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Spawn #304 (Review)

SPAWN #304

Script: Todd McFarlane

Art: Jason Shawn Alexander

Plot: Todd McFarlane and Jon Goff

Colors: Peter Steigerwald

Lettering: Tom Orzechowski

Publisher: Image

Score: 6.5/10

As a massive fan of Spawn, I've been really curious as to what McFarlane would do with the character after issue #300 and with Spawn's energy meter finally hitting zero. Unfortunately the story, post issue #300, was unfolded in a bit of a convoluted mess. Given the attention the milestone would garner, a new fresh start for new or lapsed readers would make the most sense but instead the plot seems to be a convergence of many elements from the previous 10-15 years with added socio-political commentary thrown into the mix.

This issue picks up with Eddie being hunted down which leads to a mass shooting in North Dakota. Then we pick up at Al's secret base with him, Jessica, and Marc for some exposition as Al finally reveals why there are multiple Spawns and similar beings popping up. Then lastly we pick back up with the Medieval Spawn as he's let loose to hunt down Eddie. 

The issue with this storyline is that there's almost no subtlety to it. There was a sequence a couple of issues ago where Al as Spawn was tracking down evil individuals  that were popping up all over and it gets wrapped up a bit too quickly and easily. The problem with such powered characters like Spawn is that it removed the tension when they can so quickly overcome obstacles but there have been previous periods in Spawn where segments like this took their time and expanded on Spawn's target and why exactly they need to be taken out. So while I am looking forward to seeing the Medieval Spawn get into a powered fight against Eddie the Redeemer, I hope to see the plot slow down let the characters breathe.

The art is pretty damn solid as Jason Shawn Alexander continues to knock out some great art that has a particular horror feel to it. The horror tone really stands out during darker scenes where Steigerwald's use of color on Alexander's art really pops. I mean it's hard for Spawn's crimson costume to not look cool and imposing in a dark room. 

I really hope McFarlane starts to slow down after this arc because there seem to be to a myriad of concurrent storylines that should be coming together in the next couple of issues and honestly there's just too much going on, especially for new readers that might have jumped on for issue #300.

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