Love Letter to Spawn 312

Introduction

I mentioned in my previous Spawn review that I hoped there might be a payoff to the long setup. I can’t promise that it is here in Spawn 312. However, it does feel much closer after this issue. I mean, things actually happened. Silly that’s the barometer but that’s where we are right now.

The eternal question of this year. Did Covid make things crappy. Or, have things always been crappy and Covid just made us realize it?

I hate to mention Covid again. But, it definitely had an impact on things in one way or another. As I covered in a couple of my comics articles last month, it seems like Covid threw the comics world into more chaos than anticipated.

Books are being delayed and cancelled at an alarming rate. Creative teams looked haphazard for the better part of the last six months. I suppose we should consider ourselves lucky that we’ve had somewhat consistent comics releases in that time. Things could be worse. After all, Hallmark’s 25 Days of Christmas started three months early this year. So, let’s focus on the positive as we often try to do.

The Great

Supporting Cast: Part of my problem with the last issue is that he overpromised and underdelivered. The book promised a huge supporting cast only to have them show up in the last page of the issue and contribute almost nothing to the plot. Well, the main plot revolved around Gunslinger Spawn. She-Spawn had a small, but integral part.

Heck, even Cy-Gor (forgot the robot gorilla’s name in the last review) and Overtkill saw their parts in the story increase in both time and significance. See, I wasn’t being completely cheeky when I said that things happened in this issue. Things actually happened.

The Good

Gunslinger Spawn: I already mentioned him in the previous section. However, he deserves a section unto himself after this issue. I never was a fan of many of the “specialty” spawn. Heck, I was even lukewarm to the change from Al to Jim Downing. This is just one of those books where I want my hero to be solitary.

Okay, that sounds weird after I just said that the supporting cast was great. Allow me to explain. I can handle the occasional team up, like Spider-Man. Most of the time, though, I just want Simmons and his story. I won’t say I like Gunslinger Spawn now, but Spawn 312 went a long way to endearing me more to his character. Uncle Todd kept the momentum moving forward as I hoped.

The Decent

The Story: With all of that being said, it’s not all ectoplasm and symbiotes. Okay, I apologize for that one. I literally spent the last 15 minutes trying to come up with that and that’s the best take. I know. Just bloody awful. Hey, I apologized.

The point of that all is that the story is getting better. However, it still feels like it it moving at a snail’s pace. I get that Uncle Todd has become more deliberate in his old age, but does he really have to emulate Bendis so much? I suppose I should just consider myself lucky that, unlike the current Bendis Superman stories, this one is actually decent.

The Verdict

Spawn 312 represents a continued step in the right direction. After the greatness of the Dark Horror story and then the soft reboot that seemed to be moving things forward, Spawn got a bit stagnant for a few issues there. It might have partially been that the momentum was slowed by the Covid hiatus. Maybe it is just that the book naturally ends up having ups and downs. I mean, most stories are like that, especially one that has been run by the same guy for the last 25 years or so. Whatever the reason, I’m enjoying the book again and I can’t wait for the next issue.

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