This book collects Spawn Issues #1 to #8 and #11 to #12. It is disappointing that it doesn’t include Spawn #9 and #10. I can only guess that the authors of these two editions (Neil Gaiman and Dave Sim) had contract obligations that prevented them from being included. It does ruin the continuity especially the introduction of the character “Angela” and really annoys me. I am not sure if these two editions are collected elsewhere. Spawn is the story of a government assassin and family man who is murdered and then makes a deal with a devil to come back to earth, to see his wife, in exchange for his soul. Unfortunately for him he is returned back to earth as a Hellspawn and his wife is now married with a Kid.
Spawn is a fantastic story of betrayal and revenge. It also is filled with a great cast of characters and absolutely fantastic artwork by Tod McFarlane. Key characters that are introduced in this first volume are his family and best friend, his ex boss, the Violator (great Killer clown artwork on this one), Overt-Kill, Tommy Kincaid and the detectives Sam and Twitch. The main storyline running through the book is Al Simmons trying to remember exactly what happened to him, who he was and his struggle with his powers. He finally remembers who killed him in Issue #12.
The majority of the book is written by Todd but there are two stories that are crafted by other authors. Issue 8 “In Heaven” is written by Alan Moore and doesn’t really have much Spawn in it at all. It is a bizarre story about child killer Kincaid’s time in hell and definitely has an Alan Moore Feel to it. Alan isn’t credited at all in the book. Issue 11 is written by Frank Miller who is an author that I have little to no experience of. It is really good action tale of some wacky gangland warfare on Spawn’s turf and I especially enjoyed Todd’s artwork on this one.
This Collected Edition has excellent art, great presentation and an engaging story line. Spawn is a true comic milestone but it is a great shame that this first collected edition of the storyline is incomplete. [ISBN-13: 978-1582405636]. 8/10