After bringing things to an end with the latest Spawn (Jim Downing) in issue #250, the original is back and he’s as angry as ever. Al Simmons has returned after being gone for five years and has a new mission. The battle between Heaven and Hell has cost him much and it’s still taking. So with Wanda and her unborn child trapped in Hell he’s determined to set them free.
Now, with a new creative team behind the wheel the expectation was that Spawn would have a slightly different feel as far as the storytelling goes. And while a solid issue, it didn’t strike me as something new. This still feels very much like McFarlane is writing this all by himself which isn’t a bad thing but when a new creative team is brought on board the last thing you want is the same that came before. It’s a dialogue heavy issue and at times it just slows things down especially during Al’s conversation with some neighborhood kids that he’s probing for information. A sequence that started off strong but as it went on it just became tired. It also seems like after all of this time that Al hasn’t learned anything. He’s still very angry, untrusting, and refuses help from anyone. All of this makes him remind me of the exact same character we met way back in those first few issues of Spawn. Some character growth would be okay at this point since we’re on the #251st issue. There is some more explanation about Wanda’s situation and things pick up when some demons challenge Spawn giving us a glimpse of his new abilities.
The high point of the issue is Jonboy’s art which definitely gives the series an entirely different feel visually. This is probably the most noticeable shift and even gives the title a bit of a superhero look and less of a horror vibe. The only complaint would be the last page where the intensity of the dialogue really didn’t sync up with the art in the panel.
As promised, this issue is a good jumping on point if you’re new to the franchise or if you’ve been gone a while. However, it would be nice if it was entirely written by Jenkins just so we can see what he’d do with Spawn on his own.