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King Spawn #1 Review

Review by Paul Bowler.

King Spawn #1 is a historic comic book event for Todd McFarlane’s Spawn – namely that this hotly anticipated issue marks the launch of the first new ongoing Spawn since the character  originally debuted in 1992. Nearly three decades in the making, Image Comics King Spawn #1 continues to expand on events from SPAWN’s UNIVERSE #1 as the forces of Hell, Heaven, and the Heroes all begin to assert their power and influence on Earth.

Sean Lewis and Todd McFarlane have crafted something of a horror noir themed anthology with King Spawn #1, which features a lead story and numerous back-up stories to make this giant sized issue extra special. 

The main storyline is a dark, sombre affair, which opens with a shocking attack, and the grim tone and bloodletting hardly lets up from there. Its a story more akin to a supernatural detective thriller really, with Spawn investigating a gruesome trail of murderous carnage, and utilising the resources of his allies to hunt down a mysterious killer via a list that holds the name of every Shadow Player – the Demons and Angels hiding in human skins on Earth – but it seems there even darker forces waiting in the wings. This gripping opening story is beautifully illustrated by Javi Fernandez with colors by FCO Plascencia. From the ominous rainswept graveyard scene to a vengeful Spawn’s grim quest around the city to uncover answers to the heinous series of murders, Fernandez and FCO dynamically render this atmospheric saga in exquisite detail, with striking visuals, dynamic page layouts, and rich colors throughout. The cliffhanger sets up some intriguing possibilities that will no doubt shape and influence the new Spawn Universe in the months ahead.

Haunt, the first back-up story, is drawn by Stephen Segovia. Its a good little story that serves as a reminder of Haunt’s abilities, along with the dynamic with his ghostly brother, and it sets up a mission Haunt must undertake to save himself after he’s fallen in love. Marcio Takara handles the art for Nightmare, a decidedly bloody and gory interlude with Nightmare Spawn, a great looking character with a truly monstrous personality. Then we have The Hero illustrated by Philip Tan, its a nerve jangling tale of terror with a surprise twist in the tale, and it will be interesting to see where this character goes next. Finally we have Gunslinger, drawn by Brett Booth which of course focuses on Gunslinger Spawn. Its a great tale about the fate that befell the Gunslinger, how revenge consumed him, and where that same fate has inexplicably placed him now. 

Rounding off this amazing first issue of King Spawn is an interview with Sean Lewis by Todd McFarlane that provides even greater insight into this new era for Spawn. The hype and anticipation around King Spawn has been phenomenal and its sure to be a huge hit. I’m pleased to say that this issue more than lived up to the hype, and its also a fairly good jumping on point for new readers as well. This reviews a tad late as I’ve been off for most of August enjoying a summer break with my family. I’ve been really looking forward to getting King Spawn #1, so I thought it’d be a good issue for me to cover and get back into my reviewing groove again. I even treated myself to a couple of the variants as well, and I’m really excited to see what the Spawn Universe will bring — especially Gunslinger Spawn in October!

Publisher Image Comics

Script / Plot Sean Lewis / Todd McFarlane (additional dialogue) King Spawn

Art Javi Fernandez (King Spawn), Stephen Segovia (Haunt),

Marcio Takara (Nightmare), Philip Tan (The Hero), Brett Booth (Gunslinger).

Inkers Adelso Corona & Danniel Henriques / Colors FCO Plascencia (King Spawn)

Additional Colors Andrew Dalhouse, Marcelo Maiolo,

Peter Steigerwald, Dave McCaig

Lettering Andworld Design (King Spawn), Tom Orzechowski

Cover Artists Todd McFarlane, Puppeteer Lee, David Finch, Sean Gordon Murphy, Brett Booth (inked by McFarlane), Greg Capullo (inked by McFarlane), Donny Cates (inked by 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