REVIEW: ‘Gunslinger Spawn,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Gunslinger Spawn #1 - But Why Tho

Gunslinger Spawn #1 is published by Image Comics in association with Todd McFarlane Productions. The issue picks up in the aftermath of Spawn’s Universe #1, with Jeremy Winston/Gunslinger Spawn being stranded in modern-day times. Gunslinger hits the road and encounters a new companion in the form of teenager Taylor Bartlett. However, Gunslinger and Taylor soon learn that Taylor’s father is involved with the forces of Heaven, and the hellish cowboy must pick up his revolvers once more. The issue also includes three backup stories—”The Lynching” has Gunslinger tracking down an outlaw in the Wild West, “Weapons” reveals the secrets about his trademark revolvers, and “A Small Gift” features the bar shootout that’s become a staple in Westerns.

Todd McFarlane writes the entire issue with Ales Kot providing additional plot/script for “A Small Gift.” Brett Booth illustrates the main story while Thomas Nalchik illustrates “The Hanging,” Philip Tan illustrates “Weapons,” and Kevin Keane illustrates “A Small Gift.” Adelso Corona and Daniel Henriques handle inks. Andrew Dalhouse, Nikos Koutsis, Marcello Iozzoli, Marcelo Maiolo, and FCO Plascencia are the colorists. The entire issue is lettered by Tom Orzechowski.

This issue marks the second of three ongoing titles in the Spawn Universe, following the debut of King Spawn. McFarlane previously described Gunslinger Spawn as one of the most popular characters in Spawn’s mythology, and it’s not hard to see why. The idea of a Spawn with a Western-themed aesthetic should lend itself to some pretty cool stories. And make no mistake there are some pretty cool ideas in this issue, including the concept of a supernatural gunslinger battling angels. McFarlane’s script also forges a bond between Taylor and Gunslinger; Gunslinger ends up saving Taylor’s life from a rogue angel and Taylor teaches Gunslinger about modern-day concepts such as gasoline and Google.

Booth’s art is admittedly an acquired taste, and I feel that most of his characters fall into the same proportions; lanky bodies and an expression of dull surprise. However, Gunslinger lives up to his name, wearing a blood-red duster in place of Spawn’s trademark cloak and having gunbelts surrounding his waist and legs. The darker color palette helps sell the horror elements of the book, with Gunslinger even possessing the same gray-lined word balloons as the original Spawn.

Out of all the backup stories, “Weapons” has to be my favorite. Not only does it feature Tan’s art, which lends itself to hauntingly beautiful images such as a dead angel falling out of the air, but it adds an element I hope is explored in future issues of the series. Each Spawn has an immense but finite amount of power, and when that power is spent they return to Hell. Gunslinger’s battles have left him the weakest Spawn on Earth, which ups the stakes considerably.

Gunslinger Spawn #1 gives one of the most popular characters in the Spawn mythology his own title, favoring style over substance for its debut. Spawn fans will no doubt enjoy it, though other readers may prefer the various other Spawn titles. I hope that future issues flesh out Gunslinger more and craft a compelling story.

Gunslinger Spawn #1 is available wherever comics are sold.


Gunslinger Spawn #1
3.5

TL;DR

Gunslinger Spawn #1 gives one of the most popular characters in the Spawn mythology his own title, favoring style over substance for its debut. Spawn fans will no doubt enjoy it, though other readers may prefer the various other Spawn titles. I hope that future issues flesh out Gunslinger more and craft a compelling story.