Big things are happening in Spawn’s universe expanding the world beyond the title character. The hope is to spawn (no pun intended) a universe of stories. Spawn’s Universe #1 is the next step in creator Todd McFarlane‘s plan to do exactly that.
Spawn’s Universe #1 is home to a lot of great comic artists and I thought they all knocked it out of the park. Whether it was Jim Cheung doing the main character, or Brett Booth on Gunslinger, Stephen Segovia working with Medieval, or Marcio Takara on art for She-Spawn’s story, I thought all of the artists working on this issue really nailed the look and feel of what they were given to illustrate. Art-wise, this is the kind of effort that I think could get people interested in this book. There’s not an ugly page to be found here and each artists’ style feels so distinct from one another. The various colorists and letterers put the cherry on top of a fantastic-looking issue.
Todd McFarlane handled the writing duties on all the stories and the one thing I’d say is I do kinda like how he writes. It feels like a mix of old and new, still decompressed for the newer era of comics but with a nice bit of narrative caption boxes throughout the issue. The story did seem to have a few problems. My main one is that I’m pretty sure there are characters used here and I have no idea who they are. Who is the guy on Omega’s island? Who was the guy with angel wings? Are these people that read the monthly title would know? There’s a lot of action in the pages and Spawn’s still a cool character but adding in some more of the Spawns and Cy-Gor was an added treat. The short stories are good starting points for what will happen with the supporting cast. I thought Gunslinger Spawn’s solo story was the best of the lot.
Overall, Spawn’s Universe #1 is a tiny bit confusing to read but it’s nice to look at. I’m hoping it’s just that I’m not a monthly Spawn reader that causes it but then it begs the question: is this a good jumping-on point for new readers to Spawn? I think that Spawn’s Universe will be a rewarding experience for those who have stuck with the title but that’s it, outside of just simple artistic enjoyment. Still, Spawn is 300+ issues old and a new launching pad should still offer something for the older readers. Hopefully, newer readers can make sense of it all.
Story: Todd McFarlane Art: Jim Cheung, Brett Booth, Stephen Segovia, Marcio Takara
Inks: Adelso Corona, Todd McFarlane Lettering: Tom Orzechowski, Andworld Design
Colors: Fco Plascencia, Andrew Dalhouse, Peter Steigerwald
Story: 5.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 7.0
Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review