Current Reviews


Spawn #169

Posted: Friday, July 13, 2007
By: Martijn Form

Writer: David Hine
Artist: Brian Haberlin

Publisher: Image Comics

Plot: A stand alone issue, more or less, about the creepy world of voodoo.

Comments: Some people are afraid of spiders, others of dogs, and there are even those who are scared of getting wet socks in the bathroom. Well, Iím afraid of voodoo. The whole thing creeps me out, even though Iím not a believer.

This story plays out in the small alleys of New Orleans, the best place to get spooked over voodoo. When I was there, I made sure to tip everybody royally, so nobody would cast an evil spell on me.

This issue opens with a girl named Nyx being chased by some evil looking dogs, and boy, do they look hungry. She enters a voodoo shop to get away from the dogs. The voodoo queen insists for Nyx not to keep her appointment with a charlatan who says he can give her her magic back. It is a trap being set up by Mammon, to bring Zera, Queen of the Seraphim, back to the living by having Nyx become possessed by Zera. The Voodoo queen has called upon Al Simmons to save the day. And of course he does.

Well folks, thatís the story in a nutshell. A bit too thin for my taste. Itís creepy I will give the story that, but not a real shocker.

David Hine is a good writer as we have seen in Spawn's "Armageddon" arc. He is even doing a better job with Strange Embrace, but you can tell this issue is just a minor tease of matters that are slowly building up. Evil is entering Spawnís new perfect world again. I trust Hine has a great plan, but this issue is just a snack. It's an appetizer, but I prefer a full course meal. It feels like a story that was lying around collecting dust and squeezed in to make an issue.

Okay, it isnít that bad as a horror story, but it lacks pace and development in the Spawn saga, two things the "Armageddon" arc never lacked.

I have finally adjusted to the new art style, which is quite good. Wide panels, grey and brown moody colors create the right horror vibe. The wide screen panels especially let the drawings breathe, something missing in a lot of the older issues. To my mind they resemble Matt Hollingsworth's color palette in his fantastic run on Daredevil. Andy Troy creates a mood similar to Daredevil without being a copycat.

This issue of Spawn is neither here nor there. I donít hate it or anything. Itís just isnít exciting enough.

Two things that hinder a pleasant reading experience for me were the overkill of inside French voodoo slang. It distracted me from the dialogue, and there were just too many words to google. The other thing that wasnít very strong were the captions. They were more captions than I can count on both hands, and many of them were redundant since they only explained the art work in the same panel.

There is definitely something spurring in Spawnís new world order, but we have to be patient.

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