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Spawn’s Universe #1

Review by Paul Bowler.

A bold new era for Spawn and Image Comics begins with Spawn’s Universe #1, an epic 68 page one-shot written by Todd McFarlane, that sees the official introduction to the hotly anticipated expansion of  the Spawn Universe. The world and mythology of Spawn is about to be changed forever. Spawn’s Universe #1 answers age old questions, introduce new heroes, new villains, and paves the way for three brand new ongoing Spawn titles: King Spawn, Gunslinger Spawn, and The Scorched!

From the ominous opening moments through to the action-packed set-pieces, Spawn’s Universe #1 doesn’t hold back, and Todd McFarlane’s tautly plotted script hardly lets up the pace for a moment. Hell’s Throne is empty, and with all the Dead Zone portals in lockdown, Demons and Angels cannot enter or leave the world of man. Those creatures who remain, most of them disguised in human form, are now trapped, and Spawn isn’t pulling any punches in his search for answers from them! With the seismic shock waves spreading around the globe, the narrative becomes interwoven with a thinly veiled social-political commentary as the worlds media debate the crisis, and with Marc’s help Spawn is able to ascertain that Omega Spawn didn’t die after all.

Spawn decides to go on the offensive and strikes back at the demonic factions that have united and now reside on the island where he defeated Omega Spawn. McFarlane uses Spawn’s World #1’s huge scope to send the plot and numerous character into overdrive as Angels and Demons vie for power, new villains Jericho and the Disruptor enter the fray, and Gunslinger Spawn joins forces with Spawn against their mutual enemies!

The three excellent back-up stories by Todd McFarlane in Spawn’s Universe #1 all feed into the narrative of main the storyline. Of them all, Medieval Spawn’s tale is the one that ties-in closest to the central plot of the issue. There is of course plenty of bombastic action as Medieval Spawn confronts a powerful sorcerer, but it’s also a showdown that hints at a far darker connection between past and present than we could’ve possibly imagined. The second story explores the character of She-Spawn and the secret which motivates her to be perhaps the most dedicated Spawn of all. This actually turns out to be the most moving and emotional story of this double-sized issue. Finally we have a brooding interlude with Gunslinger Spawn, a grisly tale which unfolds across four seasons, where the fearsome Gunslinger Spawn must claw his way back from a face-off (quite literally) with his arch enemies. Each of these stories bring something fresh to the table and collectively forge a place of their own in the new Spawn Universe.

McFarlane has assembled some fantastic artistic talent for Spawn Universe #1, with Jim Cheunng (main story), Brett Booth (Gunslinger), Stephen Segovia (Medieval), and Marcio Takara (She-Spawn), with inks by Adelso Corona and Tod McFarlane, and colors by FCO Plascencia, Andrew Dalhouse, and Peter Steigerwald. While I’m not usually a fan of multiple artist on a single issue, artistically their styles differ very slightly, and overall they complement each other really well. The main story is a fantastic showcase for Jim Cheunng, with chilling intrigue brewing from the outset, Spawn at his ruthless best as his quest for information intensifies, and Spawn and Cy-Gor charging into battle on the island are all just a few of the many highlights of the primary story-arc. Stephen Segovia turns in some fittingly titanic battle scenes between Medieval Spawn and a dragon riding sorcerer, while Marcio Takara’s She-Spawn faces an emotive tale of sacrifice and devotion, but its is Brett Booth’s richly atmospheric Gunslinger Spawn that almost totally steals the show out from everyone with a powerful flashback to Gunslinger’s shattering defeat and terrifying rebirth. 

Spawn Universe #1 is a momentous historical landmark in the mythology of the Spawn saga.  With a plethora of ongoing mysteries, a key piece of Cogliostro’s puzzle falling into place, the fate and roles of friends and foes alike are all caught up the swirling maelstrom of an unholy baptism at sea, and the impact of these events will no doubt reverberate for years to come. With three back-up stories accentuating the action Spawn Universe #1 is both a fan-pleasing extravaganza and the perfect jumping on point for newcomers. The world of Spawn just got a whole lot bigger and it certainly looks like we are in for one Hell of a ride!

Writer Todd McFarlane

Artists Jim Cheunng / Brett Booth / Stephen Segovia / Marcio Takara 

Inks Adelso Corona & Tod McFarlane

Colors FCO Plascencia / Andrew Dalhouse / Peter Steigerwald.

Lettering Tom Orzechowski / Andworld Design

Cover Artists J. Scott CaTodmpbell / Brett Booth / Todd McFarlane

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook