Happy dead day
Release Date: OUT NOW! Writer: Todd McFarlane Artist: Szymon Kudranski Publisher: Image
Spawn hitting 250 issues is a monumental achievement. In 1992, this tale of a dead soldier ( Al Simmons) offered symbiotic/ necroplasmic powers by a hell demon was the flagship title of a hugely risky new company ( Image, launched in opposition to Marvel and DC) and could’ve easily bombed. Instead, issue one sold 1.7 million copies, changing comics forever – and cementing Image as a major player.
Now, 23 years later, the landscape’s different for ol’ deadhead. By 2009, Spawn sold barely 20,000 copies. By 2011, it couldn’t make the top 300 chart. Comic collectors love landmarks, though; issue 200 sold out in a day. But is 250 worth reading?
For fans who’ve stuck with the saga, definitely: it’s a 59- page triple issue full of excitement and huge moments, mainly centred around demonic insects ( awesome!). For anyone who left Spawn behind after those early days, not so much. Szymon Kudranski’s photo- real art ( in place since issue 201) is beautiful, but basically the polar opposite of the Todd McFarlane style they’ll be nostalgic for.
Surprisingly for a title that’ll draw in non- regulars, it also relies pretty heavily on knowledge of a character most people won’t have heard of. Al Simmons does make a game- changing appearance, but n00bs will have to wait until 251 for a proper jumping- on point. Which, when you think about it, is pretty savvy marketing. Maybe there’s life in the old corpse yet. Sam Ashurst The longest running indie title is Cerebus The Aardvark – which got to 300 issues. We can see Spawn going beyond that.
Looking good for 250!