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Tag Archive: Buffy the Vampire Slayer


Masters Spike Into the Light TPB cover

The vampire William the Bloody or “Spike” as he became known on Buffy the Vampire Slayer was one of those characters in television history that could have fizzled depending on the casting of the role.  Spike could have been one of those characters killed off after a few episodes, but James Marsters’ unique voice for the character and his own take on the dark and brooding opposite David Boreanaz’s own dark and brooding character Angel was a standout that allowed him to survive all seven seasons of the series, and reprise the role on Angel.  Plus, Spike’s Brit-punk style was always just plain cool.

Dark Horse Comics signed Marsters to pen his own take on Spike and the result is Spike: Into the Light, a graphic novel to be released July 16, 2014.  With nicely rendered images of Marsters as Spike by artist Derlis Santacruz, inks by Andy Owens and colors by Dan Jackson, Spike fans will find Spike: Into the Light as a lost episode that never otherwise could have been–since no single episode told a solo story with no other cast members.  Marsters and Santacruz paint a trip through familiar lanscape during the last season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Marsters gives us a voice and story only he could provide, considering he spent more time than anyone literally in the boots of the character.  The problem?  Vampire Spike has a soul, and he’s trying to make good on it by being a good guy, despite the pull toward killing to get blood or to break into an old store where he once buried loot from a past heist.  Spike also wants a girlfriend, but can he keep from turning vampire long enough to get to know her?

Here’s a preview of Spike: Into the Light courtesy of Dark Horse Comics:

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How I Married Your Mother finale

It always pays to be wary of grandiose statements and definitive pronouncements.  When I first watched Forrest Gump in the theater, one-third of the way through the movie it occurred to me I might be watching the greatest production of all time, and walking out of the theater I carried that thought with me.  But time changes things.  Now I see it as a fun film, but it’s not at the top of any of my “best of” lists.  Professor Schofield advised that you can’t really objectively analyze something, an art movement, a political figure, a fad–anything worth analyzing–unless several years had transpired and you could have the value of time and distance, contemplation and reflection, to look back with.

So it is with a bit of reservation that I am asserting that the series finale to How I Met Your Mother that aired Monday night should top any list of great finales.  The writers, producers, and actors simply got it just right.  Exactly right.  Airing the first episode of season one just before the finale aired really showcased how this ending was exactly what viewers deserved after nine seasons of sticking with the show.  Consider all the series finales that were promoted over the years, and despite the biggest of viewing audiences, you might find that most last hoorahs miss the mark, try too hard, or just do something that didn’t reflect the best of the series.

Trek TNG All Good Things

The granddaddy of all finales was the 1983 M*A*S*H extended episode “Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen.”  Although some elements were right, like a bounty of typical and appropriate sad goodbyes, Captain Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce, (one of the best characters of all time) after more than a decade of using laughter to beat the odds and help his unit survive the Korean War, cracks at the very end.  NBC’s comedy spy series Chuck made a similar mistake, wiping the memory of Chuck’s hard-earned love interest Sarah after we cheered him on all those years, requiring the story to basically start over from scratch in some far off place after the series wrapped.  Another less than satisfying but at least appropriate-to-the-series finale was the end of the monumental 20th year of the original Law & Order.  We basically got to see a fairly typical episode of the series, which certainly fit the seriousness of the show’s drama.  But we also got a goodbye scene and were left on a positive note with “Lieut’s” good news about her hard-fought illness.

Before that, you might have seen the last episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show on Nick at Nite or other classic rerun network if you weren’t old enough to catch it in its initial run.  The TV network that was the subject of the series fires everyone including Mary at the end, except Ted Knight’s character Ted Baxter.  The annoying guy that we loved for being annoying gets to stay.  A funny series with a funny end, as well as the requisite bittersweet goodbye scene.  A similarly funny sitcom, Psych, wrapped its eighth and final season last month, tying up all its remaining loose ends.  Psych took a different path, taking its angst-inducing character, Detective-then-Chief Lassiter, and with a redemption of sorts, switched up his role in the last two seasons to become a guy viewers could cheer on.

Newhart finale

Another comedy, Newhart, gave us a completely bizarre ending for an otherwise enjoyable comedy series.  Yet it was saved literally in the last two minutes by a brilliantly concocted stunt–bring back Bob’s wife from his original series, The Bob Newhart Show, the lovely Suzanne Pleshette, revealing the whole series was just a dream.  It’s a gimmick that didn’t work for a series like the original Dallas (recall Bobby Ewing died then came back to life with a “poof”), but for a comedy wrap-up, it couldn’t have been better timed.

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Angel and Faith Season 10 1 cover

Angel and Faith are working together again and back to clean up the darker corners of the city in Dark Horse Comics’ Angel and Faith Season 10, with its first issue coming in April.  That’s right–fans of Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer will get even more of your favorite brooding vampire and kick-ass vampire slayer.  And the series is again produced by creator Joss Whedon.

