Credits: Todd McFarlane (story), Greg Capullo (pencils), Todd McFarlane & Chance Wolf (inks), Tom Orzechowski (copy editor & letters), Brian Haberlin & Dan Kemp (colors)
Summary: Spawn feeds on his worms before going out in public with his new face. He visits Terry, warning him that he’s preparing for his final confrontation with Wynn and that he’ll return for Wanda. Terry snaps back, leading Spawn to declare him an enemy. Later, Cogliostro warns Spawn that his vendetta against Wynn is a part of Hell’s plan, but he refuses to listen. Meanwhile, Jason Wynn augments his security while Sam and Twitch continue to investigate Spawn.
Spawntinuity: According to the narrative captions, Spawn returned to Earth “almost a year” ago.
The Big Names: The lineup for the Spawn movie soundtrack is announced. The album was released during the music industry’s push to sell electronica in America, so every song is a collaboration between a hard rock artist and an “alternative dance” act. The album contains songs by Filter & Crystal Method, Marilyn Manson & Sneaker Pimps, Orbital & Kirk Hammet, Korn & the Dust Brothers, Butthole Surfers & Moby, Metallica & DJ Spooky, Stabbing Westward & Wink, Mansun & 808 State, Prodigy & Tom Morello, silverchair & Vitro, Henry Rollins & Goldie, Incubus & Greyboy, Slayer & Atari Teenage Riot, and Soul Coughing & Ronni Size. Shortly after the release of the album, Filter co-founder Brian Liesegang left the band to explore the new direction showcased on the soundtrack, while Marilyn Manson and the Sneaker Pimps engaged in a public feud.
Review: Okay, you might’ve thought something might actually happen in the book after Spawn’s original face returned, but we’re still dealing with the master of procrastination here. Spawn reflects on his new condition for a few pages, feeds on those stupid worms again for another page or two, steals a pair of sunglasses to cover his green eyes, visits Terry, talks to Cogliostro for a few pages, and then strikes a dramatic pose for a splash page. Meanwhile, Jason Wynn talks to security guards for several pages, while Sam and Twitch remind everyone that they’re still investigating the lead character. Oh, have we reached twenty-two pages yet? Darn. Well, see you next month.
Aside from moving impossibly slow, the plotlines don’t show a lot of promise anyway. Spawn confronted Jason Wynn just last issue, and decided that killing him wouldn’t be worth risking Wanda and Terry’s life. Now, he’s decided to make one more go of it, naively believing that with Wynn out the way, he can restart his life with Wanda now that his face has returned (whether or not the rest of his body still looks like a zombie isn’t addressed). Not only is he acting like a moron again, but he’s forcing the reader to revisit a plotline that had a fairly definitive ending last issue. And while I’m glad McFarlane remembered Sam and Twitch, he seems to have forgotten where their storyline left off. They were investigating Chief Banks’ connection to Washington officials, which lead to Wynn and Violator setting up a dummy informant to meet with them. Two separate issues, months apart, teased this meeting. A meeting we still haven’t seen, a full year later. Now, the duo are back to investigating Spawn, still angry that he left Billy Kincaid’s corpse in their office all the way back in issue #5. Are these two drinking bleach in-between issues?
I’d be curious to know if this was anyone’s first issue of the series. It’s the issue that was on sale the week the movie hit theatres, so it’s possible that someone unfamiliar with the comic would’ve picked this one up out of curiosity during the publicity buildup. (I’m assuming that it was still sold on newsstands at this time.) It’s also possible that some poor soul looked past the film’s many faults and actually wanted to learn more about Spawn after seeing the movie. What did they get for their $1.95? The hero inexplicably has a new face, he’s threatening to take his friend’s wife away from him, he bathes in worms, and he’s being investigated by two detectives (who are still mad about something that happened in a comic published almost five years earlier). McFarlane does get around to doing a full-issue recap of the series for new readers a few months later, but I can’t imagine why anyone would want to stick around if this was their first exposure to the character.