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.
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.
Publisher’sSynopsis: ‘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!’
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.)
Batman and Spawn in a crossover event? What year is this? Did we slip back in time to the nineties?
There has been a lot of hype building up to the release of this comic book. Released on Tuesday December 13th, the 48-page Batman / Spawn #1 comic will set you back $6.99. It’s published by DC Comics (Batman), not Image Comics (Spawn). I’m sure Image would’ve put it out at a cheaper price. (They have been releasing their Spawn comics for $2.99, a dollar or more cheaper than the other publishers.) Todd McFarlane writing Batman & Spawn, Greg Capullo drawing the book and McFarlane inking Capullo’s pencils. As you can imagine, a lot of comic book fans have been very excited about this release. The question is, is it any good?
My simple answer is buy it for the art. The story is okay but the art by Greg Capullo is stunning. There are some incredible double page spreads in the comic. I’ve since heard in an interview with the two creators that Todd asked Greg what he wanted to draw. Then he wrote the story around that. So it’s not like he had this great idea for a story he really wanted to tell. And it shows. The story is convoluted and requires re-reading to take everything in. It’s also a bit daft with McFarlane trying to tie-in the deaths of Batman’s parents and Spawn’s wife.
It has been just over a year since Todd McFarlane releasedSpawn’s Universe #1which heralded the addition of three new monthly Spawn titles to the original Spawn comic. We now have Spawn, King Spawn, Gunslinger Spawn and The Scorched. McFarlane is writing Gunslinger Spawn and drawing occasional covers for some of the comics. Spawn is currently being written by Irish writer Rory McConnville who has been writing for the British weekly comic 2000 AD. American writer Sean Lewis is writing the remaining two titles, King Spawn and The Scorched.
It’s difficult to get hold of accurate sales figures for comics these days. But from what I’ve read online or heard in interviews, all four Spawn titles are regularly in the monthly top sellers. It appears that McFarlane’s efforts have really paid off with not only the new titles selling well but also the flagship Spawn comic receiving a substantial lift in sales. Before issue #300 of Spawn was released in September 2019, the comic was shifting around just 15,000 issues a month. Now it’s said to be closer to 45,000, a huge increase which is matched by each of the new Spawn titles.
I video-reviewed two new comics released this week, if you are interested:
Superman: Son of Kal-Elissue #1 by Tom Taylor & John Timms, (July 27th, 2021)
Nice art, the story by Taylor is okay. Not a lot happens in this issue, it acts as set-up for the series, I guess. They retell Jonathan Kent’s origin story, then age him up. Jon helps with a wildfire in California, then goes to visit Damian Wayne, the current Robin. There’s a funny scene where Damian is fighting a group of ninja while having a long conversation with Jon. Jarringly, Taylor injects some of his politics into the issue which took me out of the story to be honest. It felt unnecessary and added nothing to the story. Also, “Superboy” ends the issue proclaiming he stands for “Truth, Justice, and a Better World.” Hmm…
Spawnissue #320 by Todd McFarlane & Carlo Barberi, (July 28th, 2021)
This was a great action-packed issue that I really enjoyed. Carlo Barberi’s art is excellent and needs to be seen! Apparently, this comic leads to the new “King Spawn” series which debuts next month. In this issue, a new-to-me villain called “Soul Crusher” attacks the cybernetic giant gorilla “Cy-Gor” in an attempt to draw Spawn into the fray. It’s a dynamic story which gives us a running narration by Spawn that leads to a surprising emotional ending. I’m looking forward to the next issue!
Thanks for reading!
-Wakizashi, *enjoying a nice cold glass of the local Daisen G Beer Stout 😎*
Spawn’s Universe issue #1 from Image Comics was released on June 23rd, 2021. It’s a 68-page comic which creator Todd McFarlane introduces with the following quote:
“Three hundred and eighteen issues have led to this, the founding of Spawn’s Universe. A Universe of possibilities for Spawn and his Allies, as well as his Enemies.”
Spawn first appeared back in May 1992, so it will be 30 years of Spawn comics next year. Growing up collecting comics, I was aware of the character but never got into reading the book. I knew Todd McFarlane from his work on The Amazing Spider-Man in the late 1980s, and then the new title named simply Spider-Man which he both drew and wrote. Man, I used to get lost in the detail of Todd’s Spidey-webbing!
Before the release of Spawn’s Universe #1, I bought a few of the recent issues of Spawn in a digital sale. The art is excellent, but the story didn’t pull me in. Perhaps I’ve missed too much that’s come before? So, I thought this new issue might be a good jumping-on point. Plus, I knew the art would be next-level, especially when compared with a lot of recent content the so-called “Big Two” comics publishers have been putting out.