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Spawn: Godslayer #6

Posted: Friday, February 1, 2008
By: Martijn Form

Brian Holguin
Philip Tan(p), Jeff de Los Santona (i)
Image Comics
Issue #6 finally arrives, and just like issue #5, it is a slight disappointment. Iím sorry to come to this conclusion I might add, because the first four issues were very strong comics and would have each earned 4 bullets from me.

Like most spin-offs this is a re-imagining of the familiar Spawn saga, but where the drama of the main Spawn title plays out in our present day reality with some side steps to Hell and other pleasant vacation spots, Godslayer is set in the realm of dark fantasy. A territory like Lord of the Rings but without any hope of any bright sunshine soon. Lovely. No elfs, dwarfs or princesses with big boobs swinging swords. No, this is the dark side of the genre fantasy, just the way I like it: bleak and bloody.

With Philip Tan on board you got yourself a man who is more than capable of showing this austere world in all its glory. If there is anything that McFarlane doesnít have shortage off is excellent artists who can make worlds collide, torsos torn apart and let you smell the scent of fresh blood. Until now I didnít have any complaints about Tan, butÖ

Again Iím sorry to say this, but the art in this issue isnít as detailed as the preceding chapters. The minuscule and beautiful drawn backgrounds are mostly absent here. Instead colorist Ian Hannin filled a large portion of panels with different shades of skies and grey clouds. Mood wise it may be perfect, but this makes Tanís work look rushed. Definitely some big minus points here. Even the inking feels bland, like Jeff de Los Santona forgot to pack his good inking brushes and had to borrow some felt pens.

I double checked but the creative team didnít change during the course of this series. No, I have no real explanation of this lesser work. Maybe the creators didnít want to spend their valuable energy on this issue, so they would be well rested for issue #7 that will be a $1.99 re-launch of Spawn: Godslayer. But this is 2008 and comics are expensive, so make every issue count! No slacker issues like #6 anymore please!

Although I really like Brian Holquinís captions as they seize the right fantasy mood, story wise I feel he has to push harder and rethink his plot development. Issues #1-4 showcase a compelling tension in the scripts, but then issue #5 was an unnecessary filler and to top things off, this one also doesnít fire me up. So, poof, gone is all the carefully build up tension from earlier on. There is no strong plot that makes me want to scratch myself waiting for the next issue.

But when I thought all hope was lost for this issue, Holguin shifts some gears and makes a more than decent last few pages, full of emotion and tears which breaks your comic heart. The creative team handles this scene very well without overdoing it.

I do hope that the re-launch will bring more readers to this title, because what seems to work for Death Dealer (also published by Image Comics) isnít yet working for this comic. A household name like Spawn is good for a lot fans but also a lot of Spawn haters, which is a shame for Godslayer.

So my hopes are all on the next issue, but keep in mind this is still a better fantasy comic than Wildstorm's World of Warcraft will ever be. And Death Dealer fans should own this series.

For more information about this reviewer, go to www.martijnform.com



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