Monday, August 11, 2008

Comic Report Card: Spawn Gunslinger arc

Hey, it’s another Comic Report Card! Another regular thing to expect in New Age Comics with Andrenn. Though it may not be a weekly thing, I will post these every now and then. While last time we featured the recently concluded Young Avengers Presents, which was 6, we’re taking a darker road this time with Spawn, the Gunslinger arc, which were only 2 issues.

Comic Report Card isn’t always a specific length; it can be 1 issue, to a 12 issue epic. So enough jabber, let the killing comm.-oh, I mean uh…let’s get this started!

Part 1, Spawn #174

Written: David Hine

Art: Bing Cansino

Geirrod Van Dyke

With thanks to Greg Capullo

Story comments: Told through the eyes of an ancestor to our current Hellspawn, Al Simmons, the first half to his Western Horror is a little slow, in that the narrative is what really drives this half. The action is all concluded to a few panels here and there, since this is more of a story told through perspective of our main character, rather than us viewing it regularly.

This issue is really all set up, with some enjoyable moments, but nothing that shines too much. The action is quick and the build up is what a first issue to any good story should be, build up to the conflict. It sets everything up perfectly, from Mammon making deals to Gunslinger Spawn showing up at the end.

While there isn’t much to talk about, it’s a great solid issue and is still a good read.

Art comments: The art here is very realistic, that added with the painted look really creates a great atmosphere and chilling aspect to the story. It looks very real in it’s beautiful detail, but the detail is also horrifying at certain moments, most notably Gunslinger, he looks wicked as all hell. Even the slow moments of panels followed with dialogue are strong and look great.

Score: 8 out of 10


Part 2, Spawn #175

Written: David Hine

Art: Bing Cansino

Geirrod Van Dyke

Thanks to Greg Capullo

Story comments: Last issue may have been strong as it was build up to the events of this one, but damn, from the very first page this is an epic massacre of action and insanity. David Hine doesn’t even give you a second to grasp what’s going on before the Gunslinger is racking up his body count, just as if you where there in the bar watching your buddies get mowed down like flies.

There’s never a moment’s rest in this issue, there’s always something going on and it usually tends to be Gunslinger killing someone. Gunslinger himself gets in some great moments of dialogue, from confusion as to what he is, to him bearing his sins, it’s all great no matter how you see it.

Ever see them movie “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”? I mean the old one. This is like that, only more insane, a lot more bloody, and a lot more crazy. It’s just that. A horror movie on steroids. David Hine creates the perfect horror western story and every page just seems to be better than the last.

Of course we see the ancestor Simmons in the middle of it all. Since we know he’ll survive, it doesn’t create much reason for caring about this character. Though he does get in some good written moments with the running monologue from his diary. He describes the situation in a very real and poetic sense, and the final 2 captions on the final page really sync it together with the great final page.

Art comments: As great as the art was last issue, it just blows me away with this second issue. Gunslinger spawn looks better than he ever has, even Angel Medina’s image of him is beaten out by this amazing art. That along with the fact that the gore looks so realistic, again, gives this a horror film feel. Like I’m watching a cinematic masterpiece on paper. It really creates a strong atmosphere of horror and action, and matches the dialogue perfectly.

Score: 10 out of 10


Final comments: This is a very strong story, even if it’s only 2 issues. It reminds me of Curse of the Spawn, a competent and well done spin off series in the 90’s, that told the stories of alternate Hellspawn and other characters in the Spawn universe. While this is more in continuity than Curse, it’s still got that same vibe and that helps make for an incredibly well written horror western with amazing art.

Final score: 9 out of 10



greg said...

Yeah, this arc was such a blast reading! Dave really goes all out with the action in the issues that focus on past Spawns, it seems. If Dave ever gets to write his Spawn spin-offs, I'd love to see more stuff like this. (crosses fingers for Ninja Spawn!)

Andrenn said...

That would be great, I'm still hoping for a second volume of Curse of the Spawn.

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