Thursday, February 11, 2010

SPAWN #12 - July 1993


Credits: Todd McFarlane (story & art), Tom Orzechowski (letters and editor), Steve Oliff, Reuben Rude, & Olyoptics (colors)

Summary: Spawn perches on top of a church, although he isn’t sure why he’s drawn to the building. He flashes back to his wedding and remembers Grannie Blake, Wanda’s grandmother. He visits the blind, elderly lady, who thinks he’s an angel. Meanwhile, Wanda’s current husband Terry Fitzgerald is wrongly implicated for the files and weapons stolen by Spawn. Jason Wynn sends men to Terry’s home to intimidate him. Spawn drinks with his homeless friends, but has to rescue Gareb after he tries on Spawn’s mask and it attacks him. Suddenly, Spawn connects his interest in churches with the name of his killer, Youngblood’s Chapel.

Spawntinuity: Jason Wynn, Spawn’s former boss as a government agent, is described as a CIA supervisor. This is later changed to a fictional government organization. Terry Fitzgerald is blamed for Spawn’s actions because he once felt the agency was responsible for Al Simmons’ death, and they now believe he wants payback.

Spawn vs. Lawyers: Chapel isn’t the killer of Al Simmons in the Spawn movie, due to the fact that he’s created and owned by Rob Liefeld. The comics from that era also reveal that the movie villain, Priest, is Spawn’s true killer. Chapel did appear as Spawn’s killer in the HBO series, which went into production before Liefeld’s falling out with Image.

The Big Names: The Spawn/Batman crossovers are announced. Todd McFarlane is listed as the writer of the Image chapter, although Frank Miller will provide the story when the comic is actually released.

Production Note: Image is now its own company and no longer an imprint of Malibu Comics.

I Love the ‘90s: A television report says that Al Simmons’ life story will be made into a movie, in the vein of Clint Eastwood’s In the Line of Fire. There are also numerous references to Jurassic Park in the issue.

Review: This isn’t a stereotypical Image comic, with the exception of an opening slash page followed by a double-page spread (okay, and that "Noooooo!" final page). It takes longer than three minutes to read, and the only action comes from Spawn ripping a mask off a bum named after Wizard’s founder (you can make your own jokes about this one). It’s a “building the subplots” issue, and it is successful in showcasing the various supporting cast members and plot threads McFarlane’s developed so far. Some of the random elements of the early issues are starting to come together into a more coherent story, as Spawn casually stealing CIA documents, and then weapons to defend himself after he’s falsely accused of Violator’s murders, leads to Terry Fitzgerald getting falsely accused of the crimes. McFarlane’s willingness to portray Terry as a decent guy, and not a jerk who stole Spawn’s wife, is admirable (McFarlane dismissed the idea of making Terry a villain as “too obvious,” which makes me wonder why he didn’t notice all of the other “obvious” ideas he introduced during the book’s run). Maybe McFarlane was in a good mood this month, since he produces page after page of Spawn visiting an old lady, a flashback to Spawn’s wedding, Wanda and Terry playing with their daughter, and the bums having fun with Spawn. The book hasn’t fallen into a routine formula yet, and this stands out as a decent issue.

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