The Scorched is a new super team that summons together various heroes from the Spawn Universe. I loved Spawn back in the 1990s. However, I dropped out of Spawn during the 2000s. Fast forward to this year, and I became intrigued by Todd McFarlane’s new plans for the Spawn Universe. In particular, was a new title called The Scorched pulling together numerous characters from the Spawn universe. I have been reading this title and felt that it was time for me to crank out a review. Does The Scorched #7 deliver another good read? Let’s find out!
Words: Sean Lewis and Todd McFarlane
Art: Stephen Segovia
Colors: Ulises Arreola
Synopsis: We begin with Reaper and Redeemer tending to Natasha who is possessed by Plague Spawn. Suddenly, Plague Spawn hops out of Natasha and attacks Reaper and Redeemer.
We cut to She-Spawn leads Gunslinger, Haunt, Kurt, and Marc on a mission to an unmarked compound in New Mexico. The team believes that K, the mysterious person who has created the Sin Devourers and gathered enough information and resources needed to stalk Hellspawns and Angels.
She-Spawn and Kurt go into the compound while Gunslinger, Haunt, and Marc offer backup outside of the compound. Marc uses his computer skills to hack through the computers in the compound. Gunslinger uses his uncanny shooting skills to create diversions for She-Spawn and Kurt to sneak into the compound.
We get to see She-Spawn kick ass on some security guards and she and Kurt make their way to the heart of the compound. Our heroes come across a massive room where K is manufacturing Sin Devourers to cleanse the Earth of Hellspawns and Angels.
She-Spawn accesses the main computer system and discovers that K has collected information on the lives of all the members of Scorched. K is using that information to discover their weak points and to be able to attack their loved ones.
She-Spawn downloads everything onto a jump drive. She-Spawn is about to delete everything off of the computer when they are suddenly attacked by Sin Devourers. She-Spawn was able to erase what she needed. She-Spawn and Kurt then quickly retreat.
She-Spawn radios Marc that they need to make a quick getaway. She-Spawn and Kurt join up with Marc, Gunslinger, and Haunt. Gunslinger and Haunt battle the Sin Devourers while She-Spawn creates a portal. Our here’s then jump through the portal and escape.
She-Spawn and her team teleport into their headquarters. They see Reaper and Redeemer defeated. Plague Spawn has left with Natasha’s body. End of issue.
The Good: The Scorched #7 is another excellent read. If you are tired of reading comic books with various social or political agendas then you are in luck. The Scorched #7 reminds me of why I fell in love with comic books in the first place. This issue is all about fun escapist entertainment. That is it. And what more do you want from a superhero comic book?
Sean Lewis delivers a well-crafted issue. I know that Todd McFarlane is credited with “additional script” but it is Lewis who does all of the heavy lifting. The Scorched #7 hits the ground running and does not let up for a second until the very end of the issue. The story is properly paced. Lewis movies quickly but never rushes the story. Lewis does not waste time but knows when to slow things down a bit and then crank up the speed for the action. The entire issue has a sense of urgency and the reader is pulled to the edge of their seat as our heroes delve deeper into the compound.
The Scorched #7 is also well-plotted. Lewis never meanders about or wastes time. I dig how Lewis constructs this issue by bookending the main She-Spawn lead-team plot with the Plague Spawn plot. I appreciate that Lewis continues to move forward with a clear purpose and a good sense of direction.
Lewis also delves even deeper into the mystery surrounding K and his nefarious plans. I like the stunning revelation that K has been collecting information on all of the Scorched members and is ready to weaponize that information against our heroes. This big reveal raises the stakes of this conflict. It also effectively gives She-Spawn an even more personal reason to step up the fight since her daughter is now at risk.
K remains a fun mystery villain. I am enjoying how Lewis is teasing the reader with small additional bits of information about K. I hope our heroes remain in the dark for a while longer.
The Plague Spawn plot line is equally compelling. Plague Spawn is a wicked villain that presents an extremely difficult opponent for our heroes. The fact that Plague Spawn single-handedly destroyed both Reaper and Redeemer effectively gets over the insane power level of Plague Spawn. I dig that lewis emphasizes this fact by having She-Spawn think about how she purposely put the team together hoping that their numbers would protect one another. However, against a threat like Plague Spawn, her plan has failed. There is nothing more enjoyable than a monster heel and Lewis has one in Plague Spawn.
I also appreciate that Lewis quickly touched on the plot line involving Redeemer’s prophecy that one of the members of the Scorched is going to betray them. To be sure, this issue is not focused on that plot line at all. But, Lewis smartly has Reaper questioning his teammates. Reaper questions why She-Spawn would be organizing the Scorched in the first place and why She-Spawn abandoned him in Japan. Reaper is rightfully pissed that there is no excuse for abandoning a teammate. However, Lewis wisely has Redeemer take the other side by cooly pointing out that She-Spawn is not a Judas and that there are plenty of military strategies that involve abandoning fellow soldiers.