Angel & Faith Season 10 is planned for a thirty-issue run, and will be written by Victor Gischler and drawn by Will Conrad, with regular issue covers by Scott Fischer.

Check out these preview pages from Angel & Faith Season 10, Issue #1, courtesy of Dark Horse Comics:

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Buffy Season 10 issue 2

Wouldn’t it be great if we were looking forward to a live action continuation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, now in its tenth season?  Well it’s not in the cards, but we can look forward to Dark Horse Comics’ third comic book series continuing the exploits of Buffy and the rest of the Scooby Gang beginning this month with Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10, Issue #1, created by Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs.

Buffy Season 10 Issue 1 cover A

We have a first look at three covers for Issue #1, and Willow, Xander, Spike, Faith, and young Giles are back.

Here is a short preview of Issue #1, courtesy of Dark Horse:

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Jayne Cobb and Vera action figure Firefly Funko ReAction Retro Buffy the Vampire Slayer ReAction figure Funko

Funko’s classic Kenner style 3 and 3/4-inch ReAction series of action figures are sure to be a big focus at Sunday’s annual Toy Fair in New York, and we have a first look at the sculpts and packaging courtesy of Entertainment Earth.  We revealed the new Predator, Terminator, Escape from New York, Rocketeer, and The Nightmare Before Christmas figures here at borg.com last week, and we couldn’t be more excited about the rest of the line of 1980s style action figures.

The rest of the figures include Back to the Future, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Pulp Fiction, the Universal Monsters, Horror Classics, Goonies, and The Crow.

Some highlights can be found in the Firefly line.  Zoe’s sculpt looks particularly well done, Wash comes with his toy dinosaurs, and Jayne comes with his favorite weapon: Vera.  Oz from Buffy the Vampire Slayer comes with his guitar.  Hellraiser’s Pinhead comes with a tiny puzzle cube.  And Bruce Willis finally gets an action figure–his Pulp Fiction character is wearing his dad’s watch from the film.  Several characters are represented in the Pulp Fiction line, but no Christopher Walken, yet.  There’s no Xander from Buffy, either, or Josh Brolin’s character from Goonies, or a River or Simon for the Firefly line.

ReAction Funko The Crow Eric Draven figure  Pulp Fiction ReAction figures Funko

Each of these can be pre-ordered from Entertainment Earth at the early bird prices by clicking on the images below.  We’re betting this first line will be a big success and that Funko will move on to expand these lines and add more licensed properties in the future.  Check out these great series:

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Predator masked ReAction figure card   Escape from New York Snake Plissken figure card

Funko toys figured out the secret to the collectible action figure, and their new line of licensed action figures that launched last month with the Alien line is beginning to take shape.  Entertainment Earth has just released photos of the action figure sculpts and cards for several of their new series: Escape from New York, Predator, Terminator, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and The Rocketeer.  The action figures begin shipping in April, and you can pre-order them now.  Keep checking back here at borg.com as we reveal the new sculpts and cards for other series in the line, including Back to the Future, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Universal Studios Classic Monsters, Firefly, Goonies, Pulp Fiction, Scream, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Hellraiser, Halloween, and The Crow.  It’s the biggest ever mass release of multiple franchise action figures.  And all of the first line of figures are available for pre-order now.

T800 Terminator action figure ReAction retro card   T800 Endoskeleton

The new retro ReAction figures from Funko are stylized as 3 3/4-inch figures from the “golden age” of action figures, with approximately five points of articulation, accessories, and period-authentic blister card packaging.  These intentionally are not photo-real images like you might find in modern action figure lines.

Rocketeer ReAction figure card   Jack Skellington Nightmare Before Christmas action figure card

Funko figured out that classic packaging and nostalgia are what many fans are after, not a picture-perfect sculpt.  Compare the original 1970s Star Wars action figure line–the clear inspiration for the new ReAction line–to the 1980s updated Star Wars line or even the current Star Wars Black Series line that has been updated yet again.  If you still prefer the 1970s figures to today’s series, then the new ReAction line is for you.  Here is an early look at a few of the figures:

Predator masked sculpt Terminator ReAction figure sculpt Snake Plissken figure ReAction sculpt

We first mentioned the ReAction line here at borg.com back in November with news of the Alien release.  Since then they released the full Alien series and they look great, including these:

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WKRP Nessman reporting Thanksgiving stunt

Pull the turkey TV dinner out of the oven.  Throw some butter on those peas.  It’s time again for your annual tryptophan coma.  And another annual tradition.

