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Have you ever read Spawn? I haven't, but I've heard a lot about it, and I did play the SNES adaption of it, and that was hard!
Still, it's pretty interesting, how you see an Anti-Hero who is a demon from hell fighting against angels from heaven. I have to say that a number of the angels are such Jerkasses that it's scary at times.
I just find it sad that Al Simmons died and ended up becoming Omega Spawn, a bad guy. And That's Terrible! On the other hand, the new guy Jim seems pretty mysterious, especially since he's got amnesia, and who knows what he's forgotten?
Spawn was one of my favorite titles in the 90s, but I started getting tired of it and stopped collecting with issue #100. I've still got that run, the Angela miniseries, one or two other miniseries, and most of the Sam and Twitch spin-off.
Angela was a pretty interesting character, especially when she had the Defector from Decadence trope being played straight. I thought it was a real shame that she died helping Spawn kill off Malebogia. I wonder where an angel goes to when it dies?
Well, guess what? I heard that in the more recent Spawn comics, Malebogia got better and he wants his position of power back. Well, that's good, because he was totally a Love to Hate villain and the comic is just not the same without him!
Eh, I stopped reading Spawn after issue #184. After that everything just seems plain dullsville for me.
From what I've heard, that happens to Comic Book readers a lot. They follow a series, and then get tired of it, and might not pick up on it again for a long time.
I thought it was pretty weird how The Hero Dies occurs for Al Simmons, and then you have And Now for Someone Completely Different for this Jim Downing. Then you have Rogue Protagonist with Al Simmons returning as the villainous Omega Spawn, and J.D., as the new Spawn, has to fight him.
Then I ended up getting some Fridge Brilliance. It's like this: Al Simmons settled his issues with his family as best as he could, and then killed himself to move on the afterlife. It had to happen, because he faced every challenge he could have come up against, and there was nothing left for him to do. Fortunately, the title of the story is Spawn, not Al Simmons, so someone had to take his place. Who better than a blank slate named Jim Downing, who has similarities and differences to Al? Then Al becomes a Rogue Protagonist to make it clear that you should sympathize with J.D., not A.S. Your Mileage May Vary on how well that worked out.
By the way, have you heard that Todd Mc Farlane said that he considers Spawn his own version of Batman?
edited 6th Apr '12 2:48:55 PM by TiggersAreGreat
I watched the cartoon when it was on CNX, and I remember being pleasantly astounded by the presence of tits, blood, and swearing. I mean, up to then I thought that Outlaw Star was incredible, but Spawn blew it out the of the water.
Must check out the comic some day.
Someone on You Tube called Captain Logan has made it a dedication to review something Spawn related every day for this year. It is called Spawn Year. Don't let the numbers on the playlist fool you. He just hasn't added all the episodes yet. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLO4TMPdUd-6O5F_OWiiZViaBXBlXpn1Vy
I can't help but feel a bit of Unfortunate Implications regarding Spawn—and Shadowhawk. I have read Image United (well, books 1-3—have they released any more yet?) and one thing that stuck out to me is how these two have changed. Namely: these were both black men when they started out but are now white men. In fact, Image United's protagonists are all white (well, Savage Dragon is green, but I don't count fantastic races as real-world diversity), which I always see as glaringly obvious in any media. I mean, I'm white and come from a predominantly white area, but I find such comics to be even whiter than the area I live in.
I also have Spawn #220 (I think that's the number), which actually explains a bit of Jim Downing's story (and that's all it does, so regular readers must have been bored) and, while it could be intreguing, it doesn't feel like Spawn to me. I guess I liked the hero who had to hide amongst the dredges of society, in a urine-soaked alley with the homeless, even his unmasked face scaring off anybody who he may come across. Downing's too... clean.
Al Simmons is back. And I couldn't care less.
Remember that Spawn Year thing I mentioned? Well, it was finished recently after delays made it finish in October of last year. Want to know what I found out? Al Simmons is the kind of the character that always looks he is going to develop as a character but then he always snaps back to being an impulsive asshole.
As for the comic, here is what Todd Mc Farlane has to say about continuity in the letters pages of issue 189. He was responding to a fan who was complaining that unless he saw more story consistency and less Deus ex Machina endings to story arcs, he was leaving the book.
