REVIEW: ‘King Spawn,’ Issue #8

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King Spawn #8

King Spawn #8 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 Javier Fernandez and Thomas Nachlik of Magnus Arts, colored by FCO Plascencia, and lettered by Andworld Design. Spawn is confronted by the fallen angel known as Black Azrael, who reveals that he has led the Court of Priests—which includes Jason Wynn/Disruptor and the members of Psalms 137—to crown Spawn as their new king and unlock the Dead Zones on Earth. Naturally, the hellish antihero does not take too kindly to this.

What’s drawn me to King Spawn as a title is how Lewis manages to find new takes on the Spawn mythos while also keeping all of the violence and gore that’s been a hallmark of the title for 30 years. Al Simmons became Spawn because he wanted to see his wife Wanda again, and Black Azrael once again offered him that same deal only with a dark twist that could doom all of humanity. And that’s not even including the earth goddess Gaia, who also has designs involving Spawn. Lewis is backed up by McFarlane, who just so happens to be the authority of all things Spawn.

It wouldn’t be a Spawn book without some grisly ultraviolence, and Fernandez is joined by Nachlik to deliver that in spades. Whole pages feature Spawn and Azrael battling, and the blows reverberate throughout each page. Azrael hits Spawn with a blast of lightning that shatters concrete and sends him flying. A two-page spread features Spawn laying into Azrael, his mouth contorted into a furious roar while his chains whip around. Nachlik illustrates the last handful of pages, bringing some macabre horror to the realm of Gaia. Said realm is populated by what appears to be a horse comprised purely of decaying muscle and a massive skull fringed with a mane of blood-red skin. Another creature looks composed of earth and rock, towering over everything in its path.

Topping off the art is Plascencia on colors, and he brings something different to each character. Most of Spawn’s scenes are shrouded in red, with the sole exception being the grey around Andworld Design’s word balloons for Simmons. Azrael is lit with a bluish-white glow representing the realm of Heaven. And finally, Gaia’s realm is shrouded in a cold bluish-grey factor, which seems ironic, given that she’s the goddess of Earth and nature. This color not only helps highlight the violence, but it also marks the difference between Heaven and Hell and how both realms continue to cast a shadow over Spawn’s life.

King Spawn #8 reveals a new foe for the hellish antihero while only continuing to pile onto his troubles with the Court of Priests. Every time I think the creators can’t top themselves, they manage to do so, and the last page hints at yet another upheaval in the Spawn mythos, with this one being the biggest yet.

King Spawn #8 is available wherever comics are sold.


King Spawn #8 
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TL;DR

King Spawn #8 reveals a new foe for the hellish antihero while only continuing to pile onto his troubles with the Court of Priests. Every time I think the creators can’t top themselves, they manage to do so, and the last page hints at yet another upheaval in the Spawn mythos, with this one being the biggest yet.