Spawn Collection Vol. 1

January 23, 2006 | Trades


Spawn Collection Vol. 1
Todd McFarlane
Image Comics
$19.95 (Paperback)/$59.95 (Hardcover)
**** (out of five)

I miss Todd McFarlane.
Not the overpaying-for-baseballs, action-figure-designing corporate magnate, I miss the other one: the cocky-but-could-back-it-up-with-his-art one.
Other than a brief story in last month’s Image Comics Hardcover, McFarlane is all but retired as a comic book artist. Rumour has it he feels he’s been to the mountain (his Spider-Man #1 sold 2.5 million copies in a month, while a bestselling book now does a few hundred thousand at best), and there’s nothing left for him to accomplish.
What this leaves us with is a body of work from the mid-1980s to the mid-90s where McFarlane’s flair for design and detail made him one of the most revolutionary creators in the history of the medium.
For example, Spawn Collection Vol. 1, a new reprinting of issues 1-8, 11, 12 (omitting stories by Dave Sim and Neil Gaiman, respectively).
While the stories — about a U.S. government agent who is killed and reborn as a soldier of Hell — are a little hit and miss (Todd’s strength was not as a scribe), his splashy, often-spectacular illustrations continue to set a standard few can meet.
Nostalgically re-reading Spawn is almost enough to make you forget how many copies of that Spider-Man #1 you’ve got stuck in your basement as an “investment”. Almost.

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