Spawn has been one of the best comics I have ever read. Though my first comic I ever read was Spider-Man, the comic that got me back into comics a few years back was Spawn. I had heard that the title had reached 150 issues and hopped back into reading it. Spawn is the reason I am even reviewing comics nowadays so to that I feel I owe a lot to the series.
Having said that, this has not stopped me from being critical of the “Endgame” storyline that has now reached it’s ninth chapter. McFarlane returned to Spawn, but the book has had some serious pacing issues even when turning in a good read. A lot of fans, myself included, had very high hopes for the long awaited return of Greg Capullo to this title in hopes that his art could return a sense of greatness to Spawn. So with that said let’s get to the review.
Writer: Todd McFarlane
Artist: Greg Capullo
Inks: Todd McFarlane
Colorist: Jay Fotos
Story: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art: 10 Night Girls out of 10
Overall: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Violator menacingly stares down at Spawn, telling him that he knows all about him. Spawn gets angry and approaches Violator. Freak warns Spawn not to as right now they are in a safe zone where Violator can not touch Spawn. Spawn ignores Freak and asks if it’s true that Violator can tell him about what he is.
Freak warns Spawn again. Violator says he has to go attend to another person far more deadly then Spawn. Violator runs off. We then hear two people talking (one of them Violator) and then Violator shrieks. We then see Clown walk out of the alley and ask if everyone is safe. Clown says that he has taken care of the Violator. (For those unaware, Violator and Clown are the same person)
Clown explains that he wants to help the new Spawn but Freak doesn’t trust Clown. Clown says that all three of them are brothers from Hell, but Freak just (excuse the pun) freaks out and runs away. Spawn and Clown go over to the Angel who had her wings ripped off in Spawn #191. Spawn watches the Angel as she slips deeper into insanity. Spawn wants answers from the Angel but Clown tells him that she would never tell Spawn anything anyway.
Clown tells Spawn how his suit is alive and teaches Spawn how to control it more. Clown tells Spawn to relax and embrace the suit. Just when Spawn starts asking more questions Clown says that he has to go. Clown asks for Spawn’s name. Spawn replies that it is Jim Downing. Clown runs off and yells that he will be in contact with Jim.
We see Sam and Twitch as they arrive at a crime scene from Spawn #189. Sam is asking about the I.D. and is curious as to who could have done this. Sam knocks over a vase. A cop say’s he will report it to which Sam replies “Oh, Screw You, Johnson” (Real classy, Sam.) Sam gives the officer fifty bucks to cover the vase to which Twitch says Sam is 700 dollars off on the price of the vase.
Sam and Twitch hop in their car and drive off. Sam and Twitch are talking about how to find Spawn when Sam screeches to a halt after almost hitting Clown. Same yells at Clown to which Clown replies by pissing on the hood of Sam’s car. (Even more classy. I love it!) Sam chases Clown down and arrests him. To which Clown whispers “Finally.”
Sam talks about how he wants to return the favor to Clown’s car by laying a giant turd on the windshield of Clown’s car. Twitch replies’ That’s fairly mature, sir.” Sam comments on how mature is over-rated. Clown starts to turn into Violator but when Sam looks back he’s back to normal (as normal as a Clown can be) and they arrive at the police precinct.
We cut to the cops in Virginia who have been looking into a rich man’s suicide from Spawn #185. They get fed up with no one giving them answers so they plan to go to New York. (The one boring part of this issue. This sub-plot has been totally boring)
We hop back to the police precinct. Clown is put in a cell and he walks over to a vampire named Claudio. Clown says how Claudio couldn’t hide from him. Clown says that he wants Claudio’s boss with him and Clown is not giving him a choice. Clown says that with Claudio’s boss, the new Spawn and Violator they can create the new Unholy Trinity and that he will kill anyone who gets in his way. End of issue.
The Good: Spawn #193 was a good issue. McFarlane is excelling with the dialogue in this issue. The best dialogue is the banter between Spawn and Clown. Their back and forth is great and I like how McFarlane is building a new dynamic rather than just going with the obvious “they hate each other” idea. I’m not exactly sure if this friendship will last long, but for now it’s a great twist.
I like the idea that Freak wants to help Spawn. Though I’m not sure if that is really Freak’s desire. I think it is more that Freak does not want to help Violator. Either way, this is an interesting aspect of Freak’s character and I hope it sticks.
Clown himself takes center stage in this issue and does a great job carrying the story. Clown is always an awesome villain even when he has had his down moments. McFarlane returns the Clown to his crazy evil conniving self and I love it.
McFarlane has also been doing a good job of developing Jim Downing, the new Spawn, over the recent few chapters of Endgame. While Jim has yet to reach the same level of Al Simmons, the previous Spawn, Jim has come a long way in these last nine months. Jim’s dialogue and how he acts stands out nicely. Finally, Jim is becoming more of his own character.
Sam and Twitch have been in the comic for a few issues again, but this is their biggest point in the plot so far. McFarlane excels at their dialogue as Sam is still the same grouchy bastard and Twitch is still a level headed genius. Hopefully, these two characters will get more and more panel time later in this story.
The scene with Clown pissing on Sam’s car had me in stitches. It was the perfect thing for Clown to do in order to get arrested. The moments between these three characters in the car were funny. I enjoyed this scene and I hope that McFarlane has these three characters interact again in this story.
I continue to enjoy the development of how Clown is setting up a big army for whatever purpose he serves. I wish we knew why Clown was doing all this, but it’s Clown, it can never be something good. Having said that, I do hope that McFarlane speeds things up.
Capullo’s art was absolutely phenomenal. The man set the standard for the Spawn series and he practically redefines it here. Whilce Portacio has been great as the main artist, but Capullo still is the best when it comes to drawing Spawn. I can only hope that Capullo returns sooner than later as every page and every panel from start to finish looks great.
McFarlane and Capullo are a great team as far as story and art is concerned and they turned in a fine issue.
The Bad: McFarlane has been doing an awful job with the Suicide sub-plot that started in Spawn #185 and it has not been even remotely interesting. It may have been slightly interesting at first, but this sub-plot has barely moved an inch from when it was first introduced. This sub-plot has gotten boring and is dragging along. McFarlane needs to either cut or resolve this sub-plot.
While the rest of this issue had good pacing this one moment just stood out so frustratingly. McFarlane needs to tell the reader why the guy blew his brains out or cut off the sub-plot since it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
I did feel like McFarlane had a little more to add to this issue but he was at the page limit so he had to cut it off for the next issue.
It definitely feels like McFarlane is writing this for trade format and that is a tad frustrating. It is something that a large majority of writers today do. While I can understand that, I still think McFarlane could avoid this easily since he is such a veteran writer.
Capullo’s art does have a few minor weird moments and the coloring doesn’t fit perfectly. Mostly with Spawn’s eyes, the green is way too dark.
Overall: Spawn #193 isn’t a perfect read, McFarlane needs to either pick up the pace or drop some of the dead weight. Spawn has come a long way these past nine months into one of the best books on the shelves. But it is a bit late in the game to jump onto this title. Lucky volume 1 of “Endgame” came out this week, so go pick up the last two issues and “Endgame” volume 1 if you’re interested in this story.
“Endgame” is undeniably a story that’s been well worth it and this chapter, with the masterful Capullo on art, has been the best one yet. Spawn #193 is a must read for any Spawn fan.