Indie Comics Review: Spawn #317
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Todd McFarlane
Artist: Carlo Barberi
Letters: Tom Orzechowski
Reviewed by: Carl Bryan
Spawn #317 – “Chain Gang – Part Four” Spawn and Medieval Spawn continue to battle the Omega Spawn. as the Plague continues to be a mystery. Will he join the Spawn or the Omega Spawn? Those RED eyes…
First, Bjorn Barens cover art is scary reminiscent of The Batman Who Laughs and his Roblins…there must be an influence there of some sort. Spawn’s chained minions appear directly out of an Alien movie. Carlo Barberi’s pens continue to provide a clean, clean look to this comic. Most of the Spawn world exists in the dark, so Barberi’s having some fun in the sun with this battle (albeit which has spanned probably too many issues for how it culminates in #317).
Spawn #317 – “9213”…. The Power Meter is filling back up fast. Maybe Todd McFarlane is giving us clues with this number fest he provides. McFarlane teases another Spawn…Mandarin Spawn?. Kudos for Tom Orzechowski who turns lettering into a “read between the bubbles” art! Look at the voices when each Spawn speaks. There’s a string of pearls that Orzechowski has strung together for us.
Accolades for World Record Setting
Each issue of Spawn sets a new World Record for independent comics. That’s history every time you buy an issue! Speaking of Record Breaking…. 2021 is the year of Spawn. Spawn’s Universe #1 will kick things off. The first title will release in August with a book called King Spawn #1. This will mark the first time in twenty-eight years that anyone can buy a monthly issue #1 Spawn book. This will give McFarlane hope of reaching a new generation of readers that missed out on the initial launch of the Spawn back in 1992. October will bring Gunslinger Spawn #1. Finally, there will be a new #1 team book, which will band five characters together to fight against forces too big for any of them to take on alone. That book is titled The Scorched. Spawn, Redeemer, Gunslinger, Medieval Spawn and She-Spawn begin the group’s adventures, but McFarlane promises a rotating cast of heroes over the coming months to keep the roster of heroes fresh.
21 pages of story…in a 35 page comic book. Albeit, Spawn is an art gallery dream as the alternate covers are great, and the interviews are akin to a Famous Monsters issue where you get a glimpse behind the scenes. This was not the Todd Father’s best script writing for this issue. His formula has been better and this script is more akin to an old 1970’s Marvel comic which arguably states the obvious in script while the art is actually doing the talking. I am fearful that the new books with a new Spawn issue coming every month will dilute a rich comic, but time will tell.
Spawn #317- If you need to catch up on all things Spawn, then check out Spawn: Compendium that came out recently. It collects Spawn #1-50, and is a wonderful down and dirty on the origin of Spawn. It comes out just in time to be in concert with what is coming up in the Spawn Universe. The crescendo must be building, but this one was a bit stale. Obvious campy chatter, and not as much detail in the pens and pencils that we are used to seeing. The bar is too high in this game…or rather the meter is climbing up (Spawn fans will get that), so keep it there Todd!