One Mad Dog

[Spawn Collection, Vol. 1]- (Todd McFarlane, Alan Moore, Frank Miller)
July 24, 2010, 10:37 pm
Filed under: 8 Stars, Alan Moore, Frank Miller, Spawn, Todd McFarlane

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

[Haunt] – (Robert Kirkman, Todd McFarlane, Ryan Ottley, Greg Capullo)
May 15, 2010, 4:08 pm
Filed under: 7 stars, Greg Capullo, Haunt, Robert Kirkman, Ryan Ottley, Todd McFarlane

I am a Robert Kirkman fan and a  Todd McFarlane fan so I had to pick this book up. This TPB collects Collects Haunt issues #1-5 and it was only $9.99 (great value). The book has the look and feel of a cross between a top cow TPB like Witchblade or the Darkness and of course spawn.  Tod McFarlane’s artwork looks great printed on nice quality glossy paper stock and really jumps off the page. The rest of the art is nicely done too.

Haunt is based on two brothers that just don’t get along, one  is a less-than-perfect priest, the other is a government agent.   When the agent brother is killed he comes back to haunt  his brother to avenge his killing and protect his wife. The possession takes the form of a creature  pretty much like the Witchblade but with hints of spawn. The first collected edition does a good job of setting the plot and establishing the heroes and villains. The main plot is about a strange scientist trying to develop super soldiers, his missing notebook and the struggle to own that missing book. It flows nicely and has plenty of action although at times I had to turn back pages as the plot jumped around a bit and I though I had skipped a page. A good read.  [ISBN-13: 978-1607061540]. 7/10