Here at borg.com we like our Thanksgiving with turkeys.  Not just one turkey.  Several turkeys.  Flying overhead even.  Yes, it is time again for your annual viewing of one of the two best Thanksgiving episodes of TV ever.  Finish this phrase: “As God is my witness, I thought…”  You don’t know how it ends?  Then watch and enjoy our traditional viewing of the greatest Thanksgiving episode of TV ever:

And in between your seconds and thirds on mashed potatoes, corn casserole, bean casserole, pea casserole–and don’t forget the gravy–then check out other Thanksgiving blasts from the past here.  And don’t forget the cranberries.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The borg.com Staff

Sleepy Hollow logo

After a solid pilot episode many television series fail to measure up to the initial promise, dwindling away after a few episodes.  On last night’s fourth episode of Sleepy Hollow, “The Lesser Key of Solomon,” we learn this new series may deserve to be around for the long haul.  From the first scene where we catch up with Tom Mison’s Ichabod Crane in a humorous exchange with an OnStar representative to Hessians interrogating a bartender for information on Lieutenant Mills’s sister who has escaped from a psychiatric ward, we knew we were in for a wild ride even before the titles rolled.

If you haven’t climbed aboard the bandwagon for Sleepy Hollow yet, we reviewed the pilot here at borg.com three weeks ago.  At its core, the series is the unlikely mash-up of two works, Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle, and the biblical Book of Revelations.  Here Ichabod Crane takes the role of Irving’s Rip Van Winkle, and the Headless Horseman of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow turns out to be one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.  The Horseman was beheaded by Ichabod Crane, who is, in turn, felled by the Horseman at the same skirmish, and on Crane’s deathbed his wife–a witch–casts a spell that causes Crane to reappear in the town of Sleepy Hollow in our time.

Boston Tea Party

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Johnny Alucard banner

Review by C.J. Bunce

At long last, Johnny Alucard, Kim Newman’s sequel to 1992’s Anno Dracula, 1995’s The Bloody Red Baron, and 1998’s Dracula Cha Cha Cha is now available.  And for fans of Newman’s richly detailed universe, the first Anno Dracula universe tale in 15 years was worth the wait.  It’s a ballad of a kid born with nothing, who has a destiny, and that destiny takes him to conquer America.  And it all happens in a parallel world where Bram Stoker’s Dracula was a biography of an historical figure, and humans and vampires live side-by-side in a universe similar, yet very different, from our own.

Known for its deeply layered world building occupied by well-known fictional and historical characters with jumbled realities, this latest Anno Dracula entry doesn’t let up.  We at borg.com last year named the re-release of Dracula Cha Cha Cha the best read of 2012.  Check out our review here.  That novel followed Newman’s four protagonists as their stories collided with the death of Dracula in the 1950s.  Three women vampires are at the heart of the Anno Dracula universe: Geneviève Dieudonné, a centuries-old French vampire who watched and participated in key historic events in this timeline; Kate Reed–the most accessible of the three–a plucky Irish journalist who carries the reader through many events in Newman’s stories; and Penelope (“Penny”) Churchward, the third wheel who never quite becomes friends with the other “Charles’s Angels”.   The Charles is Charles Beauregard, a British spy all three women had relationships with over the years, and who died in Dracula Cha Cha Cha, around the time of the death of Dracula himself.

This latest installment of Newman’s series picks up with the tale of an up-and-coming vampire legend. Born Ion Popescu, Johnny Alucard was “turned” at the age of 13 in 1944.  But the story begins in 1976 when he ends up as a gofer under Francis Ford Coppola as he is agonizing over the production of, not Apocalypse Now, but his own Dracula film.  Geneviève, Kate, and Penny are back, and they have key roles in Ion’s story as he transforms himself into “Johnny Pop” and ultimately the wealthy Johnny Alucard, elevating himself higher than anyone thought possible.

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Hawkeye-11-cover

If you want to understand why Marvel Comic’s Hawkeye series is up for five Eisners next month–for Best New Series, Best Continuing Series, Best Writer, Best Cover Artist, Best Penciller/Inker (and could easily win them all)–all you need do is ask your comic book store to get you a copy of Hawkeye Issue #11, which hit the shelves last Wednesday.

Matt Fraction has delivered what I had been after for some time–when writers like Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns get endless acclaim and you never quite get that one issue that solves for you why they have such a great following–Fraction’s Hawkeye series has cemented his status for me as a top comic book writer.  We at borg.com also loved David Aja’s cover art for the Hawkeye series last year, declaring him our runner-up for Best of 2012 for comic book cover art.  Together Fraction and Aja gel together to make what we’ll look back on years from now as a classic Marvel Comics creative team.  Matt Hollingsworth’s color art rendering plays an integral role in the series, too, highlighting Aja’s panels just where it is needed.  Their Hawkeye series is subtle, slow-paced, beautiful, and thought-provoking.

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