Again, this is only a one-page scene, but it keeps the reader aware that this plot line is a long-range one that is going to be percolating in the background and will move to the forefront at some point. This one-page scene also effectively creates some dissension within the ranks of this young alliance. All of this makes for good tension and drama. It is rather impressive how much Lewis is able to pack into just one page.
Of course, The Scorched #7 delivers a solid amount of action. All of the action is well-timed in order to keep the issue lively. The characters that get the most action are She-Spawn and Kurt. I love the creative use of Kurt’s astral body to reach into a bad guy’s chest to grab his heart and give him a heart attack. And it is always fun to see She-Spawn in action no matter how short of a scene it may be.
Lewis continues to impress with his quality character work. All of the members of the Scorched have their own unique personalities. I am starting to find each member of the Scorched to be equally interesting and compelling in their own way. I appreciate that Lewis is also giving each team member their own specific role on the team that best fits their personality.
Lewis is also getting more and more comfortable giving all of the characters their own distinctive external voices. The dialogue is well crafted and has a nice flow.
All in all, Lewis is creating impressive chemistry between all of the members of the Scorched. These bits of excellent chemistry shine in wonderful character moments in this issue. The best part is how efficient Lewis is with these character moments. Lewis does not need to grind the story to a halt and burn half an issue and bore the reader in order to attempt to perform character work. Instead, Lewis is able to take small moments and pack some incredible character work into just a few panels. This never interrupts the flow of the overall story.
You see that with the one-page scene between Redeemer and Reaper. Lewis gives the reader a good sense of Reaper’s hot-tempered nature and feelings of hurt. This is well contrasted with Redeemer’s calm and detached personality.
You also get it in the middle of the scene with She-Spawn’s team at K’s compound. While She-Spawn and Kurt are discovering the information K has on the compound’s computer, Lewis naturally squeezes in some great character work with Gunslinger and Haunt.
It is just five panels, but Lewis has Haunt apologize for sneaking up on Gunslinger earlier and that he would not want someone doing that to him. Gunslinger accepts the apology in his own Clint Eastwood-style manner. It is a small moment, but it reaffirms Gunslinger’s naturally twitchy and untrusting nature. It also shows how Haunt is a good guy and empathic with his teammates.
It is little moments like this that build a strong team title. The small moments generate the necessary chemistry to make a team title a compelling read. Paul Levitz was a master of this during his run on Legion of Super-Heroes. It is great to see Lewis also showing off this skill several times in The Scorched #7.
I continue to love all of the characters that we get on the Scorched. Each one is a cool and unique character. But, She-Spawn continues to be the star of the show for me. I love her character. She-Spawn reminds me so much of Carol Danvers when she was Ms. Marvel and actually a cool bad-ass character. After She-Spawn? I would pick Gunslinger as my next favorite character. Gunslinger continues to be the Clint Eastwood of the Spawn Universe. I love it!
All right, enough talking about the story. Let’s get to Stephen Segovia’s gorgeous artwork. The Scorched #7 is an excellent-looking issue. Segovia knows how to deliver a kick-ass-looking superhero comic book. All of the members of the Scorched look fantastic. I particularly enjoy how Segovia draws Gunslinger Spawn. He just looks so cool with his shadowy face under his ten-gallon hat and his green glowing eyes. I also dig how Segovia uses Gunslinger’s trenchcoat as a replacement for a cape with how it billows around Gunslinger.
She-Spawn looks fantastic. Her character design is flawless. The flowing long red hair, the cropped jacket, the spikes, the stiletto-heeled boots. She-Spawn looks exactly like a superhero should look! She looks bad-ass even when standing still.
Segovia is also able to make the dialogue-heavy scenes just as interesting as his action scenes. But, wow, his action scenes are wonderfully dynamic. And, yeah, I love that Segovia broke out manga-inspired action lines when Plague Spawn attacked Redeemer and Reaper and also when the Sin Devourer attacked She-Spawn and Kurt!
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Segovia also sneaks in several butt shots in this issue. Ah, the classic comic book tradition. I tip my hat to you, Mr. Segovia. If The Revolution was still doing the Cheesecake and Beefcake of the Week article you would certainly get a mention!
All kidding aside, Segovia makes The Scorched #7 a joy to read. Segovia brings Lewis’ story to life in such an entertaining manner.
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The Bad: I have no complaints about this issue at all.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall: The Scorched #7 reminds me of a quality shonen manga. It is all about teamwork, family, cool characters, and kick-ass action. If you are looking for a comic book that focuses on good escapism and entertainment then you definitely should start reading The Scorched. For those of you who have been turned off from Marvel Comics and DC Comics over the past several years, The Scorched should be the kind of superhero comic you will enjoy reading.
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