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The Scorched #1

Review by Paul Bowler

The Scorched #1 provides an action-packed debut for Todd McFarlane’s first superhero team book in the Spawn Universe. With the forces of Heaven and Hell about to collide, this ominous threat is too big for any individual hero to deal with, and a new power-packed supergroup assembles to face it. With members including Spawn, Redeemer, Gunslinger, Medieval Spawn and She-Spawn the team must learn to work together as they embark on an urgent mission to track down the deadly Plague Spawn in Russia. Helmed by writer Sean lewis (with additional dialogue provided by Todd McFarlane) and illustrated by Stephen Segovia and Paulo Siqueira, with colors by Ulysses Arreola and Nikos Koutsis, this giant 55 page first issue has three distinct narratives that collectively serve as an introduction, prologue, and epilogue all rolled into one. 

Although Spawn appears, he’s very much there just to set the team up in their new HQ and keep an eye on them from afar. Instead it is She-Spawn who leads the team as its unofficial leader. Her teammates also get time plenty of time in the spotlight too, with flashbacks, dialogue, and action sequences showcasing their motives and abilities.

Lewis also co-writes King-Spawn, so its perhaps no surprise that The Scorched has a similar level of gritty realism about it, blending war and horror as the team attack a Russian military installation where they battle armed troops and werewolves. The vastly different personalities of the Hellspawns and the Redeemer make for an interesting team dynamic to say the least. Lewis and McFarlane have also hinted about a shifting roster for this book, so I’m sure more characters form the Spawn Universe will appear over time to join the action. 

Segovia does the first half of the book and the Epilogue, with Siqueira handling mid-section in Russia, and their work complements each other very well indeed. Likewise, Arreolia and Koutsis works their magic with the colors, giving each character their own distinct hues. The action is brutal and visceral, almost gratuitously so at times. Highlights included Rosen’s transformation into Medieval Spawn, Gunslinger leaping into action guns blazing, and the Scorched battling hordes of werewolves is simply stunning. Andworld Designs lettering also notably gives each character their own distinct typeset which really helps fuel the team dynamic and bring their personalities to life.

The Scorched #1 rounds off McFarlane’s “Year of Spawn” in fine style. This book may have suffered delays because of the pandemic, but its been well worth the wait. What’s more  it skilfully brings together some of Spawn’s most well known characters from three decades worth of comics into one book, and that’s worth the price of admission alone!

Publisher Image Comics

Script /Plot Sean Lewis / Tod McFarlane (Additional dialogue)

Art Stephen Segovia / Paulo Siqueira

Colors Ulises Arreola / Nikos Koutsis

Lettering Andworld Design

Covers & Variants Todd McFarlane / Puppeteer Lee / Brett Booth / Greg Capullo / Don Aguillo / Marc Silvestri / Ryan Stegman

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