The expanded Spawn universe has been breaking records, increasing the number of titles, and generally has been a success. Possibly most importantly, especially to those who grew up with Spawn, it’s a beautifully drawn book. The first issue was proof of that as it unveiled its story in an extra-sized issue. Nine issues into the story, how is the series holding up? King Spawn #9 is out in comic shops now, but is it worth the price of admission?
The answer, especially for those who love visuals, is yes. This ninth issue is drawn by Thomas Nachlik with colors by FCO Plascencia. Set in a frozen wasteland, Spawn must fight multiple monsters and enemies who wish him harm. Along the way, his powers are reduced and he must fight on with his bare flesh freezing from the cold and their attacks ever more dangerous. Nachlik draws a great issue with good storytelling that moves things along. The art is never stuffy or too up close.
There seems to be a computer-generated visual style at work here–you can see it in the trees a monster resides in–but good textures and shadows make the book look more traditional. The colors really bring out the monsters and powers of Spawn when things get extra spicy with the action.
The story by Sean Lewis with Todd McFarlane is also good, especially if you dig the internal narrative. Spawn is on his own here and literally battling the elements like weather, but also elements like evil. By setting the battle in an unknown frosty place you get the sense he’s much more vulnerable, which is proved when he loses his abilities. There are also some good recap and flashback montages to fill in newer readers. By the end, you’ll feel fulfilled and then the creative team drops a cliffhanger bomb on readers.
Who’s to say if what the demon says is true, but it could mean a major shift for Spawn. It culminates well as the captions reveal Spawn has been put through a test in this issue and has failed. In order to succeed and get the one thing he wants, he needs to work on something he’s never quelled, which is quite compelling. Could Spawn, a character from the ’90s, grow and change? Only time will tell.
King Spawn #9 is a good issue that stands alone in some respects as it recaps elements for readers but also keeps it simple with Spawn fighting monsters. King Spawn #9 is a good journey as it turns the whole narrative upside down and ties everything together in its final moments.
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