Review: Spawn #318
[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 #318 – This story will start a storyline that spills into SPAWN’S UNIVERSE ONE-SHOT, then continues into even more NEW titles later in the coming months. This is where you want any new SPAWN readers to jump on board, as 2021 will be the beginning of a new and GIANT chapter in the expansion of the “Spawn-Verse.”
Carlo Barberi comes out swinging in the art department with clean art that really makes this new direction for Spawn very vibrant and colorful. Making the Spawn primary colors of silver, red, blue and black seem new again is quite a challenge. However, the coloring and new costume/uniform designs are incredible.
Having Al Simmons/Spawn go from being adorned in a cape and then moving about without a cape (similar to Spiderman in a total black costume) really gives a great new break to the standard.
Todd McFarlane raised the bar high in his renderings of Spawn so any artist that follows with their interpretations are held to that bar. Barberi takes ownership with his pens and takes the characters to a new cleaner look.
Spawn #318 – She-Spawn…simply put…it was about time that there be a female protagonist as strong as Angela was in the early issues of the comic. Part Black Widow/Part Punisher…it is clear that McFarlane has a goal in mind for this character. I love how her costume melts away in a different way than just the “slurping symbiote” that we are used to in watching a transformation.
She’s strong, no-nonsense, yet vulnerable and caring. A Spawn with compassion? This is almost unheard of, but if we reflect back on some of Al’s earlier motivations sch as his wife Wanda or her daughter Cyan, or even children (see Billy Kincaid story line), we do see that there are some more altruistic moments for a Spawn.
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.
As I feared, there is something going on in the dialogue and story telling in Spawn. I say that in that I see the “writing on the wall” with a new expansion of the Spawn Universe. McFarlane’s dialogue bubbles are a bit campy in this issue. Perhaps it is to display the differences in the Spawns, but his narrator skills are on point.
The news updates are a staple and this “third party watcher” narration works (almost a God like view point of what is going on), but the dialogue banter is suffering a bit.
Perhaps McFarlane wants to make it stiff as these characters are getting to know each other.
Spawn #318 – This is another pivotal issue as you have seen the combination of Medievil Spawn, She-Spawn and Al now working in some fashion together. Get ready for more additions (or subtractions) from the team (?). The challenge for Todd McFarlane will be to relinquish some reins on the storylines that will be generated from this new diverse set of Spawns. This is a great opportunity for the Spawn universe to assimilate some other aspects of the Image comics line of heroes and villains as well as generate some new frontiers to explore. However, keeping the bar as high as it has been set will be challenge!