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Spawn: Origins Collection Book 1

Image

Art by Todd McFarlane; written by McFarlane with contributions from Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Dave Sim, and Frank Mille

Apr 28, 2010 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Talk about a pleasant surprise. Spawn: Origins Collection Book 1 reprints Spawn issues 1-12, which started publishing in 1992. It was one of the opening salvos from Image Comics, and boy was it popular. I wasn’t much of a fan of Spawn the first time I read this collection back in the ‘90s when it was coming out one issue at a time. I felt hoodwinked: the most awesome artist in existence, to my young mind, had gone off the Marvel Comics reservation after a stellar Spider-Man run, and I couldn’t wait to see what resulted. And the visuals were up to snuff and very engaging. But the story didn’t hook me, not even with one-offs from Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Dave Sim, and Frank Miller.

Nearly 20 years has made a difference. I’ll grant that the story works better now as a reflection of comics-in-the-‘90s zeitgeist, almost a negative nostalgia trip, than it does as a straight-up comic tale. But the real reason for my new enjoyment of the work is the format change. My lord, this hardcover is gorgeous, with a beautiful Greg Capullo cover and a wonderful, new-book smell. The oversized pages by and large complement the art. It’s all about the aesthetics; holding this heavy bit of history in your hand. The bonus art is pretty interesting as well.

Of course the individual chapters by the aforementioned comics canon pantheon (Moore and Gaiman in particular) are entertaining, if somewhat disjointed from what precedes and follows (and thus in collection form, somewhat less successful than they were in monthly issue form). The best part of this book is a behind-the-scenes essay by the controversial creator Dave Sim, which precedes the reprint of the issue on which he collaborated with McFarlane (issue #10).

This is a case where the treatment and presentation of the material merit a rating higher than the story itself would dictate. If being entertained is your goal, take the rating down a notch or two. If breathing in the ‘90s via an object of art sounds like a good experience, jump on in for the $30. (www.imagecomics.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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Kyle Lemmon
April 28th 2010
7:37am

Ahhh…I love “new-book smell.” Ha! I will have to check this out.

Kauldis
May 7th 2010
7:13pm

This hardcover have the Spawn number 9, the Neil Gaiman´s issue?