in all, a great mixuture of drama, wonderful dialogue and action. The best for me, of the series so far.
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Postby Double Dutchess » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:41 pm

I got my copy of Spike #5 this evening. Things are finally picking up speed now. Like everybody else, I loved Willow's interaction with Spike. The scene with Willow, Spike and Drusilla was enjoyable too.

Some other familiar faces besides Willow: the naked tentacled demon who tried to kill Spike in Angel #26/#27 turns out to be working with John! And I only just noticed that Willow has a Dicky Duck doll.

Buffyversefantic wrote:
Moscow Watcher wrote:
The other thing that pops into my mind is that there is implications that W&H were involved in Spike's soul quest and the demon who restored his soul in "Grave?"


Yes, exactly. If John says the truth, then the whole mythology is changed. Spike was re-ensouled once. Angel was re-ensouled twice. Does it mean that three innocent people were robbed of their souls?


Which makes me question again,how reliable is W&H's info to John?

For all we know,they've given John a load of bunk and he actually still has his soul.It's just like John said.He went from killing humans to supernatural beings because killing humans wasn't giving him a high anymore, maybe he doesn't feel anything now because he's bored and needs bigger game to kill?


I tend to believe that W&H really took John's soul, but until there's evidence to the contrary I'm just going to assume they made up the story of needing it ''to keep the balance" because Spike regained his own soul. They could just have told John that to set him up against Spike.

About the question "What makes souled evil different from soulless?" I agree with this point of view:

kamw30 wrote:Obviously John's evil kink lies in his ability make that 'informed choice'. His internalised morality is completely corrupted. Being soulless makes it less thrilling to such an evil being because he is no longer challenging a system he cares about.

It's an interesting idea.


Without a soul, killing can be enjoyed (vampires clearly enjoy it), but more in the way that a natural predator enjoys killing. John's enjoyment of killing when he still had a soul was a more perverse pleasure: he enjoyed it exactly because he felt that what he was doing was wrong -- it was that feeling of wrongness that he liked the most, and he lost that when he lost his soul.

Veiriti wrote:And I think that the moralty is not exacliy connected with the soul.


I think it is, in the Buffy/Angelverse.

Speaking about the Buffyverse the soulless Spike was a mass-murder (that’s why Betta George is scared of his deeds) but despite of his vampire nature, which pushed him to do these killings, his morality wasn’t entirely corrupted or gone – he was faithful to Dru, loyal to his allies, took care of Dawn, Buffy, her mother, etc.


That was him being loyal to and taking care of those he loved. I don't think that's the same thing as having a sense of morality.

But there is something else about John that I can’t get – he has no soul, he is having a pleasure of killing people and supernatural beings, but why then he has feeling to Drusilla and obliviously does care for her?!


These same things were also true for Spike when he didn't have a soul, so why couldn't they hold for John too?
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Postby itsame » Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:24 pm

These same things were also true for Spike when he didn't have a soul, so why couldn't they hold for John too?


One of my favorite Spike lines, from Buffy Season 2, Episode 13:

The Judge steps out of his box. He has difficulty keeping his balance.
He points at Drusilla.

Judge: You!

Spike: (rolls over to him in Dru's defense) Ho, ho, ho. What's that,
mate?

Judge: You two stink of humanity. You share affection and jealousy.

Spike: Yeah. What of it?
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Postby Jean-Vic » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:27 pm

As far as we know, there is only one vampire who was completely devoid of humanity and he couldn't be burned by the Judge.

Way I have always seen it, vampires were once people. They have no soul, no conscience. They have no moral compass. Vampires, in a way, were evil, but never for the sake of it. You see, like DD said, they seemed to enjoy what they did just for the simple elation it brought, the predatory thrill. Look at what Spike says in Damage. He never contemplated the nature of evil. He just did. Sort of like the Freudian model of there being 3 sides to the psyche. ID, Super-ID and Ego. One of these controls impulse, desire, passion and if left unchecked, runs rampant. One is fully controlled by the constraints of society, rules, regulation. The third balances these out. Allows people to act on their desires but only in ways that do not corrupt the laws society, family etc imposes.

And yet, the shows have shown us that there is an element of evil to them. You see, the way I have always seen vampires is a twisted husk of what they were. I don't believe they are without rules, and that society's laws and constraints no longer bind them. I believe that they lose the balncing aspect. I believe that the element of nature and the element of nurture are in direct conflict, and freud always said that nature overpowered. That was why the third element was needed, to even the odds. Think of it as George Foreman in the ring with a 10 year old girl. No ref, there's gonna be a blood bath.

Way I see it, vampires know the difference. They know the law, the rules and morals, but without the soul they cannot ever hope to abide by them because their animalistic urge will always win out. However, in most vampires, there is always something in place that is a link to their humanity, a residual referee that will limit their actions to an extent. Spike, for instance, is limited by love. His human love is what guides him in some cases, and calms his animalistic urge. It keeps him linked to humanity, but in the end, this referee is just a 10 year old girl itself and George Foreman can batter and bruise her as well. Spike has a link to humanity, love, but it is twisted. It guides and points his way in some form, but not like it should. That's why he sees the solution to making someone love him is torture, or rape. His animalistic urge overcomes that anchor and mangles it. Angelus never had anything like that. He held onto nothing. He was just pure animal. He revelled in pain and evil because he had nothing else. Spike had something, and that was what made him and other vampires different.

I know this was long winded, but it was my way of saying that I agree with DD about John. He used to enjoy killing with a soul because he had the balancer, the referee who he could defy. Without a soul, he is breaking rules, but it's just instint, not choice.
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Postby dorotea » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:38 pm

IMHO - if vampires have 'link to humanity' than Slayers are genocidal maniacs dusting potentially redeemable creatures. Slayers should be laying vampires not slaying them - because obviously vamps have potential to love. Exaggeration, but that's what this kind of speculation implies.
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Postby kamw30 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:36 pm

dorotea wrote:IMHO - if vampires have 'link to humanity' than Slayers are genocidal maniacs dusting potentially redeemable creatures. Slayers should be laying vampires not slaying them - because obviously vamps have potential to love. Exaggeration, but that's what this kind of speculation implies.


Not necessarily. Remember vampires must prey on human beings to survive. Our default position is always to destroy, isolate, avoid or domesticate predators. The Initiative's efforts show a failure to actually domesticate these beings and they are impossible to isolate or avoid.

Even if you could tap into the humanity there is no guarantee they can hold to this society's morals - they are faster stronger and always possessed of a blood lust. Some are unique, but most aren't and the risks are too great. Think of the Master's plans. You risk them believing in their superiority and subjugating humans for food. Ever wonder what a chicken thinks of you?

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