Wednesday, November 30, 2022

#IReadsYou Review: KING SPAWN #3


STORY: Sean Lewis with Todd McFarlane
PENCILS: Javi Fernandez
COLORS: FCO Plascencia
LETTERS: Andworld Design
EDITOR: Thomas Healy
COVER:  Jonathan Glapion
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Todd McFarlane; Javi Fernandez; Bjorn Barends
56pp, Color, $5.99 U.S. (October 2021)

Rated: “T/ Teen”

Spawn created by Todd McFarlane

Spawn is a superhero/antihero character that stars in the long-running comic book series, Spawn.  Created by writer-artist Todd McFarlane, Spawn first appeared in Spawn #1 (cover dated: May 1992).

Spawn was Albert Francis “Al” Simmons.  A career military man who becomes a highly capable assassin and dies a violent death.  He makes a deal with the devil, Malebolgia, in order to return to the living realm to see his wife one last time.  However, Al returns with almost no memories accept that his name is Al Simmons, and he learns that he is now a “Hellspawn” in service of Malebolgia.  Rebelling, Al Simmons, now “Spawn,” finds a new purpose in stopping evil.

Back in February (2021), Todd McFarlane announced his plans to build a larger, multi-character, interconnected, comic book universe based around his Spawn comic book – a “Spawn Universe.”  McFarlane also announced four new comic book titles coming out in 2021, with three of them continuing as regular monthly titles.  The first of the three titles, King Spawn, has arrived.

King Spawn is written by Sean Lewis with Todd McFarlane; drawn by Javi Fernandez; colored by FCO Plascencia; lettered by Andworld Design.  King Spawn finds Spawn battling one of his old adversaries, but it is someone only Spawn knows that exists.  And that someone want to make Spawn a king.

As King Spawn #3 opens, Spawn and Terry talk strategy, but Terry's demands that Spawn reveal the whereabouts of his daughter, Cyan, opens old wounds.  Their feud will have to wait, however, as the world is beginning to come undone at the seams, and the pace is picking up.  The underground religious terrorist group, “Psalms 137,” launches attacks around the globe.

Spawn sends his agents to those hot spots, but he saves one trouble area for himself.  Spawn prepares for a reunion with one of his oldest enemies, Billy Kincaid.  But has Spawn become too enraged to realize that all of this is about making him a king, or is he just too busy slaughtering to give a f**k?

THE LOWDOWN:  When I first read Spawn #1 back in 1992, I thought that it had the potential to be a long-running title, and lo these many years, it is still running through comic book solicitations lists.  I thought that its spin-offs would also have potential, but I never found one that really grabbed onto what made the original Spawn so great.

King Spawn, only in its third issue, is the first Spawn comic book spin-off to really get to the heart of Spawn.  Spawn deals with themes related to redemption, but at its core is a war between dark forces, in which both the “dark” sides and the “light” sides are those very dark forces.  Innocent humans are caught between the warring sides and they suffer greatly.  Their fates are unjust, often resulting in brutal and savage deaths.  Spawn is the force that seeks justice for the suffering and, when necessary, gets bloody vengeance for the dead.

I have been praising the creative team of writer Sean Lewis and artist Javi Fernandez because they have created the first great Spawn comic book to come after the original Spawn.  Lewis's scripts are violent and deranged – gleefully so.  Fernandez draws Lewis' script into comic book art and storytelling that unflinchingly delivers the rage and the anger, but is also as cool as the other side of the pillow.

In a way, I don't like what Sean and Javi have done to me.  Every time I finish an issue, I am ready to turn tricks … if that would just get me the next issue right away.  I'm a King Spawn crack ho, so won't you join me, dear readers.

Seriously, though, King Spawn is one of Image Comics' very best titles.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Spawn will want to read King Spawn.

[This comic book includes “Spawning Ground” Presents “The Breakdown,” which features “The Evolution of Redeemer.]

10 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2021 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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