Spike vs. Dracula
by Peter David, various artists (IDW, 2006)

The Dracula episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of my favorites.

The line in which Spike, the show's tame vampire, says ol' Drac owes him 11 pounds from the old days was funny, but that was as far as it went ... until writer Peter David got his hands on the characters and decided to sort out the whole bloody relationship between the two iconic vampires once and for all.

Turns out the gypsies Spike, Darla and Drusilla slew in 1898 to avenge the re-souling of Angel were under Dracula's protection. And the self-named King of the Vampires doesn't take kindly to those who mess with his lambs -- so he sets out to seduce, then slay those responsible. Fortunately for Darla and Drusilla fans, Spike comes up with a nasty idea to keep Dracula off their tails for a while.

By the way, vampires really hate Bram Stoker.

The spotty relationship between Spike and Dracula continues over the years, with an encounter in Hollywood in 1934 (at a performance by Bela Lugosi, no less), a brief and bitter alliance in Germany in 1943 (a prelude to an Angel episode, actually, in which Angel and Spike find themselves aboard a Nazi submarine, a near-miss at the Italian estate of the Comte de St.-Germain in 1959 and, lastly, in 2003, post-Sunnydale, while Spike is all ghostly at the Los Angeles offices of Wolfram & Hart.

The art is inconsistent in this collection, and some of it's downright bad, but the writing is great, the story is funny and I bet if Joss Whedon had seen this in time, he'd have filmed it for us.

review by
Tom Knapp

10 November 2007

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