Friday, March 11, 2011

SPAWN #70 - February 1998


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

Summary: Spawn unleashes bats into the alley, creating a distraction that allows Twitch to escape the Freak’s grasp. The Freak runs away as the gang war intensifies. Spawn’s powers short out when he steps back into the “Dead Zone,” which prevents him from ending the fight. He tracks Freak to a nearby alley and punishes him for causing the chaos, summoning animals and insects to consume Freak’s body. Elsewhere, Cyan nearly causes an accident when she leaps out of Wanda’s car after dropping her shoelace out of the window.

Spawn Stuff: McFarlane Toys is now producing X-Files action figures.

Production Notes: For the third issue in a row, the story runs twenty pages. The back cover is also almost entirely black (it’s an ad for Korn’s new album that just consists of the band’s logo), making this issue a chore for any ‘90s collector to keep mint. While the story runs short, there is a three-page preview of the second season of the Spawn HBO series. New co-executive producer John Leekley reveals that the first six episodes were rewritten at HBO’s request after the animation had been completed. This was possible, he says, because much of the dialogue happened off-screen, which enabled him to change characterizations and story points. Also, the show has received a slight anime makeover, and switched over to a more prestigious animation studio. My memory is that the second season did have much improved animation, but the storyline couldn’t match the first season’s, which did have its moments.

Review: So, some bums fight each other for fifteen pages, Spawn summons more animals and insects, and Cyan is still hung up on that shoelace. I couldn’t have seen any of that coming, could you? The plot might’ve been tolerable as a straightforward resolution to the past two issues, but McFarlane’s excessive narration on every single page makes this one hard to slog through. Do we really need over a hundred words a page of text somberly describing a massive bum fight? We also have McFarlane returning yet again to the worms, although in fairness he does branch out this issue and give Spawn Dr. Doolittle powers over all of the night’s creatures. Still, the worms are receiving an inordinate amount of the attention (Spawn’s tongue is now apparently made out of them), which is just baffling. Did someone involved in the book just get a kick out of seeing worms? Did McFarlane have a traumatic experience while dissecting a worm in the ninth grade? Are they easy to draw? The mind boggles.

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