Spawn #339 (March 2023) by Rory McConville & Carlo Barberi

The flagship Spawn comic has been consistently good for a while now. Writer Rory McConville has pulled me in and I’m enjoying the exploration of Heaven and Hell in this current story arc. Barberi’s art is really good. I like his fantasyesque style when he draws the scenes set in Heaven and Hell. I wish this title was getting a bit more coverage. It’s hard to find reviews of Spawn comics on the internet at the moment. ComicBook Round Up has stopped showing reviews for most of the four current Spawn titles. I’m not sure why because as far as I know the sales have been good, especially for Gunslinger Spawn and King Spawn.

Story Summary

The issue opens with more detail on what the Dead Zones are. We are told that both Heaven and Hell were using them to move their minions around Earth. That was until just over a year ago when Spawn sealed them all. After Nyx invaded Spawn’s mind, she gained access to half the Dead Zones. How long can Spawn keep control of the rest?

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The Amazing Spider-Man | Penguin Classics Marvel Collection (2022)

I found this new collection of classic Stan Lee & Steve Ditko Spider-Man tales by chance when I was browsing on Amazon. I have always liked this design of the Penguin Classics books, and when I checked what was reprinted I had to order a copy. (Content details below.) I bought the paperback edition for $28. There is a gorgeous looking hardcover edition as well, but it was too pricey for me. I actually prefer paperback volumes to hardbacks. I find them easier to handle as well as read .

Content Details

Penguin Classics Marvel Collection: The Amazing Spider-Man (2022) by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Foreword by Jason Reynolds, Introduction by Ben Saunders. It Collects “Spider-Man!” from Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962); The Amazing Spider-Man #1-4, #9, #10, #13, #14, #17-19 (1963-1964); “Goodbye to Linda Brown” from Strange Tales #97 (1962); “How Stan Lee and Steve Ditko Create Spider-Man!” from The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 (1964).


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The Riddler: Year One #3 by Paul Dano & Stevan Subic

Another excellent chapter in The Riddler Year One series. Paul Dano is doing a fantastic job writing this book. It reminds me of the good old days of Vertigo. Stevan Subic’s art is perfect for this book. Parts of this comic could’ve been pulled straight out of the Matt Reeves BATMAN film.

The Riddler Year One Chapter 3: I Know What I Must Become

We open with an envelope being left at the Gotham City Police Department. It’s addressed to The Police Commissioner in scratchy red writing and there is a USB taped to it. A question mark is penciled on the USB.

Can barely breathe.”

“What’s this?” The desk officer objects.

“Hey man, I’m just dropping this off for a guy, y’know? Said his name was Patrick Parker…”

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Superman issue #1 (2023) by Joshua Williamson & Jamal Campbell

DC Comics has just launched a new Superman comic book series as part of their year-long “Dawn of DC” initiative. It is written by Joshua Williamson with art by Jamal Campbell. You get 32 pages of story for the higher-than-usual retail price of $4.99. (I don’t know if this price point is just for the first issue or not.) The story’s title is “Chapter One: Voices in Your Head” and the good news is Superman #1 is a great opening issue. It’s a bright, hopeful and optimistic comic book, a refreshing change from some of the more recent fare from DC Comics.

Thankfully there is only a brief nod to Superman’s origin story and we jump straight into the action. The man of steel is fighting Livewire–a villain first introduced in the Superman: The Animated Series episode “Livewire” back in 1997. During the fight, he can hear Lex Luthor’s voice advising him on how to defeat Livewire. I wasn’t quite sure how Luthor was able to see the fight from prison, probably on the Live News. But what is revealed is that Clark can listen to any voice he chooses to. As you can probably guess, Luthor’s advice is brutal and lacks any kind of compassion. Superman ignores him and the fight is quickly over.

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King Spawn #19 (Feb 1, 2023) | Guess Who’s Back?

Writer: Sean Lewis
Artists: Thomas Nachlik & Von Randal
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: February 1, 2023
Cover Price: $2.99

I bought the latest issue of King Spawn on Wednesday. Here is my short review.


My Thoughts

This issue begins a new story arc. It also features the return of two beloved characters who first appeared in Spawn #1 back in May 1992. That’s right, Detectives Sam Burke and Maximilian “Twitch” Williams are back and it is a very welcome return.

People are going missing in New York City. There have been some grisly deaths where the victim’s body is found missing its brain. Has Victor Frankenstein made the long journey over the Atlantic Ocean, or is it an animated Herbert West returning from the dead? Sam and Twitch are on the case and their initial investigation leads them to the Exodus Foundation whose business card was found at the latest crime scene.

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Gunslinger Spawn #16 (Jan 11th, 2023) | Comic Book Review

Writer: Todd McFarlane
Artist: Brett Booth
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: January 11, 2023
Cover Price: $2.99

Publisher’s Synopsis: ‘Parts of Gunslinger’s storied past are finally becoming clear. But there are secrets being kept from him that, if revealed, might set him on a new path of vengeance!’


