Spawn #300 is written by Todd McFarlane and Scott Snyder, penciled by Greg Capullo, Todd McFarlane, J. Scott Campbell, Jason Shawn Alexander, and Jerome Opena, inked by Todd McFarlane, Jonathan Glapion, and J. Scott Campbell, colored by FCO Plascencia, Brian Haberlin, Peter Steigerwald, and Matt Hollingsworth, and lettered by Tom Orzechowski. The issue is published by Image Comics in association with Todd McFarlane Productions.
As Al Simmons confronts agents from Heaven and Hell, he also gains a new ally in the form of the Redeemer. Elsewhere, former Spawn Jim Dowling, Simmons’s reporter ally Marc Rosen, and assassin Jessica Priest all find themselves drawn into the conflict.
Spawn #300 is divided into five “chapters”, each featuring a different artist. Capullo, best known for illustrating Batman for DC Comics, makes his return to Spawn and it is a joy to behold. Capullo draws Spawn as a towering figure who resides in the shadows, his flowing red cape draped over his body and his eyes pulsing with neon green flame. Capullo also gets the chance to draw Spawn’s archenemy, the Violator. The resulting conflict is a vicious, bloody battle. Every impact, every punch, every splatter of gore grabs the reader by the eyeballs and refuses to let go. Alexander, who has been the main Spawn artist since #276, brings a shadowy, sinister vibe to his chapter, which perfectly fits the mythos.
McFarlane, who writes the bulk of the issue, uses a good deal of it to remind readers how far Spawn has come since his origins. He also sets the stage for a new era in the antihero’s battle against the divine and the damned. Simmons, Priest, Redeemer, and Downing all sport a new status quo by the end of the issue; it remains to be seen how these changes will help them defeat their mutual foes.
The second chapter, “Redemption” is the highlight of the issue due to Snyder and McFarlane’s collaboration. Snyder is a perfect fit for the Spawn universe. His dialogue not only fits McFarlane’s style, but it is also laced with genuine emotion. McFarlane returns to draw his signature character and the end result shows how much his style has evolved over the years. You can see the texture on Spawn and Redeemer’s costumes and pinpoints of light as they enter and exit the void.
The rest of the issue is fairly scattershot in its plotting. The grisly prologue set in Nebraska feels less organic and more tacked on. The same can be said for the closing chapter, “8 Prophecies,” which features an all-too-brief sequence illustrated by Opena. I understand that the epilogue might be setting the stage for future Spawn stories, but I feel like if it was cut, along with the prologue, you’d still have a substantial story.
Despite a superfluous prologue and epilogue, Spawn #300 is a solid celebration of the hellish antihero. The next issue will see Spawn become the longest-running independent creator title, and I hope that McFarlane can continue to keep the character going for another hundred issues.
Spawn #300 is available now wherever comics are sold.
Despite a superfluous prologue and epilogue, Spawn #300 is a solid celebration of the hellish antihero.
Collier “CJ” Jennings is a freelance reporter and film critic living in Seattle. He uses his love of comics and film/TV to craft reviews and essays on genre projects. He is also a host on Into the Spider-Cast.