Spawn #305 (Review)
Writer: Todd McFarlane and Jon Goff
Artist: Jason Shawn Alexander and Todd McFarlane
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Peter Steigerwald
I was really curious leading up to the big issue #300 because of a couple reasons. Firstly, the quality of the writing had improved greatly in the 15 or so issues before #300 and had generated some good positive buzz. Secondly, because Al's power level went down to 0, I was curious to see if this would be a good soft reboot with a new direction. Unfortunately this series has really not delivered as the writing in certain sections feels like it was taken straight out of the mid 90s.
The issue is pretty straightforward, Medieval Spawn and some Angels are after Eddie and so She-Spawn and Spawn come in to protect Eddie and stop them. Spawn conveniently takes out Medieval Spawn in a matter of a couple of pages. I get that Al is the alpha spawn right now but it still felt way too easy and a bit anticlimactic. She-Spawn meanwhile protects Eddie and takes down an Angel, then Eddie transforms into the Reaper (a variation on the Redeemer it seems) and takes out the remaining Angel with some awful dialogue and a blast of light (?). Spawn beheads the Medieval Spawn, ostensibly killing him which is apparently a huge sin for a Spawn to do even though Al is the main alpha Spawn. They teleport back to base and then Medieval spawn (or his severed head rather) teleports him and Al. It's really not great and I suppose one could argue that McFarlane is intentionally taking an approach that resembles the time period that Spawn is usually associated with, the 90s but that still doesn't make the writing any better.
The art continues to stand out as Jason Shawn Alexander fits this book perfectly with his dark, moody style but it does make me wish that the approach was more horror focused as I think Alexander's style would lend itself really well to that type of book. However, I do think his approach does seem to try to be a nod to the old 90s Spawn while also maintaining his own individual style. I wish the same could be said about the writing.
Overall I was pretty disappointed with this issue and with the general direction of the series. It might be due to me being a bit of a jaded reader who has been following Spawn since the 90s but I really do think a new direction and a writer that isn't McFarlane is needed again.