Thursday, June 3, 2010

SPAWN #25 - October 1994


Credits: Todd McFarlane (story), Marc Silvestri (penciler), Batt & Billy Tan (inkers), Tom Orzechowski (copy editor & letterer), Brian Haberlin (colors)

Summary: The mysterious Tremor tries to instigate a gang war with Spawn’s friends. Spawn initially ignores the threats, but later decides to locate Tremor. During their fight, Spawn learns that Tremor is a former hitman who was mutated into a monster by Tony Twist. Spawn hands Tremor the file he stole from Twist’s accountant, hoping that he can bring Twist down. Elsewhere, Wanda promises to help Terry find the answers behind his manhunt, while Sam brags to Twitch about the file he’s been given on Chief Banks.

Spawntinuity: This is the first real appearance of Tremor, although McFarlane never gets around to naming him this issue. He previously appeared under a different name in the Image #0 comic, apparently.

Todd Talk: In the letters page, McFarlane reveals that Tom Orzechowski “will, at times, make my writing flow far better on terms of semantics and structure.”

Review: It’s Image-X Month, which means all of the Image founders have switched books. This gimmick is probably only remembered for Erik Larsen retroactively deciding he wanted a complete run on Savage Dragon, so he produced another issue numbered #13 of his book. Some of the creators allowed the guest artists to also write their books, but McFarlane remains as the writer this time (in case you’re wondering, McFarlane drew Cyberforce during this month). Allegedly, this story is supposed to be about Spawn becoming a more public hero after his actions in “The Hunt.” However, after a few pages, it’s obvious McFarlane is only using this idea as a setup for a new character to call out Spawn. Later, we learn that the turf war was always a “diversion,” and that Tremor has wanted Tony Twist the entire time. What? If that’s the case, why did he target Spawn in the first place? That’s shaky, even by Spawn standards. The ending is even worse, as Spawn just hands over another manila file that’s supposed to solve everything (which is exactly how the last issue ended).

The story reads as if McFarlane already decided to use Tremor in the issue, and just made up each page as he went along. Termor appeared in the first wave of Spawn action figures, which were being released at this time, so I can see why McFarlane would want to use him in the book (he also has Spawn use his toy’s accessory, a broken piece of wood, during a fight for the second time in three issues), but what a flimsy setup. Years later, McFarlane would continue to produce imaginative toys with great designs, but would refuse to introduce the characters into the comic. Paradoxically, the comic by this point had grown pretty stale and actually needed the new characters. He didn’t seem overly interested in using Tremor after this issue, so maybe this story turned him off from doing toy crossovers in the future. As bad as this story is, I wouldn’t have minded McFarlane trying again with some of the later toys (anything would’ve been better than another issue of Spawn moping around the alleys, or hiding in the shadows while other people actually do things). While the story’s feeble, Marc Silvestri at least shows up as the artist. It seems as if he’s specifically doing a McFarlane riff for much of the issue, but he makes it work.


nyrdyv said...

Image-X Month was probably one of the most gimmicky promos done. It read more like, "We can't think of anything else, so..."


Steven G. Willis

Matt said...

Huh. Billy Tan existed in 1994? I'd never heard of him till he did Marvel Knights Spider-Man and Uncanny X-Men in the mid-00's.

G. Kendall said...

I believe Tan was one of the post-Capullo artists on Spawn.

Anonymous said...

Yeah this issue was pretty awful, storywise. I still remember it favorably though, because of the coloring. Image was already known for their flashy computer colors, but this one issue was head & shoulders above anything else at the time.

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