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New Superhero Comic Book & Graphic Novel Ratings & Reviews [ Marvel / DC Comics / Image / Indie ] 09-04-19 Spawn #300
After this issue, “Spawn” will be the longest-running independent comic ever. That’s pretty cool, right?
I’ve read a little over a handful of issues of “Spawn”. From anything I saw it seemed like most of the time he was he was whining in an alley with a bunch of bums and every blue moon he’d fight some type of villain. I also saw the movies the movie from the ’90s and I saw a “ComicPop” video on “Youtube” that went into what happened in the first one hundred issues of “Spawn”. So I started this comic knowing:
- A Black operative guy named “Al Simmons” got betrayed and killed by a woman named “Priest” (which was a retcon from his killed being a Rob Liefeld character named “Chapel”) and this got orchestrated by a guy named “Jason Wynn”.
- “Al Simmons” became “Spawn” made a deal with a demon named “Malebolgia” to serve him in return powers and being brought back to life.
- His powers include magic that can basically do anything but there’s a limit. If he goes over the limit, he has to go back to hell.
- He reached the limit and went to hell but he somehow came back.
- His wife “Wanda” started banging and married his best friend “Terry Fitzgerald”.
- He’s antagonized by this other demon “The Clown/Violator” who is against humans beings “gifted” with demon powers.
- A couple cops named “Sam” and “Twitch” often get involved.
- “Angela” (who is now “Thor’s” sister in “Marvel” because Neil Gaiman created the character and sold her to “Marvel” a few years ago) was an angel that hunted him.
I’d say this is more or less what the average person would know about “Spawn”. So, to say the least, you’d figure in an epic three hundredth issue that will attract a lot more attention than any normal issue that there would be a handy recap page to help catch people up on the last over two hundred issues right? Haha, no! The first page simply has the “Spawn” logo with the numbers “0:0:4:7”. I have no idea what this is supposed to be in reference to. The actual story starts with some kind of redneck family barbeque. A punk-looking teenage girl has invited her punk-looking teenage boyfriend. A little girl named “Lisa” then runs up excitedly to the teenage girl and the teenage girl tells she’ll “play with her in a minute. The girl’s uncle is a dick to the punk boyfriend so he and the girl bail.
Later that night we see several members of that family get killed with the uncle being last and you’re supposed to think it was the punk boyfriend but it was “Lisa”. The teenage girl and her boyfriend go back to the house where all this happened she killed them too. This entire part is just to illustrate that chaos is going on around the world. The entire next page tells us this with three talking heads from news/entertainment/opinion shows. Seriously, this could’ve and should’ve been something characters were watching while something else was going on. Basically random people are being violently erratic and the world markets are crashing.
Then with the caption reading “elsewhere, in Spawn’s secret lair” we’re shows “Spawn” is all his scarred, naked glory… “Spawn” is yelling at his partner(?)/roommate(?) “Mark” about how this is what he actually looks like and how “everything else is an illusion”. This is beyond unnecessary… We then learn that this global chaos is being caused by “Spawn” waging a war against both heaven and hell and both sides are retaliating against humanity for it. “Spawn,” says he wants people to be free from heaven and hell. Free from heaven?! I get the idea that heaven does stuff that is just as shady as hell in this universe but don’t people still go to paradise? If that’s not the case then it isn’t explained in this comic. “Spawn” then makes himself look like his human self then makes his ‘Spawn” costume appear and “Mark,” tells him there’s no way he can take on heaven and hell by himself. “Spawn” then responds that he’s been planning “something” to “bring them together”. Mark then asks what “Spawn” is planning. “Spawn” responds to this with “the truth”. He’s planning the truth. Cut! You flubbed the line “Spawn” let’s do it again!
“Spawn” then goes into how his human form, costumed form, and the symbiote are all lies and how his ignorance to those lies caused the loss of his wife. How? What happened? Is this “Wanda”? A different woman? Did they get remarried? Does he still refer to her as his wife? No answers to any of this in this comic. “Mark” then asks “what if you fail”? “Spawn” then replies “others will come”. Not exactly reassuring there, “Spawn”. “Spawn” then says “he knows where he needs to be” and “Mark,” asks “what about him? How’s he going to get home if “Spawn” doesn’t come back”. Where are they? Where is Mark’s home? Why can’t he get back without “Spawn”? Answers here: Nada. “Spawn” then teleports (I think) before he answers mark. Way to leave your boy stranded there “Spawn”!
Next we see “Spawn” in Albania outside of a base we’re told houses a bunch of his enemies who all want his symbiote and his power. “Spawn” enters the base and encounters “Violator” (he looks like “The Clown” and I thought they were the same person but it gets confusing later) who asks if he thought he would get away with trying to destroy their corporate structure and political influence. “Spawn” tell him he just wanted to get the attention of “someone at the top”. “The Clown” then brightens the entire room with light which weakens “Spawn” while he has the “cone of darkness” around the upper part of his body. Then the chains to “Spawn’s” costume seem to latch into the ground holding him down. This part is kind of confusing because there’s a panel where one chain is broken. It looks like he broke the chain but then it reattached keeping “Spawn” down but it is unclear. “Violator” then says something about “Spawn” taking down “Malebolgia” and “The Clown” (like I was saying before this guy looks like “The Clown” with slightly different colors and I thought him and “Violator” were the same person). Then some zombie-looking angel guy named “Godsend” enters the room. This guy then mentions something about wiping out “Angela” and “all her whore angels”. “Violator” then thanks “Spawn” for the transformation he got from killing “Spawn’s” wife. “Spawn” then tells him “that’s what he was waiting for” and then he somehow stops being held down and rips out “Violator’s” heart… Which does nothing… “Violator” then takes on his demon form and somehow “Spawn” seems to be surprised this is “Violator”.
