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Thread: What exact order should I read the Buffy/Angel and Spike comics?

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    Default What exact order should I read the Buffy/Angel and Spike comics?

    What exact order should I read the Buffy/Angel/Spike comics? I am going to read them from start to finish and I want to make sure they're in order.

    Please be in complete detail.

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    They really aren't closely intertwined enough, plot wise, for it to matter all that much. You might end up with one or two minor "Pulp Fiction" moments, though. I would just read them in the order of overall publication, including miniseries, which would duplicate the experience people got reading them at release, and those dates are probably available on wiki.

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    If I were you, I'd read as follows;

    1. Buffy Season 8: The Long Way Home (Issues 1-4)
    2. Buffy Season 8: The Chain #5
    3. Buffy Season 8: No Future For You (Issues 6-9)
    4. Angel: After the Fall: Issues 1-5
    5. Angel: After the Fall: First Night (Issues 6-8)
    6. Angel: After the Fall: Issues 9-10
    7. Spike: After the Fall: Issues 1-4
    8. Angel: After the Fall: Issues 11-17
    9. Buffy Season 8: Anywhere But Here #10
    10. Buffy Season 8: A Beautiful Sunset #11
    11. Lynch's Spike: Issues 1-8
    12. Buffy Season 8: Wolves at the Gate (Issues 12-15)
    13. Buffy Season 8: Time of Your Life (Issues 16-19)
    14. Buffy Season 8: We'll Be Right Back... After These Messages #20
    15. Buffy Season 8: Harmonic Divergence #21
    16. Darkhorse Presents: Harmony Bites
    17. Buffy Season 8: Swell #22
    18. Darkhorse Presents: Vampy Cat Play Friend
    19. Buffy Season 8: Predators & Prey #23
    20. Buffy Season 8: Safe #24
    21. Buffy Season 8: Living Doll #25
    22. Tales of the Vampires: The Thrill
    23. Dark Horse Presents: Harmony Comes to the Nation
    24. Tales of the Vampires: Carpe Noctem (Issues 1-2)
    25. E Comic: Always Darkest
    26. Buffy Season 8: Retreat (Issues 26-30)
    27. Willow: Goddesses and Monsters
    28. Buffy Season 8: Turbulence #31
    29. Buffy Season 8: Twilight (Issues 32-35)
    30. Riley: Commitment through Distance, Virtue through Sin
    31. Buffy Season 8: Last Gleaming (Issues 36-39)
    32. Buffy Season 8: Coda #40
    33. Angel & Faith: Live Through This #1
    34. Buffy Season 9: Freefall #1
    35. Angel & Faith: Live Through This #2
    36. Buffy Season 9: Freefall #2
    37. Angel & Faith: Live Through This #3
    38. Buffy Season 9: Freefall #3
    39. Angel & Faith: Live Through This #4
    40. Buffy Season 9: Freefall #4
    41. Angel & Faith: In Perfect Harmony #5
    42. Buffy Season 9: Slayer, Interrupted #5
    43. Angel & Faith: Daddy Issues #6
    44. Buffy Season 9: On Your Own #6
    45. Angel & Faith: Daddy Issues #7
    46. Buffy Season 9: On Your Own #7
    47. Angel & Faith: Daddy Issues #8
    48. Buffy Season 9: Apart (of Me) #8
    49. Angel & Faith: Daddy Issues #9
    50. Buffy Season 9: Apart (of Me) #9
    51. Angel & Faith: Women of a Certain Age #10
    52. Buffy Season 9: Apart (of Me) #10
    53. Angel & Faith: Family Reunion #11
    54. Buffy Season 9: Guarded #11
    55. Angel & Faith: Family Reunion #12
    56. Buffy Season 9: Guarded #12
    57. Spike: A Dark Place #1
    58. Angel & Faith: Family Reunion #13
    59. Buffy Season 9: Guarded #13
    60. Spike: A Dark Place #2
    61. Angel & Faith: Family Reunion #14
    62. Buffy Season 9: Billy the Vampire Slayer #14
    63. Spike: A Dark Place #3
    64. Angel & Faith: The Hero Of His Own Story #15
    65. Willow: Wonderland #1
    66. Buffy Season 9: Billy the Vampire Slayer #15
    67. Spike: A Dark Place #4
    68. Angel & Faith: Death & Consequences #16
    69. Willow: Wonderland #2
    70. Buffy Season 9: Welcome to the Team #16
    71. Angel & Faith: Death & Consequences #17
    72. Willow: Wonderland #3
    73. Buffy Season 9: Welcome to the Team #17
    74. Spike: A Dark Place #5
    75. Angel & Faith: Death & Consequences #18

    And that's where we are currently up to in the series. I've tried to take into account how the books relate to each other to make sure you don't get spoiled by any of the books. Sometimes a character will crossover from one book before appearing in another, so it's important you read them in correct order. I've also tried to ensure that if one book references another that you've read the correct issues beforehand to understand what that reference means.

