Review by Paul Bowler
The cusp of a new era beckons with Spawn #318 as Tod McFarlane’s ambitious plan to expand the Spawn universe is set in motion. Everything that McFarlane has established since Spawn #300 has acted as a catalyst of sorts to prepare for this moment, and Spawn #318 diligently prepares the ground work for the debut of the new Spawn Universe with a special one-shot in June before Spawn’s world gets even bigger with the launch of three new monthly titles later in 2021.
Spawn #318 follows on directly from the titanic showdown on the island between Spawn, Medieval Spawn, Plague Spawn, and their dreaded adversary — the hulking Omega Spawn! As the dust settles over that battle Medieval Spawn helps the weakened Spawn return to his hideout so he can recover his strength. While the action is somewhat low-key McFarlane makes up for it with a wealth of strong characterisation as She-Spawn confronts Medieval Spawn, while Spawn tries to assess everything that happened on the island and deduce where all the new Hell Spawn’s originated from. There’s also the burning question of why Medieval Spawn has suddenly allied himself with Spawn after they’d previously been at each others throats to address, and the discovery of Marc’s unsettling blackout while Spawn was busy fighting Omega Spawn on the island adds another compelling mystery into the mix as well.
The art by Carlo Barber brings a stylised revamp to the whole look of Spawn’s world, one that harkens back to the original look of the series, but with a dynamic modern slant. Barber puts the characters front and centre, utilising every nuance of the exposition heavy plot to craft some intense character defining moments, with Jay David Ramos and Andrew Dalhouse colors brining vibrant clarity to each scene, and the result is an issue that’s every bit as engrossing to look at as it is to read.
Although its practically all set-up for what’s to come, Spawn #318’s powerful narrative and compelling story makes it must for fans and a relatively good jumping on point for new readers as well. Its 28 years since Spawn was unleashed on world by Tod McFarlane during that first year of Image Comics formation. The character has been an unparalleled success and is still going strong. So much so that McFarlane’s vision is now finally branching out with the launch of a new shared Spawn universe, kicking off in June with the hotly anticipated one-shot Spawn’s Universe #1, followed by three new ongoing titles, with King Spawn (starting in August) that will be a companion book to the original Spawn series, then in October we have Gunslinger Spawn #1, and finally a super-hero team book The Scorched in December. 2021 is certainly proving to be a big year for Spawn and Image Comics with the debut of the Spawn-Verse, there’s so much to look forward to, and I’m really excited to see how it all develops — especially Gunslinger Spawn with its tales of both a modern day and western era Gunslinger character!
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
Publisher Image Comics
Writer Tod McFarlane
Art Carlo Barber / Colors Jay David Ramos & Andrew Dalhouse
Lettering Tom Orzechowski
Cover Artists Tod McFarlane, Bjorn Barends, Tonton Revolver