Rating: 3/5 – Saying Goodbye to Spawn, For Now.
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
Spawn’s status quo has recently changed and Spawn number 265 is another issue of Spawn dealing and adjusting to it. Al Simmons is human again, not a Hellspawn. Todd McFarlane and Erik Larsen are presenting us with a version of Spawn that so far, just isn’t as interesting, although I do appreciate the creators trying to bring about some change. This issue has a nice balance of character drama and action, but the art and addition of the guest starring Ant made me question my continued reading of this title. Al has lost all but a small scrap of the costume so he’s using more of his experience from the military rather than counting so much on the all-powerful costume that gives him that iconic look.
Erik Larsen’s art on some pages is exciting and fun, on others it really lacks polish and definitely feels as though the pencils were rushed to the page. For example, on some of the smaller panels the character’s facial features don’t line up, eyes and ears not aligned, and their clothing looks flat and scratchy. At times the shadow lines are used excessively and rather than using the pencil to define certain features, darker colors and gradients are used to add in depth. This gives all the quieter and character moments the rushed feel mentioned above. On the other hand, the action moments benefit from Larsen’s energy as everything is moving quickly, but when I look at the pencils for too long, I see that same rushed line. I completely understand that this is Larsen’s style, but I’m not sure this is a style that works for Spawn and definitely doesn’t work for me.
Many years ago I stopped reading Savage Dragon since Larsen’s pencils were no longer appealing to me. Since McFarlane and Larsen are combining on the plot, script layouts, pencils and inks, I thought we’d be seeing more of McFarlane’s style within the art, but Larsen’s signature look is definitely overpowering, with only a few panels looking McFarlane-esque. Add in the Ant who I really have no history with and the fact that this issue will be crossing over with Savage Dragon next issue, that makes this most likely the last issue of Spawn I read for a while. Hopefully it’s not too long before I’m reading Spawn again.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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