Spawn #219 Review
- Published on Tuesday, 08 May 2012 08:00
- Written by Andrenn
I have been reading Spawn since I got back into comics almost six years ago. It's the only comic that, no matter how many shake ups or character deaths will happen, I will always be there reading it. The whole Endgame arc has had a lot of running plot threads, and this issue is the end of a lot of those threads. Has it been worth the years of build up, or will this be an anti-climactic end we waited years for? Let's find out!
Writer: Jonathan Goff and Todd McFarlane
Art: Szymon Kudranski
Colors: FCO Plascencia
Story Rating: 8 Devils out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Devils out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Devils out of 10
Synopsis: It is Spawn vs. Malebolgia. The big knock out brawl we've been waiting for since the big M's return. Secrets will be revealed as Jim takes on Malebolgia with full power. There's sure to be a lot of blood spilled as these two hell born warriors clash.
The Good: Spawn #219 is the best issue of Spawn in a very long time. It is an issue that not only makes good on the build up from the last few years, but makes the pay off so damn great that it makes you want to re-read all of the issues that lead up to this one. Despite the problems I have had with the current direction of Spawn, I tip my hat to McFarlane and Goff for making it worthwhile to stick with the series for so long.
There are a lot of reasons people have for reading a monthly comic book. They like the creative team, they are fans of the characters and sometimes people do it because they like the pay off of long developing story lines. They enjoy getting invested for months, even years on end and then it all becoming worthwhile for a great resolution for all that time invested in a series. McFarlane clearly understands this and when you realize all the build up has been for this, it makes the entire run so far even more satisfying.
There is a moment in this issue that calls back all the way to Spawn #73. That is amazing for me. So much great build up and so many hints that make sense now. This is where the joy of monthly comics can be. I ave been reading for years and not only was the resolution a great story moment, but it made sense with all they have been doing. Since the first part of Endgame this is what has been in development and it all works.
I could be wrong, but I think this issue answers every single question that has been set up in Endgame. We know who Jim was before he was Spawn, we know why the angels wanted him killed, we know why the organization was trying to kill him, everything that has been teased or hinted at is revealed and while it may have been a slow ride at times, I am glad I was there for it because the final product was well worth it.
This issue is not all revelations though. There is also an awesome fight to go along with them. Again, something that has been in the works for a while now. Since issue #200 revealed that Freak was Malebolgia the promise of a Spawn vs. Malebolgia fight was looming. Nineteen issues later and we finally get our fight and again, worth the wait. Jim and Malebolgia are awesome in the fight and the way it ends...oh man...the two page spread of how it ends is just amazing. Kudranski did an amazing job on the action and making every blow look painful.
This issue is two things, talking and fighting and both of them are done well. Goff's dialogue is strong here and he really nails the malicious voice of Malebolgia. Malebolgia talks like he is totally in control of the situation all the time. Even when he is not. He's got this incredible arrogance to him that makes you hate him and want to see Jim smash his face in.
And then there is the final twist. Spawn fans are going to love the final few pages. What happens at the end of this issue establishes a new villain for Spawn who is going to make things very, very interesting. So while this chapter of running plot threads and mysteries ends, a new plot thread begins as someone who may be the most dangerous Spawn villain yet reveals their intentions. The Spawn nerd in me loved that final reveal.
There's a good balance between the dialogue and the action in this issue which saves it from any potholes that could have hurt it. If the issue was too dialogue heavy or too action heavy then either the revelations or the fight would have felt insignificant. Instead, both feel equally important and both come together nicely for the resolution at the end of the issue.
Kudranski has consistently been the best part of Spawn since he joined on #200. His artwork has grown over the year and now he is turning in some of the best Spawn art since Greg Capullo. This issue, he tops it all. The violence in this issue is gut wrenching and half the reason those final few pages are so great is the way Kudranski brings them to life. Kudranski has made Spawn one of the best looking comics right now and his work on the title continues to be outstanding.
The Bad: The only real problem with an issue like Spawn #219 is that it will not make much sense to someone starting with this issue. If you jumped on with #185, the start of Endgame, or #201, it all makes sense and it works. But if this is your first issue of Spawn then you are going to be a bit confused. So for as much as I enjoyed this issue, it gets a recommendation to the long time readers.
Overall: Spawn has hit a high point for me. A point it has not been to in a while, but now that it's there, I could not be happier for it. As a long time reader this issue really gives a satisfying conclusion to everything that has come before, and is an exciting lead in for what will now follow it. It make good on years of reading and for that it's a great read.
While I cannot recommend Spawn #219 to the new readers out there, Spawn fans young and old should not miss this issue. The revelations here are incredibly important and thankfully the issue they are told in was a strong read as well. I will say that if you have been interested in Spawn, check out the next issue because from here things look to get even better and after a great issue like this, that is a reason to get excited.
Andrenn got back into comics years ago with a random issue of Spawn. From there he was hooked and a couple years later he had to share his thoughts with the world at his old blog New Age Comics with Andrenn. Now a huge Image fan and a horror geek, Andrenn writes for the Comic Book Revolution. You can follow Andrenn's ramblings and thoughts from the links below.