So. Issue 300.
For me, Spawn is near and dear to my heart.
Issue #300 was a fun ride, and read much like The Amazing Spider-Man #800.
It follows the style of an annual, but with the entirety of the book following a main storyline. No stories of how Cyan as a child lost her bear and Spawn/Al found it for her fighting demons.
To quote the epic Sum 41 album title it was All Killer No Filler.
72 pages PACKED with a driving force of 1000 Hellspawns, made Spawn #300 a force to be reckoned with.
While the story may have been all McFarlane, we had a plethora of guest artists help carry the load that current artist Jason Shawn Alexander had to bear.
Greg Capullo's Chapter:
What better way to start off Spawn #300, than with one of the title's most iconic artists? For me, as a young reader, Greg Capullo's art was a large part of what kept me reading Spawn. The images would pop right off the page, and you could almost feel the images taking a 3-dimensional shape in a time where that such a thing was a pipe dream.
I have to say I was mildly disappointed by his portrayal of the Spawn world this go-around, mainly due to the fact that his pencils in this landmark issue were not the same as 20 years ago, rather they held the shape of New 52 Batman and the current Last Knight on Earth miniseries.
Now this is not to say that I don't adore Capullo's killer artwork— remember, All Killer No Filler— BUT, I do wish that it had the same fullness that made Spawn what it was, and that hooked fans such as myself.
Todd Mcfarlane's Chapter:
There's nothing quite like a Spawn drawn by the master himself. There's just something about the Spawn markings and overall character design that McFarlane has the perfect grasp of.
The world of Spawn is his, and he makes it very apparent when he goes to town like in issue #300.
It's not everyday that the ToddFather can pump out pages like in this monumental issue, but when he does, its top quality.
Now if he could just take over pencils indefinitely....
J. Scott Campbell's Chapter:
Now how the heck did McFarlane manage to secure an almost exclusively cover artist for a chunk of pages in this landmark issue?
There's not much new to be said about Campbell's art, it's some of the most popular cover art around, and can be seen most places without having to make a purchase.
Though I have to say, it is definitely a treat to see him handle the female-centric portions of the book, especially due to the fact that he was the one to pen the new She-Spawn.
Jason Shawn Alexander's Chapter:
Truth be told I haven't been a fan of JSA's run on Spawn. Todd's change in direction to a.... grittier/darker scene has me torn.
I feel like JSA's work can be haphazard and confusing when that genre is forced onto the title, rather than the more natural flow of the work that he displays here, and the past few issues, where the artwork is telling a story rather than setting a tone.
I've recently become a bit more excited to see each Spawn issue these past few months due to that shift, and I'm very ready to see more of it in the coming landmark issues.
Jerome Opena's Chapter:
I can't delve into Opena's work too much, due to his spread being only a few pages long. There is much to be said about the few pages he contributes to the story though, as the long and spiraling imagery gives the reader a sense of wonder.
While largely textless, Opena does a great job of following a script, as his contribution tells the tale it was meant to tell.
I'm ready to see where these pages lead us in future issues of Spawn following #300.
The Story So Far:
So Spawn #300 was, as a whole, an epic chapter(s) in the massive tale that has been running for the better part of 27 years.
Todd McFarlane has come and gone, but he forever remains Spawn's true master, as he is wont to remind us time and time again.
For new readers, be sure to jump on around issue #297 to get the quick rundown of the Spawn mythos, because this issue was a huge one that encompasses a rather large part of the run.
Spawn has been all about rebirth and redemption, and the theme never falters with each turn of the page on issue #300. Be sure to grab your copy if you haven't already. With a second print announced the day of release, you know this issue was a big hit among collectors and fans worldwide! Don't miss out!
(There's like 8 covers with variations of each— pick your favorite and crack that bad boy open!)