|Pencils and finished cover to "Spike: Asylum" #1.|
"The daughter is being held in, in the most basic of terms, an asylum for monsters," Lynch told CBR news of the series' plot. "Basically it advertises itself as a rehabilitation center, seeking to cure vampires of their blood addiction, werewolves of their anger issues/schizophrenia, witches of their magic dependence, that kind of thing. When Spike arrives, he finds out it's more of a prison than a rehabilitation center. The asylum does in fact seek to cure the supernatural, but they believe in 'tough love': keeping their 'guests' locked in cages, having well-armed guards making sure no one acts up, performing experimental surgery, etc.
"Also, many of the patients know of Spike either by previous encounter or urban legend, so when he arrives, everyone wants to dust him. Spike has to rescue the young girl, fend off hundreds of angry supernatural prisoners, and escape a near-fortress, all in five lovely, action-and-group-therapy-packed issues."
|"Spike: Asylum" #2||"Spike: Asylum" #3|
Appearing in this series alongside Spike will be a diverse array of new characters, created by Lynch, but also faithful to the spirit of Whedon's previous creations. "Spike is sent to find Ruby Monahan, a half-demon with telepathic powers. She's a nice girl put in a terrible situation, and Spike sees her as a way of redeeming himself for years of evil deeds," explained Lynch. "Wiseau is an American vampire in the asylum, who has defeated and drained every creature in the book, just to see what they taste like. Years of downing a plethora of supernatural have done some wacky stuff to him. His relationship with Spike is a tumultuous one, Spike kinda sees him as the kind of vampire he used to be.
"Finally, Spike's support group in the Asylum includes a handful of demented misfits that make Spike's stay more interesting. I don't want to give all the characters away, but I can tell you about a few of them. There's Marv, a werewolf who is so doped up on Mosaic's medication that he can't fully transform into a werewolf during a full moon, so he's constantly hairy and moody. Next we have Anna, a demon-slash-actress from Los Angeles, who thought getting breast implants would distract from her giant demon horns. And finally, Betta George, a large fish with impressive mental powers. George steals much of the series, and I truly believe if there is any justice in the world he will have a stuffed animal by years end."
|"Spike: Asylum" #4||IDW's EiC Chris Ryall makes a cameo in issue #3 as a Dr. Strange like character.|
"Another appealing aspect about the character is the fact that he wears his heart on his sleeve: he's the perfect romantic hero in the sense that everything he's done: become a vampire, gone bad, fought for a soul and become good, is for the love of a woman. And I think people can relate to that. Not necessarily the vampire stuff, I hope no one reading it can relate to sucking blood (and if they CAN, man, I hope they enjoy it), but we've all made huge decisions that were made not using our heads, but our hearts. Or a bit lower. No, lower. A little lower. Thaaaaat's what I'm talking about.
"Plus, he's a smart-ass, always finding a way to take the piss out of anyone around him, which means as dark as the book gets (and it does go to some dark places), there's always an element of humor because of Spike's reactions."
|Issue #1, Page 1||Issue #1, Page 2|
"As for redemption in our world, absolutely it's possible. Some people are way beyond it, of course. Osama couldn't put on a cape and stop a bank robbery and all would be forgiven, but people are constantly changing. Folks that are generally good can slip, and people that have done awful deeds can have moments, be it fleeting or life-changing, where they change their way for the better.
"Okay, this got heady for a second. Vampires, huh? Vampires are fun. They bite. Necks, mostly. Man do they love to bite necks."
|Issue #1, Page 3||Issue #1, Page 4|
When writing "Asylum," Lynch didn't face any real restrictions besides not being able to set the story after the end of "Angel." "That's a storyline that Joss and company want to tell," he revealed. "I made sure to make it the best Spike story I could, continuity be damned. When writing it, I didn't declare "this takes place during these episodes" or "this takes place after the series", really, it's a solo Spike tale that would fit right into any part of 'Angel' season 5, or after the show, whatever the reader wants to assume."
While Brian Lynch's name may not be familiar to some, he's a very experienced writer, whose worked with everyone from Fox to Warner Bros to The Jim Henson Company. That experience, along with a story in "Spider-Man Unlimited," has come in handy on "Asylum," which he wants to be worth reading monthly, not just in a trade paperback collection. "I love going to the comic store every Wednesday, but it kinda sucks to buy a single issue wherein not much happens," explained Lynch. "A lot of books are written for the eventual trade paperback or hardcover collection, not much happens in the single issue because it's just a small part of a larger tale that has to be read with the surrounding chapters to enjoy. 'Spike: Asylum' is a five issue mini series, but it's definitely written for the reader going in every Wednesday to get each issue one at a time. I want to give people their money's worth."
|Issue #1, Page 5||Issue #1, Page 6|
Fans of Spike will want to check out "Angel: Auld Lang Syne," in which the vampire nicknamed "Blondie Bear" will play a role, and fans of Lynch's work will be happy to know that he's going to be quite busy for the foreseeable future. "I'm currently writing a movie for Dreamworks, and a TV show for the CW," revealed Lynch. "Both are going well, more on them as soon as I'm allowed to say. In the world of comics, I'm publishing Monkey Man's final adventure in a full-color comic one-shot that goes by the name of 'Monkey Man 2-D.' Art is by Joey Mason ('Gun Fu'), and it's pretty spectacular.
"Also, might be kinda sorta too early to say, but I think Franco Urru and I aren't quite done with Spike just yet. We have another story we want to tell, and it looks like that's a go. I've got SpikeE-fever, I just want to keep writing that character."
If you're one of those "Buffy" and/or "Angel" fans who have been reticent to check out the comic book adaptations of your favorite vampire with a soul, Lynch understands how you feel and recommends "Asylum" because, "It's a great way to see new adventures of the characters they love, written and drawn by people who love them as much as the readers do. The show was ended way before it's time, and the books are a great way (and really, one of the only ways) to see any kind of new stories in Angel and Spike's world. 'Spike: Asylum' was written to be the big 'Spike' movie that unfortunately was never made, and truly, anyone that enjoys the shows, the character of Spike in particular, will enjoy the mini-series."