Tuesday, January 11, 2011

SPAWN #56 - December 1996

Kahn (sic)

Credits: Todd McFarlane (story), Greg Capullo (pencils), Todd McFarlane & Danny Miki (inks), Tom Orzechowski (copy editor & letters), Brian Haberlin & Dan Kemp (colors)

Summary: Spawn continues to destroy Jason Wynn’s military installations, causing global repercussions. A former advisor to Wynn, Major Forsberg, rots in a hidden prison and grows increasingly insane. He flashes back to Wynn’s murder of his family, placing Genghis Khan in the assassin’s role. Spawn rescues him from prison, leaving behind the box that contained his child’s favorite toy. Meanwhile, Cy-Gor searches for Spawn in Rat City.

Review: This is one of the series’ early forays into straight horror, as the majority of the story is dedicated to Major Forsberg’s hallucinations of Genghis Khan. The design sense featured on the pages is great, but they drag on forever, and the pretentious narration doesn’t help. For whatever reason, this issue was adapted in the third season of the HBO Spawn series. The “adult” nature of the series required Forsberg to be force-fed opium by topless Bangkok prostitutes, of course. That episode served no real purpose, much like the issue it’s based on. Major Forsberg hangs around the alleys for a few issues, and maybe offers some helpful information to Spawn before disappearing. But really, why is Spawn bothering with this cloak and dagger crap in the first place? He knows where Wynn lives. We know he’s more than willing to kill people. What’s the issue? I know an earlier story had a half-hearted justification that Spawn won’t kill him because he was just a part of the conspiracy to murder Al Simmons, but that idea’s been ignored since it was introduced. Spawn isn’t looking to uncover a conspiracy, he’s apparently just annoying Wynn while Terry is looking for enough information to have Wynn prosecuted. Since when does Spawn care about the law?! If Spawn and Terry were working together to uncover the conspiracy behind Al’s death, that would justify the past few issues, and actually provide a decent justification for why Spawn’s sparing Wynn’s life. Instead, Spawn’s doing what he always does in this comic, waste time.


Adam Farrar said...

I've never read any Spawn comics or watched the cartoon or movie, but after reading each of your reviews up to this point I just can't imagine what people were getting out of this. I got bored with Mark Millar's Ultimate X-Men because nothing happened in the first four issues of a six issue storyline, so this sounds like torture.

Can I ask how much longer you lasted? And on a similar topic, are you picking up issue #200 tomorrow?

G. Kendall said...

I think I lasted up until around issue #80. I don't have any plans on buying #200, but if I ever saw it cheap in a back issue bin I might consider it (I also considered buying #199 to see what Erik Larsen inked by McFarlane looked like).

PeterCSM said...

I had this issue. I have 1-18 but the storyline in issues 16-18 was so unappealing to me that I stopped buying the comic regularly. I just now realized it was by Grant Morrison! Odd. And the next story being about Spawn teaming up with Houdini didn't exactly pique my interest. From then on I would sporadically buy issues, like Cy-Gor's first appearance, but this one, 56, was the last issue I bought. I never really liked any of the previous issues I had purchased but I kept wanting to keep updated on what was going on. This issue I realized nothing much was going on and dropped all interest in the book (as I mentioned in another comment, the movie and Chapel retcon helped support this decision).

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