    I have included 'Darkhorse Presents' comics which are side comics that add to S8's storyline. I have slotted them in when they apply to the story but they're not essential to read. I have also included an 'E Comic' called Always Darkest which was written by Joss Whedon and art by Jo Chen (cover artist). It is only 3 pages long and easily found to read for free online. I have slotted it into when it was released and I really recommend you read it then as it offers a great insight into Buffy's state of mind but is best read after you've got through a lot of her arc.

    For those of us who have read the comics already;

    Spoiler:
    I decided to suggest reading After the Fall after NFFY because that's roughly around the time AtF first started. And since there's really no reason not to, I thought it'd be best to just suggest reading it pretty much all at once.

    The reason I suggested reading Lynch's Spike so early on is because it has the backstory for the bug ship so obviously it should come before the Twilight arc and also because Willow makes a reference to Dawn's giantess, which she'll transform out of by Time of Your Life. It always bugged me that we got that reference so late into S8 when Dawn had already dealt with her Thricewise situation. This way I thought the reading would be more rewarding than it actually was for us fans when Spike debuted so late into the game.

    Now, it's always been hard to fit in when Willow was meant to go see Spike because obviously it had to take place after The Long Way Home (the first time Willow sees Giant Dawnie) but Willow spends a lot of time in Tokyo, New York etc. So I thought slotting it inbetween Anywhere But Here/A Beautiful Sunset was perfect because what better time for Willow to slip away then after she leaves things akwardly with Buffy in 8.10 and 8.11 has Xander explicitly state that she's been absent for a time ever since? If there was ever an opportunity for Willow to go help Spike it would be then.

    I'd love to hear other suggestions if that doesn't quite work for people.
    - "The earth is doomed" -


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    Unlike vampmogs, I think it also makes sense to read Angel: After the Fall before reading anything else; AtF takes place not long after Not Fade Away whereas Buffy season eight seems to take place later on.

    Also, I really recommend reading Fray first of anything. And, if you can get them (though these are more optional), Tales of the Vampires and Tales of the Slayers are canon-ish.

    My order:

    1. Fray;
    2. Tales of the Vampires & Tales of the Slayers (any order);
    3. Angel: After the Fall;
    4. Buffy season eight -- where the Dark Horse Presents, Tales one shot, Always Darkest, and Willow and Riley one-shots are in the order vampmogs presented;

    and then season nine which has the order that vampmogs suggests.

    Spoiler notes on this choice:


    Spoiler:
    After the Fall makes the most sense to read in one or two sittings, I think, and it doesn't really impact Buffy season eight for the most part, except in the obvious fact that Angel & Spike (et al.) are alive.

    I don't really think anything is gained by reading in production order in this particular case, as a result.

    So, I do think it makes the most sense to read chronologically for AtF, and we know that it takes place before season eight -- or at least, the reset brings it back to before season eight, anyway, since Angel is already up and running in Buffy #1.


    Where to read the Spike mini? I think that vampmogs makes a compelling argument about where it fits in the chronology. I have slotted in After the Fall where I think it lies in the chronology, so this probably makes sense.

    To some extent, though,
    Spoiler:
    I really like the way Spike enters with his bug ship in #35 -- in a way that is a total left-field surprise. I kind of prefer it to having the bug ship "spoiled" by reading the Spike mini. I suggested placing After the Fall where I think it belongs in the chronology, but that doesn't spoil anything of interest, whereas I think that the entrance in #35 was meant to be a fun, bizarre, awesome surprise and the Spike mini was only meant to go back and explain how that happened.


    So I would suggest reading the Spike mini either where vampmogs places it, or after finishing Buffy season eight.

    In addition,
    Spoiler:
    The Willow and Riley one-shots are not organized in season eight by the time when they actually fit into the chronology, but by production/release order. So I would tend to suggest that chronology is not the most important factor in where to place the Spike mini.


    As an aside, I want to note that After the Fall and Buffy season eight are done by different authors and have really different tones. So if you don't like one, you might well still like the other (in fact it seems like a lot of people like one and not the other).
    Last edited by Local Maximum; 01-02-13 at 06:16 PM.

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    I agree with Local Max and KingofCretins. There really isn't much crossover between the series for it to matter all that much. The Buffy, Angel and Spike series all stand on their own pretty well. Any information you need will usually be recapped or explained by the characters pretty quickly. Also, how are you reading the stories? Are you reading the trade-paperbacks or are you reading the individual issues? I think that reading the trades would be your easiest bet since they are numbered. Also, how much do you care about canon? There are some stories that are entertaining to read, but their canon status is unknown and ambiguous. Anyway, here is my recomended reading order. I'll include notes on stuff that's ambiguous canon, when major crossovers appear etc. I'll only cover the trades, and hardcovers because I think they are the best way of reading and collecting the series.

