After a lengthy absence, Al Simmons has finally returned since removing himself from the battle between Heaven and Hell. And with the return of the original Spawn we also get a brand new creative team in Paul Jenkins and Jonboy to take him in a new direction. This one-shot comes between issues #250 and next month’s #251 of the regular series but answers some questions along the way. Like was the long wait worth it? Does this issue feature a talking dog? Where has Al been since Spawn #185? But most importantly, how does the new creative team hold up in this issue.
Jenkins does an impressive job of getting you up to speed and makes this issue very accessible to any new reader who picks this up. He also makes Al’s reintroduction to seasoned fans very smooth while at the same time making sure there’s a legitimate reason for his return. Most of the issue takes place in Limbo as Al is talking with God who is in the form of his childhood pet. It’s during their not so cordial exchange that Jenkins begins to immerse you in the world of Spawn. He also uses several of the recent controversial real life tragedies as a backdrop in the story. Hinting that there’s been some demonic manipulation along with interference from some of the fallen angels prodding man’s violence towards one another from the shadows. Jenkins also makes the confrontation between Al and God a strong one with neither party pulling any punches on how they feel about their current situation either or each other. Though I wonder if being that “dog” spelled backwards is “god” is why he chose that animal as his avatar.
One thing this title has been known for is the long list of talented artists that have filled it’s pages over the years. There was slight hesitation on my part after realizing that Szymon Kudranski would no longer be on the title. However, Jonboy doesn’t disappoint and it will be nice to see what he’s able to do when Jenkins gives him some really great scenes to draw. What is noticeable about his version of Spawn is that Al is no longer burned and disfigured. Aside from his green eyes and living costume he looks perfectly normal. There’s a nice level of detail in the characters which is taken to the next level thanks to FCO Plascencia’s colors. If you were reading the series before this issue you’ll immediately notice that the style is a much different one which might take some getting used to. But this new direction may call for an entirely different tone in story so it’s worth giving it a chance.
McFarlane has been pretty hands on over the years with Spawn either writing, drawing, or doing both. So it’s nice to see that he’s willing to let a brand new team work on the title to see where they take his character. So if you’re thinking of trying a new title then this is a great time to jump into Spawn. Jenkins and Jonboy only show off a little of what they can to together but it’s enough to check out issue #251 when it comes out and see where they take the series!