Review: SPAWN #297
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Todd McFarlane
Artist: Jason Shawn Alexander
Letters: Tom Orzechowski
Reviewed by: Carl Bryan
Todd McFarlane and Jason Shawn Alexander continue the march towards issue #300 with the second part of “The Life and Deaths of Al Simmons”. Readers are provided a glimpse of every Spawn character. Cogliostro recounts to the Redeemer how Spawn’s battles with each individual enemy simply made him and his symbiotic suit stronger and stronger.
The Redeemer simply discounts Cogliostro’s account of things as a loser tale. The Redeemer also thinks he and his army from Heaven has what it takes to defeat Spawn. This issue paired with the prior #296 should get the current Spawn reader caught up with the entire tale. It also wets the appetite of the casual Spawn reader to go back and read the issues #1-#295.
Those that are familiar with Spawn and his story arc will get a great kick out of seeing an amalgamation of art depicting Spawn’s enemies and friends to this point. McFarlane includes what he calls a “field guide” in the back of the book in his Spawning Ground. This provides both page numbers and brief explanations of who the character is and what issue they make their first appearance. This is a wonderful tool to get new readership hooked as it provides a great frame of reference.
Jason Shawn Alexander is a deep artist and his grit shows through in these depictions. While I am a major Todd McFarlane fan in terms of his pencils and colorings, Alexander’s right there in the midst of his “A” game in delivering Spawn as well. It’s also refreshing to see McFarlane’s maturity as a writer now. His earlier issues were a bit campy in dialogue. However, Spawn has reached a point where this is a rich and deep story. In fact, I wonder if there is even a happy ending at some point with this character, but then again….it’s Spawn!
None in this issue as it finishes the comprehensive retrospect that every reader needed. However, I do wish to learn how the power meter has been erased for Spawn, and I did not get a reference point for that.
Issues #296 and #297 should be consumed together. Go back to your comic store and pick up the previous issue. These self proclaimed “field guides” are designed to attract new readers and also bring everyone up to speed at the upcoming battle between Spawn and both agents of Heaven and Hell.