    Angel: Barbary Coast. Story set shortly after Angel got his soul. Ambiguous canon.
    Angel: Blood and Trenches. Set during WWI. Ambiguous canon. Also collected in the John Byrne collection.
    Buffy: The Origin. Set just prior to BtVS season 1. It's canon, based on Joss's script for the movie.
    Angel: Long Night's Journey. Set during AtS season 2. Written by Joss, probably canon.
    Spike vs Dracula. Set all throughout history. First story takes place in 1898, last story takes place during AtS season 5. Ambiguous canon.
    Next trade in chronological order is simply called Spike. It contains the stories Old Times (set during AtS season 4), Old Wounds (set during AtS season 5 and Lost and Found (set during AtS season 5). Ambiguous canon.
    Spike: Asylum. Set during AtS season 5. Probably canon, depending on your opinion of After the Fall.
    Angel: Smile Time. Adaptation of the Smile Time episode. Maybe canon.
    Angel: A Hole in the World. Adaptation of the episodes A Hole in the World and Shells. Maybe canon.
    Spike: Shadow Puppets. Set during AtS season 5. Probably canon, depending on your opinion of ATF.
    Angel: Not Fade Away. Adaptation of the episode Not Fade Away. Maybe canon.

    Okay, so all of that stuff is set before and during the shows. There is very little crossover with the Buffy, Angel and Spike stuff, but I've listed the trades in order that they can be read chronologically. Next up is "After the Fall" which is set shortly after the end of the show and it's canon.

    Spike: After the Fall. Set shortly after the last episode of the show, widely considered to be canon.
    Angel After the Fall. Hardcover #1. Spike comes back into Angel's group.
    Angel: After the Fall -First Night Hardcover #2
    Angel: After the Fall. Hardcover #3
    Angel: After the Fall. Hardcover #4
    Angel: Aftermath. Hardcover #5 This is where we get into ambiguous canon territory again.
    Angel: Last Angel in Hell. Hardcover #6. Contains Brian Lynch's Drusilla story, his ATF epilogue, Boys and Their Toys story and the hilarious Last Angel in Hell "movie adaptation". Some consider these stories one to be canon.
    Angel: Only Human.
    Angel: The John Byrne Collection. Contains both Angel vs Frankenstein stories (set well before the show), Blood and Trenches (set during World War I) and the oneshot Lorne story called Music of the Spheres (set after the "Last Angel in Hell" stories). The stories in this book are ambiguous canon, but I can't recommend this book highly enough. The Lorne story is very touching and it's Lorne's departure from the series.

    Now we get into even more ambiguous canon territory with the IDW ongoing Angel story. This is set after the Brian Lynch, Kelley Armstrong and John Byrne stories and has different writers, so they start the hard-covers at number #1 again.

    Angel: Immortality for Dummies
    Spike: The Devil You Know Spike has his own little adventure during the Angel ongoing.
    Angel: Crown Prince Syndrome During this story, Spike and Illyria leave Angel's group to have their own titles.
    Illyria: Hanuted
    Angel: The Wolf, the Ram, and the Hart. Angel meets up again with Illyria in the future.
    Angel Yearbook Stories set all over the place. IDW says goodbye to the Angel license.
    Spike: All Together Now. Hardcover #1. Written by Brian Lynch with "some" supervision by Joss. Generally considered to be canon.
    Spike: Stranger Things. Hardcover #2. At this point, Willow crosses over into this story.

    At this point, IDW are done with the Angel and Spike stories. Maybe a year has passed since the end of AtS season 5, and this is where Season 8 begins. But before you read season 8, I'd reccomend you read...

    Fray. Set 200 years in the future. It's awesome, and relevant to season 8. You'll want to have read it prior to season 8.
    Tales of the Vampires. Set all throughout history, from ancient times right up until just prior to season 8. Buffy and Xander cameo.
    Tales of the Slayers. Set all throughout history, from the very first Slayer right up until Fray's time.

    And now season 8 begins. All the trades are in numbered order, so it should be pretty easy to figure out the reading order. I'll still note crossover appearances so minor spoilers ahead.

    The Long Way Home
    No Future For You
    Wolves at the Gate
    Time of Your Life -crossover with Meleka Fray
    Predators and Prey
    Retreat
    Twilight -Angel and Spike both show up for the first time since they were at IDW
    Last Gleaming

    Then season 9 begins maybe a few months after season 8. Dark Horse now has the Angel license back, so the Angel & Faith series runs alongside Buffy season 9.

    Buffy: Freefall -Willow leaves the team for her own quest.
    Angel & Faith: Live Through This Giles is a main character in this series rather than in the Buffy series now.
    Buffy: On Your Own -Spike decides to leave the Buffy title for a bit.
    Angel & Faith: Daddy Issues -Willow appears.
    Buffy: Guarded
    Angel & Faith: Family Reuinion
    Willow: Wonderland -Willow's adventure after her guest appearance in the A&F book.
    Buffy: Welcome to the Team
    Spike: A Dark Place Spike gets a phonecall from Angel.
    Angel & Faith: Death and Consequences. Spike shows up to help Angel.


    And that brings us up to date with where we are in the Buffyverse. Again, I'd note that the stories don't need to be read in that order. You could quite easily read all the Buffy titles, then all the Angel titles then all the Spike titles for example. But I've listed them in (mostly) the order that the stories take place chronologically. Also note, I've listed the trade paperbacks. If you want to know the individual issuies and their reading order, you'd have to go a little deeper. Me, I find it easier to read the trade collections.
    Last edited by Vampire in Rug; 12-02-13 at 05:29 PM.

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