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When Angela Debuted on HBO's Spawn (For... No Real Reason)

THE WRAP -UP

DESIGN-Y

This is, frankly, the ugliest episode of the series so far. The character models are uninspired, and the actual animation is rather stiff. Sequences that should look fantastic, such as a quickie flashback to Angela murdering Medieval Spawn, are instead instantly forgettable.

The color palette is also an issue. This episode features more daytime scenes than any previous one, and the florid pastels chosen just do not fit the show. There is the occasional painted background that stands out as nice, but for the most part, it's just not an attractive episode.

CONTINUITY NOTES

The closing sequence features the visual representation of Spawn's power meter. Another concept lifted directly from the comics, the idea is he's to return to Hell when it reaches zero. Oddly, we see here he's already used up a tenth of his power. Doing what exactly?

HEY, I KNOW THAT VOICE

Denise Poirier voices Angela in her lone appearance. Fans of '90s animation will likely recognize Poirier as the voice of MTV's kinky action queen Æon Flux. Jason Wynn, meanwhile, is voiced by John Rafter Lee. Lee played Æon's lover/nemesis Trevor Goodchild on the show.

(NOT) APPROVED BY BROADCAST STANDARDS & PRACTICES

Hey, why not liven up one of the episode's countless dialogue sequences? Sure. Chapel should murder the two sleeping prostitutes spending the night with mobster Tony Twist! Sometimes the show can be legitimately disturbing. Other times...you just end up with gross, pointless scenes like this.

NO CEREBUS APPEARANCE NEXT EPISODE

Todd McFarlane's Spawn had to walk the line between the conscious attempts to provoke while telling an engaging story. In its opening year, Spawn manages to do this in the majority of episodes. This installment, however, is simply bleak. And unpleasant to even look at, given the (mostly) mediocre animation. The early episodes are genuinely intriguing. Here, there's just too much "middle."

Even more irritating than the efforts to offend is the stalled plot advancement. Plenty of talk of conspiracies, but very little progress. (This is a problem the monthly Spawn comic also runs into after a few years with McFarlane as writer.) A gratuitous appearance from Angela might've distracted from some of this, but even that moment just feels off. People might not recognize this now, but Angela truly was a breakout star in this era. She deserved better, honestly.

So that’s all for now. If you have any suggestions for the future, just leave a comment or contact me on Twitter. You can also check out some of my fiction writing for free over at Smashwords.

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