REVIEW: ‘The Scorched,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Scorched #1

The Scorched #1 is published by Image Comics in association with Todd McFarlane Productions. It’s written by Sean Lewis (with Todd McFarlane providing additional dialogue), illustrated by Stephen Segovia and Paulo Siqueira, colored by Ulises Arreola and Nikos Koutsis, and lettered by Andworld Design. Jessica Priest, better known as She-Spawn, assembles a team consisting of Medieval Spawn/Marc Rosen, Redeemer, and Gunslinger Spawn to track down the malevolent Plague Spawn in Russia. However, the group finds themselves in over their heads, especially when they learn of a Russian military unit with supernatural operatives that has an iron grip on the country.

Ensemble comics usually take one of two approaches; either all of the members have something in common (see: the X-Men and Fantastic Four), or their differing personalities end up leading to surprisingly efficient teamwork (like the Avengers and the Justice League). In the case of The Scorched, it’s both; the majority of the members are Hellspawn, and they have wildly different personalities that make for an engaging read.

Jessica ends up being the default leader despite being relatively new to the world of the Hellspawn. Redeemer and Rosen follow her as they all have suffered loss, as Rosen points out when he dons the Medieval Spawn helmet, and Gunslinger rankles everyone with his brutal interrogation techniques and standoffish manners. Thanks to Andworld, each character also has a distinct lettering style; Redeemer has normal speech bubbles as he’s not a Hellspawn and Medival’s speech bubbles feature the kind of text you’d expect to read in an ancient scroll.

This team dynamic comes courtesy of Lewis, who is also writing King Spawn; he brings the same fusion of war and horror to The Scorched that he did in that book. Each Spawn is introduced with their own specialty; Redeemer acts as air support, Medieval is infantry, and Jessica is black ops. Spawn himself appears sporadically through the book, giving the Scorched their own headquarters and even keeping an eye on their activities to decide if they are worthy adversaries in his battle against supernatural forces. Lewis and McFarlane have hinted at a shifting roster, so I expect more characters from the Spawn universe to join in the fray.

Segovia and Siqueira tackle the art duties and deliver all the bloody action fans expect from a Spawn title. Segovia handles the first half of the book and the epilogue. Their art has a fluid and vicious movement to it; images like Rosen transforming into Medieval Spawn or Gunslinger bursting out of a crypt with revolvers flaring are worth the cover price. Segovia takes over when the team enters Russia and draws perhaps my favorite sequence in a two-page spread where the Scorched battle Russian werewolves. Arreola and Koutsis work predominantly in red and black. Each Hellspawn wears that signature color combination; this leaves Redeemer as the team’s standout with his blue and gold armor and angelic white wings.

The Scorched #1 features Spawn’s allies forming their own team and leans into the convention of ensemble comics to explore a new corner of Spawn’s Universe. If you have been following King Spawn or looking to get into Spawn, I highly suggest reading this book because Lewis is proving to be one of the hellish hero’s best writers.

The Scorched #1 is available wherever comics are sold.


The Scorched #1
4

TL;DR

The Scorched #1 features Spawn’s allies forming their own team and leans into the convention of ensemble comics to explore a new corner of Spawn’s Universe. If you have been following King Spawn or looking to get into Spawn, I highly suggest reading this book because Lewis is proving to be one of the hellish hero’s best writers.