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Review: Spawn #197

Spawn, Redeemer and Clown talk. A lot.

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The new Spawn's allegiance is torn between the forces of heaven and hell, respectively represented by the Redeemer and Clown.


It's crazy to see how Whilce Portachio's art has evolved over the years and I really like the direction it's taken. Maybe it's the combination of his art, McFarlane's pencils and the production team's colors... but I was really struck by the unique style of the finished product. While it still delivered on all the goods of storytelling, layout, et cetera... it felt kind of unconventional. Almost like art from a hip magazine, especially when it came to how he rendered the faces. Clown and Violater looked absolutely menacing.


This issue was awfully talky for what I expect from Spawn. It felt like the whole thing could've been about half-an-issue and the dialogue could have been a lot tighter. It just seemed kind of... mundane for a book about a hellspawn. This was basically about people talking in an apartment and then monsters talking on a rooftop.
There was also an eye-brow raising scene where Spawn lands on Clown and there seems to be an explosion, but then there's no evidence of it happening on the next page. There's a similar odd jump when Redeemer's about to square off against the vampires, and the page just cut to him torn to shreds. Rather than being a cool transition, it just comes off as confusing.


I think I respect this book more than I enjoy it. Credit must be given to McFarlane for his creator-owned title that's run for nearly 200 issues, straight now, and for that fact that he's always been involved in to, to some degree. However, aside from Portachio's art, this issue really wasn't that exciting. It actually felt kind of ho-hum.