Rating: 3/5 – Time to Jump on Board? Wait For NEXT Issue.
by ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas
Earlier last year it was announced that Spawn would be getting a “reboot” with an all new creative team and the return of Al Simmons. Although there’s been a bit of confusion around the announced new creative team, first being Brian Wood and now Paul Jenkins, this is the first time in a long time there’s been this level of excitement around Todd McFarlane’s Image creation. A new beginning is exactly what this character needs since over the years Spawn has lost more and more readers. With issue number 250 change is imminent, but for those looking to jump on board with a new story you’ll have to wait just a little bit longer.
To be fair, I haven’t read a Spawn comic since issue one-hundred. I know that the original Spawn, Al Simmons isn’t in the costume anymore, but past that I’m not quite sure what’s been going on. I was hoping that this oversized issue would be a little more new-reader friendly and oddly enough, when I got to the end of this issue, I found a summary of what had come before that was AFTER the story, so go read that first if you’re a new or lapsed reader and are trying this issue out.
Number 250 opens up with panels and word balloons on the inside front cover so I’m not sure why they chose to include a “previously in Spawn” section on the inside back cover. At first this issue was easy to follow with a city wide panic by the influx of insects that seem to have a hive-like mind intelligence, but when current Spawn Jim Downing shows up, the story started to unravel for me until the concluding pages that clearly set up the new beginning mentioned above. On the plus side for the long-time Spawn readers, this issue is huge at fifty plus pages not counting the extras in back.
There are some really dark and scary moments within this issue, but those moments get played out for too long with heavy doses of dialogue and caption boxes. The art by Szymon Kudranski delivered for me, especially in the more frightening parts of the story. The insect creatures are drawn with creepy expertise, and as they cover the city Kudranski is able to deliver on the sense of scale. His facial expressions can come off bland at times, but he makes up for that with a Spawn costume that feels so alive and some really creative layouts.
If you were hoping to jump on board with Spawn here, I’d advise against it. This is a story where the purpose is to clean the slate in order to usher in something new. Existing readers may find this issue to be a very satisfying conclusion, despite the heavy script. While the very end of this issue left me excited for what’s next, if you really want to jump back on board with next month’s all new creative team, the journey to get there in this issue really does not need to be taken.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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