Review: Spawn #292

His preparations complete, Al Simmons is ready to launch his war on the forces of heaven and hell.  All the while he seeks information about his wife and hopes to unlock the secret of James Downing, lying in a coma in the hospital.

Having returned from death, Al Simmons resumed his role as Hellspawn and regained control of his symbiotic suit.  For a while now, Simmons has been playing a cat and mouse game with his enemies.  His ability to resurrect his dead foes has allowed him to amass an army of his own.  Meanwhile, his reporter ally has allowed him to compile information while staying under the radar of his foes both terrestial and supernatural.

This issue of Spawn puts the world on notice that Simmons time has come.  Picking up where the last issue left off, Spawn explains his ability to return and take life from those he has killed.  He is unsure of what limits there are on his control of these reanimated bodies but appears unconcerned, or ambivalent at best.  Enlisting the aid of his reporter ally, Simmons reveals himself to the world and in doing so exposes the government’s lies.  For months, the government and their allies in the media have been perpetrating the falsehood that Spawn is in US custody.  With documented proof that this is false the story builds momentum.  With each retelling, government agents lose their ability to shape the narrative and Spawn has won the first battle against this-worldly enemy.  Meanwhile, desperate to know what part James Downing has to play, Spawn draws out Bludd by slaughtering some of his soldiers.  As these two titans of the supernatural face off Spawn pushes Bludd for answers, answers we are not allowed to know for now.  Seemingly content with what he has found out, Spawn teleports to Downing’s hospital room and removes him from life support.

Although short on action, this issue of Spawn is full of intrigue and strategic maneuvering.  Al Simmons is a master chess player, maneuvering his pieces for an epic showdown to come.  One has to wonder if Simmons will be successful or will his foes get the upper hand?  The writing is workmanlike but the read can be somewhat slow at times.  There is quite a lot going on in this issue but every bit of reporting and dialogue is well crafted and necessary for the story to unfold.  The art continues to be top drawer.  The pencil and ink work are tight and complemented by color that highlights the supernatural aspect of the book.  There are two double page panels that stand out in particular.  Each of these are drawn and colored in sepia tones that evoke comparisons to DaVinci’s Vitruvian Man.  However, colorist Lee Loughridge adds elements of supernatural green giving the panels a hint of menace and the feel that they may shortly come to life with dire consequence.  The effect is spine tingling.  This is another good book and one I recommend.

Writing – 3.75 of 5 Stars
Art – 5 of 5 Stars

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Writer – Todd McFarlane
Art – Szymon Kudranski
Color – Lee Loughridge
Letters – Tom Orzechowski