Credits: Todd McFarlane (story), Greg Capullo & Todd McFarlane (art), Tom Orzechowski (copy editor & letters), Steve Oliff, Quinn Supplee, & Olyoptics (colors)
Summary: Violator is rescued from the flood by a mystery figure. He then morphs into his human form and approaches Jason Wynn. The two form an alliance based on tormenting Spawn. Meanwhile, Sam meets Twitch’s surprisingly attractive wife, Helen. Spawn kills Stinky, a man supplying drugs to a young dealer named Tyrone. Cagliostro chastises Spawn for falling for Hell’s trap, revealing that Tyrone was selling drugs and guns long before he met Stinky.
Spawntinuity: The mystery man who rescues Violator is the Freak, who makes his first full appearance in a few issues. Also, shouldn’t this issue be named “Shadows Part Two”?
Not Approved By The Comics Code Authority: Spawn kills Stinky in the private booth he uses to watch topless mud wrestling.
Review: Boy, this is aimless. I guess the major goal of this issue is to establish Violator’s new partnership with Jason Wynn, but it’s surrounded by a load of filler. Wanda visits her Granny Blake again, eating up an entire page that advances nothing (shouldn’t Wanda be curious about Granny’s revelation that she met Al a few months ago?). Another page is dedicated to the recurring newscaster feature, which has a CNN anchor, an E! anchor, and roaming opinion journalist reporting on current events. These pages were a clever way to fill in Al Simmon’s backstory in the early issues, but now it seems as if they appear just because McFarlane thinks they’re supposed to every couple of issues. We’re also supposed to believe that E! Entertainment Television is going to report on murders in New York and the Bosnian conflict, just because McFarlane wrote himself in a corner and established E! as one of the three recurring stations in the early issues. Another page is wasted on Malebolgia spying on Spawn and laughing, which I guess he hasn’t done since #26. More pages are consumed by the thrilling adventures of Terry Fitzgerald doing paperwork, while Jason Wynn smokes a cigar and smiles maliciously. It’s boring, and the mountain of superfluous narrative captions just make the issue harder to get through.