So, we will do three things. We will take the pieces I think are worthy of moving forward and bring them into the current story line. We will take some of the pieces I thought didn't work quite as well or that needed an upgrade, and we will basically rework those or bring those forward. Then, there's just a whole pile of things we're just going to walk away from. Why? Just because you put it down once does not mean you should be a slave to it. It's like saying if I did a drawing when I was six years old, and now that I'm 26 years old, I should adhere to that drawing I did when I was six because it came first. I feel that I'm better. We're better at telling the story, better at drawing the books, and just because we did something in the past that wasn't quite up to those standards doesn't mean we need to be a slave to it. And we're not going to be. Hopefully, you can roll with the punches, and if not, then I appreciate all the support you've given us in the past.
So in other words, "I only care about what is in the comic now, not what came before". He is making it up as he goes along in the worst way possible.
Really, Captain Logan (the guy who did Spawn Year) explained it best in a review of the comic where Al Simmons return. The background is always changing (the mythology keeps being retconned) while the foreground stays the same (Spawn never progresses as a character).
edited 1st Apr '15 12:11:00 PM by DS9guy
i read the first few issues of spawn.
it was one of the better comics of image at the time for sure. the artwork was pretty good for the standards of the company, it had a decent setup, and was fun to read.
there were a couple of things plaguing it, but the major ones that I can think of (cliche and trite "hell vs heaven" setup where both parties are awful, overly long and pretentious melodramatic narration instead of letting the visual storytelling carry the story, etc) are common to most other nerd media, so i guess that's whatever.
it's the kind of concept that could really use a reboot or something.
edited 1st Apr '15 8:39:59 PM by wehrmacht
Necroing this thread to point out something Spawn-related. (Heard of him billions of times, read absolutely none of his stories, knows that he had a great animated show but a cruddy movie, also knows that Angela pretty much migrated to Marvel and is now Thor Odinson's older half-sister, but that's all.)
So you guys hate the movie? So did Todd Mc Farlane, apparently!
So much so, he's doing a new script for a new movie.
But there's a catch. This time, Spawn is not so much a superhero movie...or even an action movie.
He's...well...why don't we let Todd explain?
The goal is to make Spawn as a character something entirely unique in the world of the new film.
"In the background, thereís this thing moving around, this boogeyman. That boogeyman just happens to be something that you and I, intellectually, know is Spawn," he explained. "Will he look like he did in the first movie? No. Will he have a supervillain he fights? No. Heís going to be the spectre, the ghost."
He likens Spawn's presence in the new movie to that of the lurking evil in Japanese horror films (and their Hollywood remakes) like The Grudge or The Ring.
"I think they all work because thereís only one thing in the movie thatís not normal. Thereís not five things, thereís one thing thatís the boogeyman. So thatíll be Spawn," he said. "Heís this thing that just whooshes in, this ghost that moves and will f*** you up if youíre in the wrong place in the wrong time, and the rest of the movie will look real, and be this real drama. Heís just this ghost, this thing behind it."
It's a take on the character, moving even farther from the superhero comics that birthed it, that Mc Farlane has been wanting to explore for awhile, but it also has a practical application.
"Basically, I can make this version of the movie on a budget without crazy special effects," he said with a slight chuckle. "I want to keep it small, keep it tight, so they'll let me direct it!"
I don't really follow Spawn but...yeah, I'm not sure if I'm ok with this. Are you guys ok with this?
edited 16th Feb '16 7:26:31 AM by TargetmasterJoe
I'm not THAT familiar with Spawn but I'd totally be down with a "superhero" movie that completely defies conventions.
Not sure that I want Mc Farlane himself to direct it however.
edited 16th Feb '16 7:50:32 AM by wehrmacht
Well yeah, but the thing is that Mc Farlane is saying Spawn won't be a superhero.
That's kinda what's getting me worried that this will end up becoming something like Fantastic Four (2015).
The movie could definitely work. The cartoon did something like that, with Spawn mostly hanging around in the shadows and occasionally jumping in to eviscerate a criminal. With the faster pace and tighter plotting of a movie, Spawn as mostly-unseen-monster is an interesting approach. I'm cautiously optimistic.
Oh, and I happened to pick up a collection of the first six issues a while ago. The art is solid throughout, with lots of grotesque monsters, only some of which are demons, and MacFarlane's drawing style really works.
The first two issues are pretty disjointed and haphazard, which might be intended to reflect Spawn's own confusion, but seems more like it was just MacFarlane trying to be artistic and ultimately failing (though a good effort). Things improve when he adopts a more straightforward approach; there's a particularly well-written scene in issue 3 where Al, in the body of a white guy, tracks down his wife, who has married his best friend and had a child. Al, pretending, not to be Al, has a double-sided conversation where he explains that he recently lost his wife, and Wanda is so kind and sympathetic, it's heartbreaking. Yeah, MacFarlane actually can write well. He also portrays the homeless people in Spawn's alley with a lot of sympathy and humanity, which makes it all the more irritating when Overtkill unceremoniously bumps off a bunch of them just to lure out Spawn.
