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King Spawn #1 Review


KING SPAWN #1
Reviewed by Leo Brocklehurst

Written by: Sean Lewis
Artwork by: Javi Fernandez, Stephen Segovia, Marcio Takara, Phillip Tan and Brett Booth
Published by Image Comics
Released – 25/8/21

King spawn number one has arrived! The most anticipated spawn book since 1992 is here and it sure lives up to the disturbing nature it’s famously set for the last 30 years. The book contains five stories, so guess what? That’s right, we’re going through them all, one by one. Strap in!

The first is a (slightly disturbing) story about some cultists who murder children. Yep. Spawn is caught in the midst of this discovers the existence of a man(?) Named Metatron and sets out to of course stop him. Little does he know that this horrifying series of events is bigger than he can fathom and next thing he knows…. Megaton is quite dead. Murdered, even (in a pretty gruesome fashion). Turns out the big man behind the whole kid killing thing is none other than new York’s own resident serial killer turned evil hell-being: Billy Kincaid! In case you aren’t in the know, Kincaid is one of spawn’s earliest villains. The story is particularly traumatising and involves the disgusting evil-doer parading as an ice cream man and terrifying children all around. Eventually spawn saves the remaining children and puts an end to Billy’s reign of horror (permanently). He was revealed to be alive about a year ago after being presumed dead for nearly thirty.
This stories art is pretty solid, Javi Fernandez delivers on some form fitting Spawn art, scratchy with a pseudo realism style and it works. Spawn looks great but there are sections where it looks a little like it was traced over 3d models but so did Szymon Kudranski and Jason Shawn Alexander’s work. Sean Lewis’ writing is as good as it can be and I didn’t notice any weird, awkward pieces of dialogue. Moving on!

The second story was the one I was most excited about. Its the return of HAUNT!!! The character (created by Kirkman and McFarlane) was completely forgot about almost a decade ago, he’s a priest who is bonded with a symbiote and sent on missions by his dead military brother, that’s the basic gyst anyways. So this new story didn’t give put too much but at least we know he’s still around. He’s pinned to a wall jesus style with knives by the redeemer and then told about his involvement with heaven and hell, its basically a nice little check up on the character with some pretty amazing art by Stephen Segovia. To the next one!

Nightmare is a story I won’t linger on too much. It’s kind of gross and disturbing and is very, very short. The artwork by Marcio Takara is usually very nice and bright but here it makes we want to run into the nearest wardrobe and lock myself in for a month or two.

The story focuses on a Spawn? (Not exactly sure which one). Killing a couple guys in a particularly non-pleasant fashion and then it ends. “Nightmare” was for sure the right title to choose for this section.
“the hero” is kind of weird. It involves an angel brutally murdering a bunch of gangsters. The child of one of said gangsters comes back to see all the dead men and the redeemer looking guy who tells the kid HE did it and that they are basically one. He also reveals the child’s father is alive. Father and son reunjte. Angel leaves. Spawn looms. The end. The artwork in this portion is sensational and illustrated by spawn vet Phillip Tan and looks stunning in the parts without decapitated heads.

The last story is a continuation of the gunslinger back up featured in spawn’s universe. It’s pretty damn solid and gets the reader pumped for the next ongoing spawn title coming in October (which will be available to pre order from this lovely website if it isn’t already) Brett Booth really knocks jt out of the park here.


Verdict

In summary, King Spawn is a grisly and disturbing read that any hardcore fan of the franchise will surely get a kick out of. It isn’t for everyone but it’s certainly fitting of the spawn title and dishes out some real entertainment any comic reader will appreciate.

8/10


Review by Leo Brocklehurst on 5/8/21

Batman #110 Review


Writer: James Tynion IV

Art: Jorge Jimenez (“The Cowardly Lot Part Five”) and Ricardo Lopez Ortiz (“Ghost-Maker Chapter 4”)

Colours: Tomeu Morey (“The Cowardly Lot Part Five”) and Romulo Fajardo Jr. (“Ghost-Maker Chapter 4”)

Published by DC Comics Released: 06/07/21

Review by Bryan Lomax


I stated in my review for the previous issue that I came into James Tynion’s story, “The Cowardly Lot”, somewhat late, but that I filled in the blanks with a quick search on the internet. Since then, I have gone back and read issue #106-#107, and I would highly recommend everyone doing the same if you haven’t already. Issue #107, in particular, really tells us who the character of Miracle Molly is, and what she stands for, in a way that makes me care for whether or not she will get out of the predicament we find her in by the end of issue #110. It also dives deep into the main themes of Tynion’s overarching story, adding more weight to events that happen in the current issue.

That theme is fear or, more to the point, societal fear. Tynion is asking, “where does that fear come from, why do we allow ourselves to be held prisoner by it and who stands to gain something from it?” The Scarecrow is obviously the perfect villain from Batman’s rogues gallery with which to explore that theme. But it’s still unclear as to where he fits into it all. Is he being used or is he the mastermind behind all that is happening in Gotham?

Then we have Simon Saint and his Peace Keeper program. Saint represents a threat that uses fear to achieve an agenda. And, while that agenda may ultimately be based on noble ideals, it’s execution reveals a complete lack of trust in the people it would supposedly serve. It is therefore no more than a vain attempt at making a play for power and control, marking Saint out as a true villain.

We have former Arkham security guard, Sean Mahoney, who takes up the frontman position of Saint’s Peace Keeper force. He represents much of what so many people today fear, particularly in the US, as their country becomes more and more divided, seemingly heading towards totalitarianism. If Gotham was to embrace Saint’s Peace Keepers then it might as well change its name to Mega City One.

The scary thing about Miracle Molly and the Unsanity Collective is that everything they say about the definitions of “sane” and “insane” and who gets to decide upon them makes for quite a convincing argument. The greatest system of control, Tynion argues, is fear and we are all caught up in it. But those who do not fear anything, such as Ghost-Maker, are labelled as psychopaths, even though, as this story shows, they might be the only ones we can count on to release us from our own prisons of fear.

These are the things I find myself thinking about as I read this issue, which is all down to the excellent story telling from Tynion. And once again I have to say that I’m really loving the artwork by Jorge Jaminez and the beautifully rich colours by Tomeu Morey.

I’m still not quite as keen on the artwork for the “Ghost-Maker” origin story, now in its fourth chapter, which kind of feels like Tynion is setting up a rogues gallery for his creation, that he can then use as a starting point, should the character get his own series. Beyond that there’s not much to complain about and I eagerly await the next issue.


Verdict –

The pairing of artist, Jorge Jimenez, with colourist, Tomeu Morey, works wonders in bringing Tynion’s compelling study on societal fear to life.


Review by Bryan Lomax, 17/07/21