REVIEW: ‘The Scorched,’ Issue #4

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The Scorched #4 - But Why Tho

The Scorched #4 is written by Sean Lewis (with Todd McFarlane providing additional dialogue), illustrated by Stephen Segovia, colored by Ulises Arreola, and lettered by Andworld Design. It’s published by Image Comics. After their first mission in Russia, the Scorched have returned to their home base with the Reaper in tow. However, they’re also accompanied by the mysterious Soul Crusher – which doesn’t sit well with Spawn. As the Soul Crusher attempts to discuss the reason he’s come to the Scorched, tensions rise within the team of Hellspawn, Not helping matters is the massive biomechanical creature known as the Sin Devourer that’s been deployed to kill them all!

The Sin Devourer takes up the first few pages and Segovia does a great job of displaying the sheer might of the creature. Whole panels take place within the Devourer’s field of vision, which is tinted a pale red courtesy of Arreola — and serves as a nod to The Terminator. Other panels close in on its massive foot sending shockwaves through the Earth. Its golden eyes glowing with hate, the first full shot of the creature in its gunmetal grey armor will send chills rippling down readers’ spines. Spawn and his fellow hell-powered heroes have always fought creatures bigger and more powerful than themselves; that tradition looks to continue even as they’ve become a team.

Segovia and Arreola also deliver a vicious fight between Spawn and Gunslinger Spawn featuring chains whipping around, neon-green blood being spilled, and the two Hellspawn glaring at each other; world Design only adds to the intensity by filling their word balloons with thinly veiled threats. While this is an intense fight, it also feels tacked on to stall for time until the Sin Devourer invades their base. Granted, neither Spawn is much of a team player, but the fight drags on for far longer than needed. It also doesn’t make sense for Soul Crusher to pick a fight with Spawn when he’s trying to gain the hell-powered antihero’s trust – dude, that’s only going to make him madder!

In fact, the issue doesn’t quite feel up to snuff with Lewis’ work on King Spawn or even the adrenaline-fueled first issue of The Scorched. While some interesting plot points are laid out, especially Reaper dropping a massive bombshell that could tear the Scorched apart, at times it feels like a relic from the ’90s era of Image. Lord knows I enjoy the classic “heroes come to blows over a misunderstanding” trope, but stretching it over an entire issue is pushing it. I will say that the final page piqued my interest; the last sentence alone is enough of a reason to continue onto The Scorched #5.

The Scorched #4 feels more like a filler issue than a plot or character-focused issue as it sets up a confrontation for future stories. I hope that the next issues stay more in tune with Lewis’ work on King Spawn, which manages to balance character development with the gory, horror-tinged elements that make the Spawn franchise what it is.

The Scorched #4 is available wherever comics are sold.


The Scorched #4
3.5

TL;DR

The Scorched #4 feels more like a filler issue than a plot or character-focused issue as it sets up a confrontation for future stories. I hope that the next issues stay more in tune with Lewis’ work on King Spawn, which manages to balance character development with the gory, horror-tinged elements that make the Spawn franchise what it is.