Thursday, February 1, 2007

Spawn #164 Review (Spoilers)

The end of Spawn? My opinion on arguably the most important Spawn comic thus far.

Billed as the "end of Spawn mythology as you know it", Spawn 164 shatters barriers that have been constant throughout Todd Mcfarlane's comic's life on the shelves.

The issue opens up with Al Simmons, in a ghost state, walking towards his old home with intentions of being with Wanda once again. He enters the home to find Wanda in a feud with her current husband Terry who feels as if Wanda hasn't gotten over Al and loves the now-Hellspawn more than her current husband. Wanda admits she still loves Al but reveals the previously unknown truth about their relationship; Al Simmons was a wife beater (and baby killer) yet chose to subconsciously smother his memories of hurting Wanda, instead remembering love and compassion.

Now, I was completely shocked reading this after following Spawn since issue one back in the early 90's. I found Spawn to be such a great comic (at times) because you felt for Al Simmons, a man fighting an impossible battle because of the love for his wife and the desire to one day be with her again. Labelling him a wife beater throws that completely out of the window, creating a much darker character and one that will essentially have to work harder to earn my pity.

The art in the issue, as fans have become accustomed to over the past year, is phenomenal. Philip Tan does an excellent job and the interiors, as well as Brian Haberlin's colours, take on a darker quality than normal to accommodate with the dark twist in the storyline. There is one amazing pin-up towards the end of the issue with Spawn sitting back in his throne, it's pretty sweet and sums up the end of the issue completely.

Some fans of the series have been stating that this twist opens up a huge plot hole in Todd McFarlane's Spawn universe and that it completely destroys the character. I agree, to a point. Sure, it's hard to believe that no one would have used this against Spawn earlier or warned him, saving him a ton of grief but at the same time I think that this will benefit the character. Hopefully we will see a darker and more merciless Spawn in the future.


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