"Spawn #301" - The Big 300 and One

Writing: Todd MacFarlane, Art: Todd MacFarlane, Greg Capullo, Jason Shawn Alexander, Clayton Crain, Jerome Opena, Colors: FCO Plascencia, Peter Steigerwald and others, Letters: Tom Orzechowski.

If you've been away from comic book news for the past few months, you'll be quite pleased to know that Spawn #301 is a quite a historic comic book issue.

This week, Spawn #301 becomes the longest-running independently owned comic book in history.

Beating out Cerebus the Aardvark's 300 issues, Spawn has been running nearly non-stop since its inception in May of 1992.

Todd's writing for the series has been picking up steam, building towards bigger and bigger things, not slowing down for a climax that occurs early on in this historic issue. Beautifully drawn by many guest artists, we see a handful of different storylines drawn by a master class of artists.

The story is very telling of McFarlane's desire to keep the title going and to keep it going strong. Through the many different plot lines that he has running, many common themes are brought to the forefront: perseverance, patience, a long time waiting for something to come to fruition, and quite oddly, something resembling hesitance.

"Spawn #301" interior art by Greg Capullo and Todd MacFarlane

Through all aspects of social media we can see Todd McFarlane boasting proudly his accomplishment as the creator/owner of this momentous title. This isn't to say his sense of pride isn't without merit; it's a fact that he's done something that no one else has!

Throughout the entirety of Spawn, we get to see some parallels between Todd McFarlane's history, as it seems, more clearly now, that he modeled the character after himself. For one, he named Wanda after his wife, and Cyan after his daughter, both of which are characters that are integral to the Spawn Mythos.

"Spawn #301" interior art by Jason Shawn Alexander

There've been ups, and been downs. But still the hesitancy of Spawn to complete his master plans feels unfounded from a reader's standpoint. Spawn is unlikely to maintain the traction it has following this historic issue, due to the hype train petering off, but thanks to the exposure, I sincerely believe that Spawn will get carried a great deal closer to its next centennial issue.

The final pages of Spawn #301 give me a bittersweet feeling. I've always likened the regular publication of Spawn to my own history, and it brings me joy in knowing that I'm not the only one whose history it has chronicled. We see an infant Cyan -Todd's daughter- and a grown up Cyan in the last few pages, and I came to realize that this book has brought joy to not only myself, but for the entirety of its fandom; it's taken a world to build Spawn, it will not easily be forgotten.

For the past 27 years, Spawn has proven that it is worthy of its acclaim, and will continue to be so even long past this moment in time, here's to the next 301!

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