Credits: Alan Moore (story), Bart Sears (pencils), Mark Penington (inks), Tom Orzechowski (letters), Steve Oliff & Olyoptics (colors)
Summary: The Phlebiac Brothers create a forcefield around the area surrounding the mall. Their plan to kill Violator is interrupted when the Admonisher resurfaces and attacks. Violator hides from the violence and tells his life story to his new friend, the decapitated head stuck to his arm. Vaporizer swallows Admonisher, but he rips through the demon’s body. Violator gets an idea and leaves the mall. In the alleys nearby, he finds Spawn and asks for help.
Spawntinuity: Violator explains to his “friend” that he was born in 1589, after Dr. John Dee conjured his father, a Cthulu-style monster. Violator’s human mother died during childbirth, as did the mothers of all of his brothers. After Violator killed his father, he began working for Malebolgia. If Medieval Spawn lived 800 years ago, as we learned in Spawn #9, this origin makes Violator too young to have interacted with him. (However, I guess time and space are meaningless to Hell.) Another questionable plot element has Spawn’s alleys just a few blocks away from a clean, heavily populated shopping mall.
Review: More gross out humor and insane violence. I’ve always thought this mini was funny, but I really found it hilarious when I was fourteen, which is probably the audience Moore is going for. Violator is cast as the abusive older brother of the Phlebiac clan, allowing Moore to use Leave It to Beaver humor as the basis for jokes about Violator eating the human heads his brothers were using to play baseball. My favorite moment is Violator suddenly declaring that the disembodied head is his new best friend. He then has a back-and-forth conversation with the head, before the head reminds him that he’s a “terrible, rotten person who deserves everything he gets!” Violator responds by bashing it repeatedly against the ground, breaking his hand and turning the head into partial, bloody mush. This is also the first issue that allows Bart Sears to draw the Phlebiac Brothers for the entire story. McFarlane was wise to hire him, since Sears is probably the only artist outside of McFarlane who seems to get so much out of drawing the twisted anatomy, horns, teeth, scales, and tentacles of demons.