Credits: Todd McFarlane (story), Greg Capullo (pencils), Todd McFarlane & Chance Wolf (inks), Tom Orzechowski (copy editor & letters), Brian Haberlin & Dan Kemp (colors)
Summary: While Sam and Twitch deal with an eccentric client, Rat City’s homeless discuss religion. Johnny, a disbeliever, mocks the others. As he leaves, he clumsily destroys Bobby’s crystal deer figurine, a gift from his estranged daughter. Spawn follows Johnny and learns that he’s involved with a gang that’s pinning crimes on the homeless. Spawn confronts him and is shot repeatedly. To his surprise, his uniform does not come to his defense.
Production Note: The digital separators are hiding photographs of Vanilla Ice in the backgrounds. McFarlane assures readers in a future issue that he’s told them to stop.
Review: McFarlane did say several issues ago that he would like to spend some time exploring the homeless cast of characters, so perhaps that’s the current direction of the book. Last issue had Spawn inexplicably getting woozy and accidentally crushing a homeless person’s leg, so maybe McFarlane even had plans for that one-legged wino. He doesn’t show up here, but Spawn still seems out of sorts. I’m hoping at least that Spawn’s fainting spell from last issue and this issue’s (I can’t believe I’m writing this) wardrobe malfunction are related. With this book, you never know.
If McFarlane really does want to flesh out the supporting cast, I’m all for it, but I can’t help but to feel he’s waited way too late in the game. The last time any of the homeless supporting cast received more than an ounce of characterization was all the way back in issue #21, when Bobby detailed his wife’s death and his decline into alcoholism. Now, we learn that his daughter turned to drugs after her mother’s death, but she cleaned up years ago and gave Bobby the crystal deer to symbolize her hope that he’ll get sober, also. That’s actually…nice. This book has been bogged down in so much exaggerated grit and grime for so long, seeing a real human moment almost leaves you speechless. Where was this material during the past forty-plus issues? Why has only one member of Spawn’s immediate supporting cast been treated like an actual human being over the past five years? I’m not going to delude myself into believing Spawn’s turned itself around and is headed in a great direction (even this issue has obnoxious scatological humor -- yeah, I really wanted to see Sam on the toilet again -- and some brazen padding), but I do think it shows a side of McFarlane’s writing that he unfortunately ignored for too long.