The longest running independent comic just keeps on going. Spawn 313 and counting. I’m going to sound like a bit of a broken record here. It’s been up and down for our man Spawn. However, I will spare you the gritty details. If you want to know where the ups and downs are, you can go back about 30 or so issues to get my take on Al Simmons’ recent history.
More recently, I ended the previous Spawn issue review article by saying that I’m enjoying the book again and I couldn’t wait for this issue. As I do every month, I read Spawn 313 first. While usually just a practical decision because it’s the only independent book that I still read, so it makes for an easy start to comics week each month, this month I actually read this month with some degree of anticipation.
Sorry for that run on sentence. It happens around here sometimes. I honestly just wasn’t sure where I was going with the thought after I started it. Let’s see if I can’t salvage something from the nonsense. To be fair, I do have some practice.
The Story: I admit that when this story began I was considering taking a break from Spawn. The up and down that I discussed in the introduction was more up than down. Put simply, I wasn’t enjoying the book very much. Uncle Todd has redeemed himself slightly with the last couple of issues.
I think the main reason for the improvement in the story is that the supporting characters have been much stronger recently. I mean, they’ve been mentioning Cy-Gor and Overtkill for the last 2 or 3 years with little to no payoff. The payoff for these guys hasn’t been huge, but it has been something. He even got me to enjoy Gunslinger Spawn and I never though that would happen. Keep the momentum going.
The Art: I don’t talk much about art in these articles. Mostly if it’s an artist I enjoy or if the art is great (or more often, terrible), I will say a work or two about it. However, the art is one of the things that brought me to Spawn all those years ago. In a time of Rob Liefeld, Spawn brought us the beauty of Todd McFarlane’s pencils.
The art in this issue isn’t McFarlane or Capullo level. Heck, I wouldn’t even put it in the same category as Ken Lashley from a few issues ago. But, it is serviceable. It doesn’t detract from the story like Jason Shawn Alexander’s art did for a few issues. Sorry, JSA. I know you’ve become a punching bag for the page. I never meant for that to happen.
Slow Moving: I think part of my frustration with Spawn is the slow pace of the stories. I mentioned earlier that Cy-Gor and Overtkill have been in the pages of the book for 2 (maybe even 3 years) as ancillary characters that were meant to induce nostalgia in preparation for the soft reboot of 300? I guess.
Like I said, there was some payoff for those guys finally in this issue. One of them got their face bashes in by a massive Hellspawn on a beach. Don’t get me wrong. I do like the story. I just wish Uncle Todd would pick up the pace a bit.
Spawn 313 does continue the forward momentum mentioned in the previous article. The story is still slow moving, which can be frustrating. However, Uncle Todd is giving other characters a chance to shine, which is nice. Also, the art has more often than not been excellent for the past year. I will sign off with the eternal hopes that all continues next month.