Thursday, January 13, 2011

SPAWN #58 - February 1997


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

Summary: Spawn removes Cy-Gor’s tracking chip, further aggravating Jason Wynn. Meanwhile, Eddie and Andy leave Alabama, hoping to find Spawn in New York. Eddie is recruited by the drug dealing Snake, but he remains adamant that Andy not get involved. Eventually, the brothers locate Spawn. When Snake finds out, he tricks Eddie into leading him to his lair. Snake views Spawn as a threat to his business, but his assault on Rat City only leads to Andy getting shot. After Eddie impales Snake on Spawn’s pile of bones, Andy is taken to the hospital. Once Andy recovers, the despondent brothers return home.

Spawntinuity: Yes, Spawn keeps a pile of human bones lying around. Eddie and Andy are the abused kids from Spawn #29. Much like a distant relative, McFarlane gets their names mixed up throughout the issue. Older brother Eddie is mistakenly referred to as Andy until the final few pages.

Spawn vs. Lawyers: The news recap page no longer has the CNN and E! logos. CNN is still one of the channels, but a new font is used to replace the trademarked logo (later, the name is totally changed to CNR). E! is now I!, the Infotainment Network.

Not Approved By The Comics Code Authority: Snake smokes a crack pipe on-panel. We also hear the phrases “suck me!” and “faggot vampire.”

Review: Cy-Gor just won’t go away. Now, we’re supposed to believe that destroying his tracking chip further undermines Jason Wynn’s credibility and creates global consequences. Really? The cybernetic gorilla they stashed in an old castle and forgot about years ago is that important? The one they haven’t bothered to track down, even though he went rogue in an issue published back in 1995? Okay, then. Aside from that ridiculous subplot, this actually is a tightly plotted issue. It has a specific point, the characters get in their proper places in a reasonable amount of time, and the conflict is resolved by page twenty-two.

McFarlane’s trying to emphasize the idea that evil follows Spawn, even when he tries to do the right thing. He thought he was defending Eddie and Andy by scarring their father, but he inadvertently set into motion the events that led to Eddie killing his abuser. Since then, Eddie has grown into a juvenile delinquent, and he only gets worse after traveling to New York in pursuit of Spawn. It is nice to see Spawn come face to face with one of his mistakes, and there is some emotional resonance to Eddie’s corruption. It’s rare that the sweet, innocent blonde kids in abuse stories ever return in comics, so showing one of them as a teenage crack dealer actually does require some amount of guts. Honestly, McFarlane has such a haphazard approach to continuity and long-term storytelling, I’m surprised he even remembered the kids. Seeing them return in the post-superhero era of the comic is a reminder of the days when Spawn was often cliché and predictable, but not an outright chore to read.

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