Thursday, July 29, 2010

SPAWN #31 - May 1995

The Homecoming

Credits: Todd McFarlane (story), Greg Capullo & Todd McFarlane (art), Tom Orzechowski (copy editor & letters), Steve Oliff & Olyoptics (colors)

Summary: Spawn rides a boxcar into New York and is reunited with Boots and Bobby. Elsewhere, Gabriele’s replacement Rafael orders a new attack on Spawn. Aspiring minister Phil Timper is chosen to become the new Anti-Spawn. Dubbing himself “The Redeemer,” he tracks down Bobby, who still has traces of Spawn’s energy after his resurrection. Spawn tries to stop Bobby’s abduction, but Redeemer blasts him away. Spawn’s costume begins to behave erratically. After recuperating for hours, Spawn awakens with a new costume. Meanwhile, Terry decides to work directly under Jason Wynn in order to learn his secrets, and Sam sends a threatening message to Chief Banks.

Spawntinuity: Bobbie is spelled “Bobby” again this issue. Spawn still has the hole in his chest given to him by the Curse. He claims that he didn’t want to expend the energy required to fix it, so he had his costume cover the hole. Jason Wynn is no longer Anti-Spawn because the angels feel a true believer would be a better candidate.

I Love the ‘90s: The real-life Terry Fitzgerald (a friend of McFarlane’s who works on the book) mentions a petition by fans for a Spawn website. He reprints all of the screen names that signed the petition, including DRKSPAWN, ShpAWN, and DEAMONHACK.

Review: So, Spawn’s back in New York, just in time for another attack by the Anti-Spawn (renamed “The Redeemer” for no apparent reason). Anti-Spawn debuted in Greg Capullo’s first fill-in issue, so I guess it’s fitting that he returns in the first issue that gives Capullo official credit as the main artist. The art doesn’t look radically different from the previous five issues, although the style is slightly cartoonier. That’s a bit surprising, since Capullo had a deeper grounding in credible anatomy than McFarlane ever did, but I guess Capullo has fully adapted to the Image style now. I still enjoy his art, even though the figures are now contorting in odd ways and the number of jagged detail lines is off the chart.

The story’s mainly an excuse to have Spawn fight Anti-Spawn/Redeemer again, even though they barely have a confrontation. Numerous pages are devoted to Spawn brooding as he slowly returns to the alleys, followed later by more pages of brooding as he watches over his homeless “children.” Plus, his costume spontaneously freaks out, so that eats up a few pages. Spawn’s new costume, which was hyped for months, is only in the shadows this issue, as #32 was deemed the important revelation issue. The subplots are also moving at a snail’s pace, although the separate Terry Fitzgerald and Sam &Twitch stories have small advancements this month. Plus, Bobby/Bobbie’s resurrection actually ties into the main story, which is the only mileage I remember McFarlane getting out of the idea.

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