Spawn Resurrection #1

Story by
Art by
Colors by
FCO Plascencia
Letters by
Tom Orzechowski
Cover by
Image Comics

When Todd McFarlane's "Spawn" reached its milestone 250th issue last month, its culminating moment featured the return of the dead twice-over Al Simmons. Paul Jenkins and JonBoy pick things up from that point in "Spawn Resurrection" #1, where God takes an unusual form and explains the big picture to Simmons. This issue, in turn, culminates with an occurrence that will come as no surprise to anyone who took a not-so-wild guess at the outcome based on the title of this one-shot; there are a couple of notable revelations about past events but, otherwise, little happens in this overly wordy and unnecessarily long bridge to "Spawn" #251.

If nothing else, this issue plays well with the verbosity that's often been present throughout McFarlane's tenure; McFarlane is even credited with "additional dialogue" to supplement Jenkins' story. More is not better here, though; the epic backstory relayed in this issue is plenty understandable and doesn't require such detailed drilldown, nor does it benefit from it. What is required is letterer Tom Orzechowski significantly shrinking down the font size to avoid completely crowding out JonBoy's art on many pages; readers who are old enough to have been around for the character's twenty three years will probably want to have their reading glasses handy.

The issue takes a disproportionate amount of time to consume for such little plot advancement. However, Jenkins and McFarlane utilize a writing style not unlike that which has characterized the title for over two decades, so existing readers will probably find themselves a bit more comfortable here than readers who are coming back after a long absence or sampling the character for the first time. Despite its jabbery nature, it's plenty accessible for those unfamiliar with recent -- or any -- developments in the series and makes for a nice recap of key events in Al Simmons' life that might have been missed.

JonBoy's art has a crisp, slightly exaggerated style that also plays well with McFarlane's script. Most pages contain five or six panels which serve to capture the breadth of Jenkins' story and the quantity of McFarlane's words; any fewer and the issue could likely have felt more like an illustrated novella. As the story takes place in a kind of metaphysical plane or otherwise ethereal environment, Simmons is not the scarred, zombie-like creature he once was; here, he seems like a pretty handsome guy looking remarkably buff in that classic Spawn outfit, sans mask. When he does don the cowl, JonBoy's Spawn looks just as devilish and menacing as ever. Colorist FCO Plascencia keeps things appropriately dark but gets to stretch out during a couple of chaotic and fiery moments.

Despite not providing much advancement of the series' storyline, "Spawn Resurrection" #1 gives readers their money's worth. It talks too much but delivers exactly the kind of thing that those familiar with Spawn will expect.

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