It’s been a long, long time since I picked up a Spawn comic. I mean, last time I checked Spawn had like, killed God? Or something? Or became God? I dunno. Things got weird towards the end.
So I didn’t know what to expect diving back into this two-parter.
I certainly did not expect Spawn to be treated like a classic, honest-to-god punch-in-the-mouth superhero. But this, dear reader, is exactly what I found in Spawn 302. I made gleeful noises.
What I mean when I say this is: Spawn is being written like a Silver Age hero.
Take this for instance, from the opening pages of issue 302:
“Whether their birthright demon, angel or human, he doesn’t care. If they attempt to impose their will on another living soul, they become…his TARGET!”
It doesn’t get much better than that.
In a lot of ways, issue 302 serves as a jumping-off point for new fans. It reads like an Issue 1. It’s delightful.
McFarlane himself continues to script the story, but Jason Shaw Alexander’s interior art brings Spawn into the 2010’s. Grounded, dimly lit and slightly dirty, it’s exactly what you expect when you see Alexander in the credits. The synergy between the story and the art creates something special.
For all of its “Issue 1-ness”, there is some backstory here that I am not familiar with, and things going on with Al Simmons that are new to me. For instance, he doesn’t look like he just crawled out of an air-fryer. He’s got…skin. And a t-shirt. And sunglasses. And he’s meeting men in a diner who have unsavory tendencies and connections and yet, he’s working with them. Something about Albania. I dunno. But Spawn is nice to service staff and he’s a generous tipper. See? Superhero.
Agents of heaven are engaged in sex trafficking. That’s fucked up, right? Spawn thinks so too.
There’s a lot going on here, and a whole new mythology to learn, so if you’re looking to get into Spawn for the first time, or if you’re like me and you haven’t seen hell’s renegade general in a decade or so, this is an excellent place to start.
To get your hands on Spawn #302, visit your local comic book retailer or visit www.imagecomics.com