My Thoughts

I’ve been reading Gunslinger Spawn since it was launched back in October 2021. From what I’ve been hearing, this comic is the current bestseller among the four SPAWN comic titles. This probably has a lot to do with how good the art is by Brett Booth, month after month. Also, it’s written by Todd McFarlane and is probably the best thing he has written in a while.

I’ve found it to be a very entertaining story. It has fun with the “fish out of water” theme, or should I say “man out of time.” It’s funny to see Gunslinger trying to get his head around our modern world. He gets some help with this from Taylor Bartlett, a young man who Gunslinger saved from the dark forces his father was working for. The western tropes are appreciated, too, especially when we get glimpses into Gunslinger’s past. I’d like to see more of this in future issues.

Overall, Gunslinger Spawn is a comic I can kick back and relax with. Sometimes it’s a bit over-the-top with the violence but most of all this comic book is fun. Did I mention the killer art by Brett Booth?.. Recommended!

(Below is the story summary I wrote for my video review if you are interested.)


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Nemesis: Reloaded issue #1 (Jan 11th, 2023) | Comic Book Review

Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Jorge Jimenez
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: January 11, 2023
Cover Price: $3.99

Publisher’s Synopsis: ‘The world’s most evil comic book is back! Who is Nemesis, and why does this eccentric billionaire who dresses up in a mask and cape want to terrorize people instead of helping them? Isn’t that how this is supposed to go? Trigger warning: Too violent and too cool for some!’


My Thoughts

Imagine a vigilante similar to Batman but with no moral code. I’m not sure what his endgame is, but if the final page of this opening issue is anything to go by, it’s going to be bloody and brutal. This is a violent story which has been brilliantly illustrated by Jimenez. The way the artist renders the action scenes is a lesson in comic book art. It’s dynamic, fluid, and always eye-catching. Millar has a reputation for being controversial, but he still manages to tell a compelling story. Sure, some of the scenes are a bit over the top, but it should be remembered that this is a comic book aimed at a mature audience. And most of all, it’s very entertaining to read. I’m in for the ride.

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The FLASH issue #790 (Jan 10, 2023) | Comic Review

Writer: Jeremy Adams
Artist: Roger Cruz
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: January 10, 2023
Cover Price: $3.99

I’ve never read The Flash comic before, but I kept hearing how good this latest run by writer Jeremy Adams is. Words like ‘bright’, ‘fun’, ‘positive’, and ‘hopeful’ were being used in regards to this series. Also, the strong focus on family, which refreshingly delivers a very positive depiction of what we used to call the “nuclear family.” You know, husbad, wife, a couple of kids plus a pet or two. And they love and care for each other. Incredible, right?!

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2023 is the Year of the Rabbit

That means anyone out there with even a slight interest in comic books or Japan has to read at least one issue of USAGI YOJIMBO by Stan Sakai this year. I’m sorry but no exceptions allowed!

I know I’ve written about this long-running comic series before, but I wish it got more recognition and press. Writer and artist Stan Sakai has been chronicling the adventures of his “Rabbit Bodyguard” since 1984. So it’ll be Usagi’s 40th anniversary next year. That is very impressive, especially for a creator-owned independent comic book. SPAWN has been getting all the press recently but Usagi Yojimbo has been going for longer than Todd McFarlane’s Hellspawn. Spawn does have more issues though, because its run has never been interrupted, unlike Usagi Yojimbo.

After a long run with comics publisher Dark Horse, Usagi moved to IDW in 2019. But Stan Sakai was rumoured to be unhappy with IDW’s approach to the character. In September 2022, it was announced that Usagi would be returning to Dark Horse Comics. There haven’t been any new Usagi issues published since September, but the word is that Sakai will be collaborating with some “new talent” and they will continue publication of the ongoing Chibi UsagiSpace Usagi, and the Color Classics series. I look forward to any future issues of the main Usagi Yojimbo series.

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DC Comics Writer Makes The Joker PREGNANT!

Proof we are truly living in Clown World! 🤡

In the new DC Comics issue of THE JOKER: THE MAN WHO STOPPED LAUGHING issue #4, writer Matthew Rosenberg writes The Joker as being PREGNANT. In this bizarre back-up story, DC Comics writer Matthew Rosenbeg and artist Franco Francavilla conjure up a truly strange comic book story involving ZATANNA and The JOKER. It was released on January 3rd 2023 priced $5.99.

My short video Review of this BIZARRE Joker Story

This 8-page back-up story has gone viral on social media. I had to check it out for myself and see if it was much ado about nothing or another nail in the coffin of DC Comics. Is writer Matthew Rosenberg secretly trolling the fans or is it all just a harmless joke?

I think it’s a truly strange story which wastes the brilliant talent of artist Franco Francavilla. It’s also a waste of the character Zatanna who deserves better than being dropped into this surreal story. How does this get by the DC Comics Editors? Is there anybody even checking these stories anymore? What do you think?

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