Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My thoughts on the new team for Spawn

Well, this is my first official “regular” post. Having gotten the introductions out of the way, I wanted to open up with something that was really important to me as a long time comic fan. Spawn. I’ve been a big fan since 1999, when I and an old friend saw the Spawn movie at his house. Ever since that faithful day, I’ve been a fan of the Hellspawn known as Al Simmons.

After seeing the movie, I took a bike ride to my local shop and got tons of Image comics, all for easy prices, and fell in love with characters like Spawn, Savage Dragon and of course, Shadowhawk. While Image’s popularity has died down over the years, and they’ve become more of a launching pad for new creators to make it big and get their names out their, I have yet to forget what made them famous in the first place.

That being said, this is me saying my thoughts on the new team for Spawn, starting with #185 in December (don’t listen to the solicit, it’s 2 months ahead). It will be the return of Spawn creator Todd McFarlane as well as former long term writer Brian Holguin. Also, image founder (one of them at least) Whilce Portacio is drawing the comic.

First, I’ll admit that I wasn’t very faithful in this. I was negative off the bat. Todd isn’t known for timeliness, but at least with Brian Holguin, he’ll hopefully be able to do so. Todd is more like the co-writer, where the stories may be his ideas, but Brian writes the scripts.

Now, as the time has slowly passed, after teaser images and artwork has been released…I’ve been made into a believer. I’m excited for this. Portacio’s art is looking great with ever new piece we see and it’s gotten me excited. I think Portacio can do a great job on this and am looking forward to seeing his fully inked and colored pages.

But just as I am excited, I can’t help but feel sad…David Hine and Brian Haberlin have been doing an amazing job on the comic ever since #169, they’ve been on a hot streak. Just as the two are hitting their stride, they have to come in for a landing. It’s too bad, because Hine really loves the fans and talks with us often on the forums.

Funny thing, I got my name in the Spawn letters page, Hine spelled my name wrong and apologized to me for it on the forum. He really cares about interacting with the fans and I love it when creators really care about their audience. Several writers and artists don’t seem to spend any real time talking to the fans or engaging them as much as Hine has. It’s going to be sad to see him go, but I’ll no doubt follow his other works as they come up. He’s an amazing writer.

But what of the art? Well, at first I wasn’t too thrilled about Brian Haberlin’s art. It looks very realistic (in a sense) and the computer added effects are obvious. But still, when he puts his best work in, it’s really amazing and great stuff. His best work yet has been his art for #169, he really shined there and I then started to really adjust and enjoy his style on the book. He fits the tone that Hine sets and they make a great team.

But, family comes first, as they say. Haberlin is not only leaving Spawn, but he’s leaving the EIC chair at TMP. It’s sad to see him go, he’s done some great stuff in his tenure and I’ll miss having him around on the forums. He does great stuff both as an artist, and as an editor, so I hope he’ll come back to comics someday. But at the same time, I can understand that he wants more time with his family.

So, onto #185….it’s basically another reboot for the series. Returning it to the superhero roots that started the franchise. I can’t help but feel excited for that. While I enjoyed Spawn as a horror comic, Spawn works best as a tormented Anti-hero. He just does. It’s great. It’s why most people love Spawn. It’s what they know him for.

If there’s one key aspect I’m worried about over all things, its Nyx…Hine brought back Nyx and made her into my all time favorite Spawn character. She’s just plain great. Her relationship with Spawn has been incredibly well written, and the whole “she loves him, but he doesn’t want to love” aspect, very well done. Its obvious Nyx wants to help Spawn and cares about him, but he’s just too torn up from past tragedies to let anyone in. It’s sad, but it makes sense if you’d know what he’s done.

But from what I can guess, Nyx is either going to bite the dust, or disappear. From my guess, Hine is totally wrapping up everything him, and Holguin from the past, have done with Spawn with this final arc. While my fingers are crossed for Nyx to remain in spawn come December, I won’t be too shocked if she’s cut out.

Well, that’s all I really have to say. While I’m looking forward to #185, I’m still going to enjoy Hine/Haberlin’s final issues. If you want to start getting into Spawn, you may want to wait a few months for the next reboot, because right now it’s in the middle of the final wrap up arc, and the gloves are off. Expect full reviews from Spawn #180 and beyond, here at the Andrenn Insanity blog.

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