EXCLUSIVE: Writing ‘Buffy’ Comics Was ‘A Rude Awakening,’ Says James Marsters [UPDATED]

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This post has been edited to correct several inaccuracies re: comic book projects’ status and creative teams. “Spike and Dru” publisher Dark Horse Comics has also provided Splash Page with an official response to James Marsters comments. -RM]

Though its been off the airwaves for years (and this is back when TV had airwaves), the Buffyverse lives on today in comic book form. James Marsters, the “Dragonball Evolution” actor who played vampire villain-turned-hero Spike in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel,” recently shared some thoughts with with MTV News about his experience working with “Buffy” comics and how he tries to keep up with his vampiric alter ego.

“I like what I see,” Marsters told MTV News of IDW’s “Angel” series.

With ongoing “Buffy” and “Angel” comics currently published by two separate companies (Dark Horse and IDW, respectively), the character of Spike is, at the moment, making all his appearances in the latter. But when both series were still on the air, Dark Horse controlled the complete Buffyverse and actually hired Marsters to co-write a one-shot comic book, “Spike and Dru,” an experience that the actor confessed wasn’t one of his favorite memories.

“I thought that if I wrote a comic, I’d have ultimate power over everything,” said Marsters. “It was a rude awakening to find out how little power writers have.”

The real bone of contention was with Dark Horse’s choice of artist Ryan Sook, who drew everything in a dark, gothic style that, while he liked the art, Marsters insists just wasn’t right for his story.

“[He] drew it in a real Goth style that made [Spike and Dru] both look feral and ugly,” explained Marsters. “I thought that was kind of cool for me, but Juliet Landau didn’t write this and didn’t want her character drawn like a hideous beast… This is a twisted romance. This is not a gothic thing. And in romance, the leads have to be romantic. They have to be characters that the audience wants to kiss.”

Marsters said he complained to Dark Horse, but it was too late to make any changes and Marsters was left with a comic that he’s not entirely proud of. On the flipside, though, he takes some glee in the fact that, afterwards, all of Dark Horse’s Spike appearances were, in his mind, overly handsome.

“Every time they do a comic,” he laughed, “they’re probably worried, ‘That James Marsters, he’s going to give us a call.’”

What do you think of the current “Buffy” and “Angel” series? Should Marsters reconsider and try his hand at writing again? Share your thoughts below!