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January 19, 2011

Image Reviews: Spawn #200

Spawn #200
Publisher:
Image
Writer(s): Todd McFarlane & Robert Kirkman
Artist(s): Todd McFarlane & Michael Golden
Cover(s): Greg Capullo, Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane, David Finch, Mark Silvestri, Ashley Wood, & Rob Liefield

It looks like there’s a new big guy running things in Hell and it’s the ridiculously powered Omega Spawn. Apparently this guy was created at the same time Al Simmons decided to kill himself back in Spawn #185, which also opened the door for our newest Spawn, Jim Downing, to take up the symbiotic suit and chains.

This deluxe issue focuses on answering quite a few questions that have been developing over the past few years via flashbacks and a lot of exposition. Most of this is done during a very long fight that starts off between the Omega and Spawn, but in order for Clown to show his true form he has to knock Spawn unconscious. He then transforms to Violator (his true form) and mixes it up with the big guy, while Freak provides the explanation of certain events to an unconscious Spawn. While Jim is unconscious he ends up having a conversation with Simmons’s soul which sheds some light on why Al took his own life. Simmons also tries to figure out what is special about Jim and why he’s chosen this particular path. Back in the real world, after the Violator has had his ass handed to him by Omega, Freak drops a revelation that Violator refuses to believe. When the dust settles, Clown and Spawn make their way out as the the epilogue sets up future plot points for our enjoyment.

For all of the action in the pages of Spawn #200, there is a LOT of dialog which I wasn’t expecting to see. However, all of it is very necessary for this story to be effective and steer us into the next chapter of Spawn. Also, all of the expo in this issue makes the “Endgame” story arc (Spawn #185-196) a bit more enjoyable now that I’ve gone back and read it all including this issue. There were a few things that I wasn’t too clear on, but that could be because I didn’t pick up the “Image United story line which ties into the Omega Spawn’s arrival and Clown’s plans. Speaking of Clown, I was very confused as to why Simmons didn’t tell Jim that he is being played and Clown isn’t an ally, but attempting to use him for his own evil purposes.

McFarlane still provides a great looking book from page to page, though I did feel some of the panels during the Simmons/Jim conversation were a bit hit and miss. The fight sequence was brutal and huge and made even more enjoyable by a personal favorite of mine, the huge word balloons! They just add that big old school comic fun that I remembered as a kid. Aside from the interiors, there was a lot of artistic muscle that contributed to this issue as some of the industry greats provided alternate covers to help commemorate the 200th issue of Spawn. Image Comics alum like Jim Lee, Mark Silvestri, and Rob Liefield are just some of the talent that contributed, and there is also a prologue written by The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman.

Admittedly, I had to read this issue more than once to get a better understanding of what the hell was going on. It was pretty much during the convo between Jim and Simmons that threw me, but once I got it the story was much more enjoyable. I’m not sure if I’d call this a good jumping on point for anyone who hasn’t been reading Spawn, instead I’d suggest starting from the beginning of the “Endgame” arc and working your way up to this issue for a better understanding.

So after eighteen years, Spawn reaches its 200th issue, and regardless of what you have thought about McFarlane’s title over the years, that’s one hell of a feat for an indie book! It’s taken a while for me to adjust to the new guy in the suit, but McFarlane is slowly winning me over. And if you didn’t know, according to the little bit of info trickling out about the next few issues, things are looking really good, so here’s to 200 more issues!

Till next time!

Infinite Speech
infinitespeech@comicattack.net

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3 Comments


  1. Aron

    I love Spawn! Well…the Simmons Spawn. I wish I still had the same excitement for the series as I did, 18 years ago. Damn! Has it been that long? We are OOOOOOOOOOOOOld! I’m thinking about digging out my issues of Endgame and try to get caught up from the point where I dropped it. IF it’s worth it.



  2. I’m slowly accepting Jim as the new Spawn and I guess it’s a natural progression since there have been MANY Spawns throughout history. It’s just that none of them have done what Al did and really threw things out of whack for Heaven and Hell.



  3. […] have slowed down since the events of Spawn #200, with the main focus being on Jim as the character and reader begin to discover his past together. […]



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