Living in the Year of Spawn: Spawn #316

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Hello dear readers! Welcome once again to the monthly Spawn column lighting up the internet! I have returned to talk more about the Record-Breaking Comic itself, Spawn. Before we get into the monthly adventures of our favorite Hellspawn, let’s check on news about the upcoming Spawn’s Universe and spin-offs.

New information has been released in the official solicits:

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SPAWN’S UNIVERSE: #1

WRITER: TODD McFARLANE
ARTISTS: JIM CHEUNG, TODD McFARLANE, STEPHEN SEGOVIA & MARCIO TAKARA
COVER A: J. SCOTT CAMPBELL
COVER B: J. SCOTT CAMPBELL
COVER C: J. SCOTT CAMPBELL
COVER D: J. SCOTT CAMPBELL

JUNE 30 / 56 PAGES / FC / T+ / $5.99

IT’S HERE: THE OFFICIAL INTRODUCTION TO THE LONG-AWAITED SPAWN’S UNIVERSE!

A double-sized issue that begins a storyline so huge that three NEW SPAWN-related monthly titles will spill out from it, including…

A new SPAWN title.
GUNSLINGER SPAWN monthly.
And a new TEAM book bringing a handful of these characters together in their own book.

With this one-shot…the world of SPAWN changes forever! New heroes. New villains, and more importantly, new titles coming to a comic shop near you. Join this list of artists as we unveil a historic moment in the mythology of SPAWN’S UNIVERSE:

JIM CHEUNG
TODD McFARLANE
STEPHEN SEGOVIA
MARCIO TAKARA

Comicbook.com’s Jamie Lovett broke down the new further by stating this one shot will contain 4 stories written by Todd McFarlane with the following artists. (Source: https://comicbook.com/comics/news/spawns-universe-todd-mcfarlane-artists-details/)

  • JIM CHEUNG – chapter with Spawn
  • BRETT BOOTH – chapter with Gunslinger Spawn,
  • STEPHEN SEGOVIA – chapter with Medieval Spawn
  • MARCIO TAKARA – chapter with She-Spawn

Interesting to note Brett Booth isn’t listed in the solicits but made it here. Probably was added last minute. Either way 2021 will continue to be the year of Spawn with this title. It is going to be interesting to see Spawn go back to a shared universe. We really haven’t seen much of that since the 90’s and the ill-fated Image United. This is definitely Spawn’s biggest moment in quite some time. As I have said before, we here at Extremely Uncanny will be discussing and reviewing each of these spin-offs when the time arises. 2021 is the year of Spawn and we are going to be here for it!

Spawn in Paradise Continues in Spawn #316

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Creative Team:

Script/Plot: Todd McFarlane
Art: Caro Barberi
Letters: Tom Orezchowski
Colors: Jay David Ramos

Plot Summary:

Last issue (Review can be found here), Spawn and Medieval Spawn fought Omega Spawn to a near standstill prompting the oversized Hellspawn to activate the island’s sonic disruption system. The auditory assault overwhelmed the heroes. Yet, something unusual whilst on the island. Spawn and Medieval Spawn’s brawl with Omega Spawn took an interesting twist as a new Hellspawn named Plague arrived on the scene. Plague crawled out of the pit that host Cogliostro (Spawn’s former mentor and captive of Omega Spawn) and it possess an unusual look. From the red eyes, oozing characteristics, and to the massive spikes on its body.

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 The twisted Plague turns its attention to Omega Spawn as the heroes hold their own against Omega Spawn’s henchmen service.

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The battle takes a turn as Omega Spawn grows more frustrated and desperate in confrontation with the animalistic Plague. Meanwhile, She-Spawn investigates the emergence of the new hellspawn’s and learns a startling revelation: There is fixing to be an invasion.

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The march to Spawn’s Universe continues!

Thoughts:

I thought the prior issue was a bit better, to be honest. If anything, it was the action felt strong and the narration complimented it almost as a commentary. While there was a lot of action it just didn’t land like it did last issue. That said, Spawn #316 was still a solid entry. Sure, the narration was a few shades of dense, it does still itself to the old school sensibilities of the series. The decision to make Plague be the speechless monster was bold.

We don’t get much in terms of motivation and the narrator does illuminate some but even they were unsure. The decision does make sense with Plague seems to be an ultraviolent, elemental-style force when going up against the regal and wordy of Omega Spawn. There isn’t banter but we get a lot from Omega Spawn basically talking to a wall of fury and growing frustrated at that. The additional focus on the world around this island was a welcomed touch by McFarlane. It provides some context and scale to the events on the island, as well as give some feeders for additional storylines to continue.

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The art by Barberi was good. It does have some stiff moments but those are offset by the action sequences and layouts. Though based on the black and white pictures of his pages I’ve seen I think Barberi is not being served by his colorist as well as he should. The colors by Ramos are fine, but they don’t help provide shape or dynamic nature to the characters. Truthfully, the art is perfectly fine and pretty cool at times, but I do wish the colors help would complement the line art more. What Barberi does well at is conveying the power and design of the various characters. The design on Plague is interesting. It reminds me a lot of Carnage to Spawn\’s Venom and that may very well be the case here. Plague at least Anti-Venom, considering all of the spines and off-coloring of the Hellspawn itself.

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Spawn #316 was a solid comic and keeps the series going on. There are some seeds being planted for Spawn’s Universe as well as satisfying action. Overall, I liked the issue. Wasn’t as good as the last one, but that is expected. There is nothing wrong in being pretty good.

Join me next time when we find out what happens when Omega Spawn goes full Vegeta and tries to blow up Earth in Spawn #317

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Jordan Jennings

Jordan has written for wide array of comic review sites over the years including Comicosity, Comicon, and Comic Book Revolution. He has been reviewing and discussing comics for over 10 years. In addition to comics, Jordan enjoys various types of games be it video games or trading card games.

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