REVIEW: ‘King Spawn,’ Issue #5

Reading Time: 2 minutes

King Spawn #5 - But Why Tho

King Spawn #5 is published by Image Comics in association with Todd McFarlane Productions. The issue is written by Sean Lewis (with Todd McFarlane providing additional dialogue), illustrated by Javier Fernandez, colored by FCO Plascencia, and lettered by Andworld Design. Following his brutal battle with Billy Kincaid, Spawn has been plagued by memories of a mission in Botswana when he was Al Simmons-a mission that led to his death and rebirth as a Hellspawn. Spawn travels back to Botswana with his old friend Terry Fitzgerald in order to unravel the mystery behind the terrorist group Psalms 137, but encounters the mysterious Disruptor.

Disruptor first appeared in Spawn’s Universe #1, where he proved to have enough power to go toe to toe with Spawn. Here, he reappears and once again engages Spawn in battle—and it turns out that he has a shocking connection to the hellish antihero’s past life. This is another instance of Lewis taking a piece of the Spawn mythology and revamping it for the modern age, and it definitely works. Come next year, Spawn will have 30 years’ worth of history to pull from, and there are plenty of foes and concepts that could use a makeover. Lewis’ script also continues to play up the “King” angle of the title, as it’s revealed that the throne of Hell is empty. Whether Spawn or someone else, will sit on that throne is a mystery that I hope future issues pick up.

Fernandez’s art continues to blend the superhero and horror elements that have made Spawn stand out in the pantheon of comic book characters, especially when it comes to Spawn himself. Spawn is almost always shown with his bright red cape flowing in the wind, and his piercing green eyes seeming to stare into the reader’s soul. It helps that Plascencia joins Fernandez on art duties; his color work helps sell the horror elements of the title.

Spawn’s red and black color scheme clashes with the silver and blue armor of Disruptor; glowing green ectoplasm literally collides with bursts of white light as the two duel. And the flashback sequence that opens the issue is colored in amber tones, which makes it feel like an old war film. Andworld Design’s letters are slowly starting to resemble longtime Spawn letterer Tom Orzechowski; Spawn’s letters have the signature grey barrier and the narration is depicted in yellow and brown boxes.

The issue ends with a two-page sequence that recaps the origin of Billy Kincaid, from his first gruesome meeting with Spawn to his resurrection in the pages of King Spawn. I think this is a really great idea; not only does it serve as a great guide for readers old and new when it comes to the history of Spawn, but it also might inspire them to go back and read more of Spawn’s adventures. I hope that this trend continues, especially as the book is pulling all sorts of enemies from Spawn’s past.

King Spawn #5 reveals another foe connected to the hellish antihero’s past and raises a new mystery surrounding his origins. All of these foes should keep an old adage in mind: when you come for the King, you’d better not miss.

King Spawn #5 is available wherever comics are sold.


King Spawn #5
4.5

TL;DR

King Spawn #5 reveals another foe connected to the hellish antihero’s past and raises a new mystery surrounding his origins. All of these foes should keep an old adage in mind: when you come for the King, you’d better not miss.