Previously in Spawn…
Spawn reveals the origin of the first Spawn to Marc. Heaven and Hell worked together to create two skulls and then by shattering the two skulls and forging each half together, merged the powers of the white angels and black demons, creating the very first Spawn. After Al tells Marc this story, they head to the basement where Al is keeping a demon locked away. To Marc’s surprise, the demon is in the form of a small child. Spawn begins to torture the ‘child’ much to Marc’s horror, but before his eyes, the demon sheds his human form. Spawn then awakes Cy-Gor and the giant gorilla tears apart the demon. Finally, Spawn gets to the real reason Marc has been involved in all this, he wants Marc to take him to Jim Downing.
Spawn #292 doesn’t hold anything back in expanding on classic lore surrounding the Hellspawn while delivering brutal violence mixed with intense character development. It’s an issue that epitomizes the long-lasting appeal of the character and shows that even greatness can be improved on.
After last issue’s historical origin story detailing the creation of the first Spawn, writer Todd McFarlane throws readers into a gruesome mystery to discover Spawn’s newest power. He can resurrect the dead, and not only that, upon their resurrection they become blindly loyal to Spawn! Now he believes Jim Downing can break this curse past down from the very first Spawn, and that Marc is the one to help him find Jim. These revelations explore plot elements set into motion dozens of issues prior, building magnificently on the characters and their motives in this increasingly dangerous mystery.
Throughout all of this, the American population continues their hysteria over possible lies regarding Spawn’s capture. This broadens the scope of the story without relying too much on predictable societal reactions. Instead, the inclusion of this trail of breadcrumbs for the government and media to follow helps to heighten tension surrounding Spawn’s every move. There are real consequences at stake in this story, and we feel those implications with each new confrontation. Luckily, the pacing adeptly handles the many different moving pieces in this issue, providing a great combination of action and dialogue to peak reader’s interest.
The real strength of Spawn #292 lies in the artistic direction spearheaded by Szymon Kudranksi’s iconic illustrations. Combined with Lee Loughridge’s colors, we see a Spawn book that is truly at the top of its game visually. The spreads depicting the first Spawn along the damned souls he once controlled are undoubtedly some of the best visuals in a comic book this year. Every panel in the issue is gorgeously depicted though, and with the consistently great lettering from Tom Orzechowski, it is able to offer a near-perfect reading experience.
The dark mystery continues as Spawn seeks answers about Jim Downing from the vampire Mudd, who had previously revealed unknown bits of Jim’s past. Their talk soon turns to violence, however, as Spawn is forced to fight for answers. The fight is quick and bloody, but more importantly, it yields valuable information. This results in a jaw-dropping cliffhanger that must be seen to be believed. It’s a powerfully emotional ending that speaks to the unique ability of the creative team to tell a story that feels meaningful, rather than just business as usual.
Overall, Spawn #292 is an excellent example of emotional character development steering epic action in a remarkably interesting way. With a solid balance of mystery and horror, the story is only made more enjoyable by breathtaking artwork.
Spawn #292 shows that even greatness can be improved upon following last issue's stunning origins. The story continues a magnificent testament to the legacy of Spawn, while showing the incredible potential of what’s to come through a powerful tale of both mystery and horror!
Spawn #292: Driven by Emotion
- Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
- Storyline - 10/1010/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 9.5/109.5/10
- Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10
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