Happy dead day

SFX - - Promotion -

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!

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