Spawn #161


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Spawn #161


  • Words: David Hine
  • Art: Philip Tan
  • Inks: Danny Miki, Allen Martinez, Ryan Winn, et. al.
  • Colors: Brian Haberlin, Andy Troy, and Ian Hannin
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Oct 25, 2006

It is the Apocalypse! Who is our only hope? Why, the convoluted former king of Hell—Al Simmons, Spawn!

Having not read Spawn since I was in high school (many moons and seasons ago), I wasn’t sure what I was in for. But, being a full-on fan of David Hine, I had to check it out. Clearly, the Spawniverse is quite a different place than it used to be. Issue #161 opens up at the end of the world, Spawn is dead, Judas has defeated him (yes, that Judas), and Jesus is happy. Naturally, all of this insanity is taking place in Los Angeles while meanwhile, New York is falling victim to everyone’s favorite Horsemen of the Apocalypse. These grotesque monsters, coming straight out of the pages of the most popular book in the world (uh, The Bible, duh), lay a disgusting waste to the Big Apple. And with Jesus around, you know there is going to be some sort of resurrection somewhere, right?

As I said above, I’m a fan of Hine. His mainstream work on District X, Son of M, and all the other slightly skewed X-books we fans have had the great pleasure of reading, have been simultaneously cerebral and entertaining. Though the idea of Hine going from those books to Spawn seems anything but a natural progression, with this single issue, everything seems to work. The Biblical and historical references running rampant throughout the pages are fun for those of us who know what Hine is referring to. When you throw in his ability to dance serious drama with incomprehensible tragedy only heard of in the Book of Revelations and, with nary a word balloon mind you, pay homage to a fan favorite character like Twitch . . . well, we have us a serious funny book here.

This serious funny book is graced with the pencil work of Phillip Tan. His style goes well with those of his predecessors, and that is not an insult. Since McFarlane hung up his pencil, and let’s be honest now, boys and girls, he did—a few covers or posters here and there don’t count—Spawn has had a certain look. It is as though everyone following him has strived to do something different, but keep a sense of what McFarlane originally was going for. Tan’s work is dark, which goes with the theme and mood of the title, it is sketchy, far sketchier in fact than McFarlane’s ever was, and it is (dare I say?) a bit . . . postmodern. The images are vivid, if lacking in realism, which is fine for a pseudo-religio-comic about the Biblical end of the world as seen through the twisted eyes of Al Simmons and whatever crazy God runs his universe.

In Spawn Jesus is a celestial, sparkling androgynous angelic form whose best disciple is Judas, Spawn is reborn as a demon-savior-thing and the coasts of America are obliterated by otherworldly forces. Um, why aren’t we reading this book?

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