Credits: Todd McFarlane (story, pencils, & inks), Tom Orzechowski, (letters and editor), Terry Fitzgerald (story consultant), Steve Oliff, Reuben Rude, & Olyoptics (colors)
Summary: When Spawn is caught at the armory, he teleports away to avoid a confrontation with the Army. Spawn locates Overt-Kill’s employer, Tony Twist, and forces him to arrange a rematch. With his new weapons, Spawn easily defeats Overt-Kill and destroys his remains.
Spawntinuity: Bobby, the bum who grows closest to Spawn, appears for the first time. Spawn has a sudden vision of a skeleton murdering him in the past, which is a hint about his killer’s identity. Spawn’s cape follows him after he takes it off before confronting Overt-Kill, which is the first clue it’s sentient.
I Love the ‘90s: Wanda investigates the mystery man who earlier posed as an ASPCA volunteer (it was Spawn in his white guy guise). The ASPCA employee she speaks to has large ears, which leads to a Ross Perot reference.
Spawn Stuff: There’s a pullout poster of the real-life Spawnmobile racecar (sponsored by Wizard Magazine and Topps Trading Cards).
Review: I’ve always liked the opening of this issue. Spawn decides to arm himself to avoid using his powers (when they’re depleted, he has to return to Hell), and ends up face-to-face with the Army. He doesn’t want to fight his fellow soldiers, so he’s forced to use his powers anyway and teleport. It’s like something Stan Lee would write, if he had an inclination towards undead, murderous anti-heroes. I should point out that choosing not to kill a brigade of young soldiers is pretty much the closest to “likeable” I can remember Spawn reaching.
After McFarlane’s through with the opening, it seems like he’s already lost interest in the main story. The book takes a detour with a sudden vision/flashback for Spawn, and then a few subplot pages with his wife. When the main plot resurfaces, the explanation for Spawn learning Tony Twist’s identity and location is covered in a narrative caption, and the actual fight with Overt-Kill is over in a few pages. With Spawn’s massive, massive guns, the fight is extremely one-sided, ending the issue with a dull anti-climax. I wonder if McFarlane’s later decision to move Spawn over towards urban horror had anything to do with a reluctance to work with traditional superhero tropes, or just sheer boredom with conventional hero vs. villain fights.