Current Reviews


Spawn #166

Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2007
By: Chris Murman

Writer: David Hine
Artist: Brian Haberlin

Publisher: Image Comics

Note to self: Be careful of what comics you read in bed.

My wife and I usually spend 20 minutes or so reading in bed before we turn the lights out. Normally, this is when I get my comics reading in. Depending on her mood, she might be playful and ask what I'm reading. I got such a query the other night reading the latest offering of Spawn, here's a quick rundown of the conversation:

"What's that one about? Anything good?"

"Ummm, nothing. Don't look."

"Why, is there an almost naked girl on the page?"

"No, not at all. We should go to bed."

(She looks over and sees the last page of issue #166) "Oh."

(She rolls over and turns the lights out.) "Will you hold me a bit."

If you don't know what I'm talking about, you need to read this issue. It's one of the creepiest comics I've read in a while, and for this comic I couldn't be more excited.

Horror's not usually my thing, but after 164 issues (issue #165 doesn't count because it was an opener to Mandarin Spawn) I welcome this title's genre change from Superhero to supernatural detective. Al's new world is chock full of creepy stories... and he could care less.

After a brief introduction of this "new Earth," this issue shows where Spawn has been hiding since he found out he's a miserable, scum-sucking pig who doesn't deserve to have Wanda back. Twitch finds our hero hiding in his own shadows with nothing but the sounds of his chains to entertain him. Even his new digs are creepy.

I wasn't sure what to expect from Hine, or his new artist Brian Haberlin. For those who know the name, Brian is no stranger to this book, and from what I saw, he will fit in just fine as the new visual stimulator on this title. I'm interested on seeing his rendition of Clown. If creepy is this book's bag, he should definitely be a part of it.

I love what this book has become. Credit should be due to Todd McFarlane for letting this team play with the toys he created instead of micro-managing them. People have obviously taken interest, as this issue was a sell out at Diamond. Shoot, it may even crack the top 50 if the print run was high enough or there develops a clamoring for a second printing.

Many have gone on and on (including myself) about Al and the new genesis (not the John Byrne one) he has had in the industry. For a title once thought so dead that its own creator didn't want to handle it, it's now reeling in new readers and fans.

One chewed finger at a time.

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