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Gunslinger Spawn #1

Review by Paul Bowler

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Gunslinger Spawn #1 marks the launch of Image Comics second new monthly title to spin out of Tod McFarlane’s SPAWN UNIVERSE. Jeremy Winston / Gunslinger Spawn is arguably one of the most popular characters to emerge from the Spawn mythology in recent times. This new ongoing title will chart Gunslinger Spawn’s adventures from his Wild West origins to being uncannily marooned in the 21st Century. But as Gunslinger explores the unfamiliar world of 2021 it isn’t  long before this past comes back to haunt him with a vengeance!

Much like Gunslinger Spawn himself Todd McFarlane has brought a veritable arsenal of talent along for the ride  to make this 57 page issue, which features one main story and three back-up stories all written by Todd McFarlane, with Ales Kot providing additional plot / script for A Small Gift. Brett Booth handles the art for the main story and Thomas Nachlik, Philip Tan and Kevin Kean are on the backup stories, with inks by Adelso Corona, colors by Andrew Dalhouse, Nikos Koutsis, Marcello Iozzoli, Marcelo Maiolo, and FCO Plascencia, and the entire issue is lettered by Tom Orzechowski.

Picking up after the dramatic events of Spawn’s Universe #1, Gunslinger Spawn #1 sees the Gunslinger hit the road after finding himself inexplicably stranded in the present-day. He soon encounters slacker teen Taylor Bartlett. The ensuing hijinks highlights Gunslinger’s fish-out-of-water predicament, as the hellish high-planes drifter wrestles with concepts like gasoline, Google, and his young companions wry sarcasm. However, when they discover Taylor’s father is conspiring with the forces of Heaven the Gunslinger must charge to the rescue with all guns blazing!

The back-up’s delve into the mystery of Gunslinger Spawn’s past and greatly adds to the narrative of the main story in modern-day times : “The Lynching” has Gunslinger on the trail of an outlaw in the Wild West, “Weapons” reveals an important secret about his trademark revolvers, and “A Small Gift” features an iconic staple of the Westerns genre, a moody showdown in a run-down saloon. 

The high anticipation for this comic has made Gunslinger Spawn #1 one of the biggest superhero launches in twenty-five years, and for the most part it manages to live up to all the hype. McFarlane has crafted an issue filled with fan-pleasing moments for the Gunslinger, especially his past, and also cleverly woven the narrative into the present-day to make it a fairly easy jumping on point for new readers.  The art is also right on the money, with Brett Booth’s art probably being the biggest draw, and his fantastic artwork is nicely complemented by Nachlik, Tan and Kean on the backup’s.

Gunslinger Spawn originally made his debut as a cameo in Spawn #119 (2002). The characters distinctive aesthetic made him an instant hit and his recent return (which transported  Gunslinger from the Wild West into the present), saw him fighting alongside Spawn in Spawn’s Universe #1, and paved the way for the debut of his own ongoing series. 

As first issues go Gunslinger Spawn #1 covers all the bases and sets the stage for a great new series. The dynamic between Gunslinger and Taylor is great as well. Out of the three new titles launching this year in Todd McFarlane’s new SPAWN UNIVERSE, Gunslinger Spawn was the one I was looking forward to the most, and I’m excited to see Gunslinger’s adventures — past and present — unfold in this great new series. 

Publisher Image Comics

Script / Plot Todd McFarlane

Additional Script / Plot Ales Kot 

Art Brett Booth, Thomas Nachlik, Philip Tan and Kevin Kean 

Inks Adelso Corona

Colors Andrew Dalhouse, Nikos Koutsis, Marcello Iozzoli, Marcelo Maiolo, and FCO Plascencia Lettere Tom Orzechowski

Cover Artists Todd McFarlane, Brett Booth, Greg Capullo, Jason Shawm Alexander, Robert Kirkman, Tonton Revolver

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