REVIEW: Spawn #284 (Enigma)

The next phase of Spawn’s plan commences. Just what scheme does he have in works?

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Spawn #284
Writer: Todd McFarlane
Artist: Jason Shawn Alexander
Cover Artist: Francisco Mattina
Colorist: FCO Plascencia, Jason Shawn Alexander, Lee Loughridge
Letters: Tom Orzechowski
Publisher: Image Comics

What You Need to Know:
In an attempt to protect Cyan, Spawn brought her to live with a family in Japan away from the forces of Heaven & Hell. But his plan backfires horribly. Cyan is captured and the family she was living with all killed. Driven by fear and the emotional strain, Cyan takes a powerful drug made by the Demons and destroys both the man in charge and the facility she was trapped within…

What You’ll Find Out:
This chapter opens seemingly in the evening after the previous issue. Spawn has returned to his home and watches the news covering the day’s events. The response is largely confused and alarmed. Our favorite trio of news stations is naturally covering the story. CRN implies that the message Spawn delivered at the end of the last issue was a declaration that he’d return to the same spot he returned Bonz to the police. Info Now! Suggests that Spawn might be someone desperately seeking the spotlight. Damn Straight Update, in classic fashion, thinks this is all just a publicity stunt. Spawn finally reappears in Times Square where SWAT awaits him. They order him to surrender and surprisingly, he does with no resistance.

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Spawn is quickly swarmed and taken down by the officers all while the nearby civilians take pictures of the event. One officer tries to remove Spawn’s mask but fails. Unable to reveal his identity, they handcuff Spawn and take him away. The scene shifts to an undisclosed location in Virginia near the Pentagon. There we find three men talking and discover that after his capture, Spawn has remained completely silent. After four hours of questioning, they still have no details about his identity or background. One of the men notes that Spawn seems calm about everything that’s going on. The man seemingly in-charge just ask angrily why nobody was able to at least remove Spawn’s mask. In their attempts to remove Spawn’s mask they learned it acted as like a skin graft. That if it was simply cut off it could risk killing him. Even X-Rays are just refracted off of Spawn’s demonic body. Their boss angrily kicks them out until they come back with actual useful information in response to all of this information or lack thereof. In the interrogation room, Spawn is being questioned by two men. The first asking how he summoned and banished his cape as well as teleporting into thin air. The other asks why he even came back in the first place. This gets Spawn to finally speak, telling the man he already asked that. Naturally, the pair is shocked Spawn is actually capable of speech and headlong into bad cop bad cop to get answers. Spawn calls them a joke and breaks down every single point about them. That the reason they’re being so aggressive is because they have no information about him, that telling their boss this only pissed them off more, and that they’re disappointed they can’t even get his mask off.

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All of this enrages one of the men to threaten to just cut the mask off. Spawn finally shows a hint of his powers in making his mask appear monstrous. Startling the man long enough to catch the knife and giving him a lesson on how to stab him. Showing how meaningless being stabbed in the heart is while he bleeds out. The two Agents immediately call in a squad to take down Spawn. Swarming and beating him until he stops moving. After a few minutes, they finally realize this and discover he has no pulse. As the scene transitions, we discover the President is even aware of Spawn’s capture and while the US wants some assurance about them being able to deal with Spawn. Possibly even have some information about who he is, why he did what he did, or if an enemy nation did it. Instead, they just have a dead body. The chapter ends when this new pair of Agents arrive at the morgue where they prepare to perform an autopsy on Spawn. Starting with his skull.

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What Just Happened?
This was a surprisingly interesting chapter that focused on the human characters much more than Spawn himself. This is also the first time anyone, especially someone not from Heaven or Hell, has been given the opportunity to both see and dissect Spawn. Which seems to be entirely the case for Spawn’s plan. It seems to be setting up Spawn trying to make the issues of Heaven & Hell into the public spotlight. At the very least, getting the governments attention. The scenes with them discussing how little they know about Spawn and attempting to intimidate him were somewhat amusing. We know they think they’re in control but we also know how obscenely out of their league they are. It’s just a matter of time before he finally acts and we figure out his plan. The art is still in the pseudo stylistic Spawn design where he’s not quite as lanky as he was in the Dark Horror arc. But not quite as masculine as he was in any of his other appearances. The cover, while amazing, does make you somewhat notice the difference in appearance.

Rating: 8.5/10

Final Thought: The change of pace from supernatural to human stuff is rather interesting for Spawn. I can’t fully grasp what his plan it which is a good thing for maintaining intrigue. Unfortunately, given Spawns history I can only imagine how horribly this will backfire.


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