Credits: Neil Gaiman (story), Greg Capullo (pencils), Mark Pennington (inks), Tom Orzechowski (letters), Steve Oliff & Olyoptics (colors)
Summary: Kuan Yin and Anahita take Spawn to Elysium to testify on Angela’s behalf. After Spawn drops his disguise and is revealed in court, he’s immediately attacked by the angels. Feeling that she has nothing to lose, Angela joins Spawn in the fight. After crashing out of a window, Angela orders Spawn to use his cloak to teleport them away. As the cloak envelopes them, Surielle blasts it. Spawn and Angela emerge in darkness. They have a conversation, as Angela moves closer to Spawn for warmth.
Spawntinuity: Spawn’s costume has a violent reaction to being in Elysium. However, when he was previously summoned to Heaven, his costume didn’t react. Elysium is described as “heaven-ish,” so perhaps that’s enough for an Image No-Prize. After getting blasted by Surielle, Spawn’s cape, now near-death, is left in Elysium. Angela tells Spawn that she knows why Malebolgia selected him, but doesn’t give any details. During the trial, Spawn changes into the only human form he can take, the blonde white guy he transformed into in the early issues of his series. It’s my understanding that after many, many years, McFarlane has finally begun to address who the blonde guy is in the current issues of Spawn.
Review: I think Gaiman once said that there was a lot of “running around” in the early Image comics he saw, so I’m not shocked he’s worked in a chase/escape sequence. Teaming Angela with Spawn works out well, as the characters do share some chemistry together. Spawn’s utterly clueless about any of the supernatural elements of his new life, which sets him up for numerous arrogant, dismissive putdowns from Angela. The ending is a little vague about what exactly Spawn and Angela are doing in the dark, but later stories clarify that the two really did do what every teenage boy assumed they did (plus, they’re surrounded by a heart on the cover, which is a pretty big clue). Angela’s really the aggressor in this, and I guess it fits the character Gaiman’s created to give her a stereotypically male libido. However, if we’re supposed to believe Spawn’s so deeply in love with his wife, having him hook up with another female doesn’t cast him in the best light. Maybe McFarlane realized this, because even though future stories could’ve played off the demon/angel romance angle, the idea’s dropped very quickly. Gaiman’s also introduced the idea that Spawn can channel previous Hellspawns in his dreams, which is another vehicle for new stories I don’t think McFarlane ever explored.