We then get a page like the opening page there’s a spurt of blood coming from the lower right corner and the number next to the “Spawn” logo reads “0:0:1:4”. Again, no idea what this is referencing. Then we go back to “Violator” and “Godsend” and they beat the shit out of “Spawn” and rip the symbiote off of him. “Violator” and “Godsend” leave the building and then there’s a huge explosion caused by “Spawn” that completely destroys the building. They see “Spawn” still alive and wonder how this is possible “Spawn,” says basically the powers was in him all along and he didn’t need the symbiote.
… This feels like something he should have learned in issue five. Or fifty. Or even one hundred. You’re telling me we’re at issue three hundred and this asshole is just now figuring out his powers?! Tf?! “Spawn” the puts ashes on his face to match the mask of his costume and mutilates himself with barbwire, nails, and some guys skull to simulate the rest of his costume. Does he need to do this? I hope so. Anyway, that’s the end of this part.
We get another of those weird number pages. This time the number is “0:0:0:1” this begins the “redemption” chapter. We’re then told that this is three hours ago and “Spawn” is in the middle of fighting “The Redeemer”. I’m not sure if this is heaven’s version of “Spawn” aka “Anti-Spawn” or this is another guy. He’s a heaven guy though. In this section, the writing is particularly bad with a lot of “tell” rather than “showing” and what might arguably be worse “telling” while “showing”. Also, one page has the flying towards each other, then it looks like they are standing in the opposite position, then both falling to the ground. Eventually “Spawn” stops fighting and says something about how he “planted a seed” in “The Redeemer” and how he has to “choose”. To the very end, he argues that “Spawn” is evil but for some reason he does whatever “Spawn” means by “choosing”. This turns “The Redeemer” into “The Reaper”. Wtf?! “Spawn,” tells him he has to hide this from heaven and continue as “The Redeemer” until “the trap gets sprung”.
Then we get another page with the “Spawn” logo with the words “Lost & Found” under it. This part as radically different art that’s in this painted indie style. Here we pick up with “Mark” after “Spawn” left. Mark tries to find his way back home from the house “Spawn” left him for three hours but he’s in the middle of nowhere and can’t figure out where he is so he returns to the house. Then some zombie looking guy “Mark” calls freak is there. “Mark” asks him “where everyone went” and “Freak,” says “master is calling”. “Mark,” asks to come with him and “Freak” just leaves him there. Wtf?!
We’re then taken to “a secluded hospice in upstate New York”. There a patient who was a former “Spawn” named “Jim Downing” has been a coma for eight months. Two angel-looking guys are there to kill “Downing” by we see from the blood-soaked floor and their comments that someone has beaten them to it. Then “Freak” along with a cyborg gorilla (I think his name is “Cy-Gor” or something) and another robot guy kill the angels. Then some “Johnny Blaze”-looking dude with green glowing eyes comes and tell them they have “many more deeds to do” because that’s why he “awoke” all of them. Resurrected? “Freak” then calls this guy master.
We then start to the chapter called “Omens…”. This part has art by J. Scott Cambell (who rarely does interior art anymore and mostly only draws covers now) and focuses on “Jessica Priest”. “Priest” goes to some warehouse in New York City after being called by one her contacts named “Nyx”. “Nyx” is a person with a ton of information on “Al Simmons” and she was anxious when she called and wanted “Priest” to rush over. “Priest” enters the warehouse and finds “Nyx” dead on the ground in a pool of her own blood. From the way one of “Nyx’s” arms is pointing “Priest” finds a hidden room with tons of books, files, and computers. One caption box then says “Nyx” got killed for her knowledge and not her magic. This might mean something if you have any idea what “Nyx” had to do with magic but whatever. “Priest” looks through all this stuff and finds a book or magic and in that find a spell for resurrection. She tries to use this spell to bring “Nyx” back to life but for some reason, it doesn’t bring her back to life and instead “Priest” gets flooded with images from “Spawn’s” life. This then transforms “Priest” into “She-Spawn”. Tf?! Because of the poor construction of the lettering, the big logo for “She-Spawn” is above the text that is supposed to go before it by the way. There’s some awkward posing and a badly drawn arm in the first page of this section but the rest of the art is great.
We then go to the final chapter “…& Prophecies”. We’re told this is taking place now and see some guy walking up a bunch of steps on a mountain path to some cave with a demon-looking face as the opening. A grey word balloon (from a person in the cave? From the cave itself?) says “welcome”. That’s it.
So if you haven’t been reading “Spawn” there’s zero effort put into explaining anything. Overall, the writing ranges from “fine” to “amateurishly bad”. Greg Capullo draws most of the art and it is excellent. So between him and most of J. Scott Cambell’s section the art overall is great. The sad part is “Spawn” has some interesting ideas and concepts but I’ve never seen them executed well and this comic doesn’t bother to explain things. The art carries this to a C-.
Recommendation: One You Should Put In The Maybe Pile (Only & Entirely For The Art)