Tuesday, April 25, 2023

#IReadsYou Review: KING SPAWN #4


STORY: Sean Lewis with Todd McFarlane
PENCILS: Javi Fernandez
COLORS: FCO Plascencia
LETTERS: Andworld Design
EDITOR: Thomas Healy
COVER:  Jason Shawn Alexander
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (November 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 #4 opens, it's the showdown between Spawn and one of his oldest and vilest enemies, the child killer, Billy Kincaid.  But this mutha is supposed to be burning in Hell!  So why is he here?  And why is he so happy to face Spawn again … even if the outcome will be awful for him.

Meanwhile, Medieval Spawn and Jessica (She-Spawn) are globetrotting hunter-killers of terrorists.  So why are the locations of their fights so familiar?  Plus, there is a warning from Mother Nature.

THE LOWDOWN:  King Spawn continues its impressive debut as the most impressive Spawn spin-off comic book to date.  Sean Lewis presents Spawn in all his raging glory, unleashing ultra-violence, even when he knows that this is what his adversaries want.  This is the way Lewis builds a sense of mystery and of anticipation, so we know something good and crazy is coming.

Javi Fernandez's art and storytelling capture the craziness, dragging us along in Spawn's wake.  So vivid is Fernandez's storytelling that you, dear readers, might feel icky … or delighted … if a bordello of blood is your thing.  And if you don't get it, FCO Plascencia's colors present the violence in living color.

King Spawn is still ruling, so won't you consent to be ruled.  Seriously, this is a good … superhero comic book.

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

[This comic book includes “Spawning Ground” Presents “The Breakdown,” takes a look at series artist Javi Fernandez's process, specifically focusing on how Fernandez produced the double-page spread (pp. 17-18) for this issue.]

★★★★+ out of 4 stars

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


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