Also, Overtkill is jarring, and Spawn does face some problems from having to take place in the Image Universe. The first five issues set up a dark, shadowy world, with some mystical elements and a war between Heaven and Hell waging on the margins of perception. Then along comes this X-Men/Youngblood-style SCIENCE!-action cyborg. He feels really out of place, and while I can gloss over mentions of Youngblood and Savage Dragon, Overtkill is a major part of the early story, and comes across as something that was shoehorned in to make the universe more like that of Marvel and DC.
the main problem i have with the early spawn issues i saw were the absurdly long walls of pretentious narration. They were really annoying and unnecessary
When I was really young, seven or eight, Spawn was awesome. Then I learned more about Ghost Rider, then I realized Spawn was way too much like Venom for my tastes, only his powers were even more poorly defined, then they I played a really underwhelming playstation Spawn shooter(probably because I kept trying to play it like a beat em up or free world platform game when it clearly wasn't meant to be either(, then Man Of Miracles gave Spawn the ability to kill God and Satan and...I think I still have a soft spot for Todd McFarlen and still appreciate some things about Spawn's story, but the entire mythos hasn't appealed to me for a long time.
I mean, after Mark Guggenheim got down with it Blade's mythos stopped appealing to me too(MI-13 was a surprising step back in the right direction as far as I was concerned, too bad it didn't last) but Blade's a character who I think of much more fondly nowadays than Spawn. It's weird because Spawn's comics were more continuous and often much better, I guess it's the superiority of Blade in other media. His first two movies were good enough, Spawn's wasn't. They've both had decent cartoons. Blade apparently sucks in Marvel Ultimate Alliance but I never really noticed. Much easier to see why people said "Spawn sucks" in Soul Calibur 2. He brought to mind the underwhelming axe combat of that game I was clearly playing the wrong way(ironically, I really liked the other McFarland character, Necrid, even though everyone said he sucked too)
So, does anyone agree that Spawn could do well with a big fat clean-up-everything reboot that just starts everything from scratch, like what's going on with Archie recently?
Because from what I can tell about you guys' comments regarding Todd McFarlane, it's sounding like Todd's becoming a lot like George Lucas or Tatsuya Ishida in terms of incompetence...
Continuity aside, the title could use a reboot for all kinds of reasons. The character's canonical history is packed with such cringe-inspiring or laugh-inducing moments of DARK X-TREMENESS that it's tough for any decent writer to cope with their results. Now, no one should want to 100% erase those Darker and Edgier elements from a Spawn comic; the title's founding DNA is radioactive with '90s-ness, and any reboot with integrity should be game for an occasional wallow in that era's tropes. But there are limits to what's consistent with good storytelling and worldbuilding.
I think Spawn should have just wrapped up and McFarlane should have moved on to something else, with occasional reappearances from Spawn in other Image books that become rarer and rarer until he's retired.
When I heard about Marvelcomics!Angela my first thought was big deal, my second was sinking revelation people were actually excited about it. If I cared enough about Marvel I'd probably be angry they gave Odin another child and Thor another world(there are nine of them for a reason) when they already had at least two groups of angels they never used anyway.
Since I don't, it's just a combination of bafflement and apathy. If Spawn was rebooted I'd probably feel the same way, I already feel that way about Curse Of Spawn, white Spawn II and Omega Spawn. The hell? You could always do another Ant story or something.
I am inclined to disagree. Spawn is the 90s personified and he works best when those over the top ideas are played straight.
Watching The Nostalgia Critic's review of the Spawn movie last night got me thinking...
Why did the movie become a stinker? What led it to have this kind of lousinees on it?
More than a year later...
Todd McFarlane's making a big Spawn announcement tomorrow...
That announcement is that a low-budget R-rated Spawn film is coming. Todd McFarlane is going to write and direct it himself and it will be produced by Blumhouse Productions.
edited 22nd Jul '17 8:04:03 PM by DS9guy
In terms of quality, how do the Spawn comics hold up?
Depends what you're looking for. The writing feels unnatural most of the time, and the artwork falls straight into the Uncanny Valley just as often.
But if all you're looking for is guns, blood and demons, it stays pretty consistently that throughout its run.
edited 17th Jun '18 10:46:48 PM by Eldritcho
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