Spawn #234 plays out episodical with each section feeling like it could be from a different issue entirely, or even a different comic entirely, if it wasn’t for the gorgeous artwork of Szymon Kudranski and Fco Plascencia’s surreal and dream-like colors.
Each section feels independent from the last without any one ever coming off as irrelevant, and each is interesting in its own right. From the chat room bible-babble we`ve come to expect at the start of each issue to our insight via the news outlets into the public’s speculation of the implication of Jim’s powers nothing leaves you bored.
I know I always say this, but I find it increasingly refreshing to read Spawn if only because it seems like it comes from a different section of the library-if you will-than most of the other hero comics I come across. It’s unapologetically adult and not just in blood and gore, language or any of that. It assumes you know a bit of history. It deals with things like shades of grey in media and religion. And it builds slowly rather than exploding. It’s not better or worse than comic X, Y or Z just… different and it breaks up some my reading list nicely.
The brilliant introduction of The Haunt does its job to set up an exciting new character if not establishing instantly which side he’s fighting for. His interaction with the green hooded sicko we’ve been seeing the last few issues torturing a guy “for god” is some of the most charged content we’ve seen in Spawn in a while McFarlane’s incredibly well-crafted dialogue doing a wonderful job of showcasing the mind of a psychopath vs. a homicidal vigilante.
Another bit where a dead man describes his life to Jim and how Spawn touched it and saved his soul from vampire junky-ism while he was alive go further to set up intrigue, and also prove to me that there are always going to be ideas out there that I wouldn’t be able to come up with in many a year.
Todd McFarlane has always been that guy to me, all about the darkness and the maturity. The kind of comics I’d sneak and read beside the pool at summer camp, the kind of characters and content that I’d swoon over and beg my mom to buy action figures of even though they were covered in blood and had gnarly looking weapons. And I love that I get that same sense of glee still, all these years later, every time I open one of his books.
Writer: Todd McFarlane
Artist: Szymon Kudranski
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: 8/14/13